There are various reasons why people experiment with drugs and continue to use them even when the negative consequences are visibly clear. Some the reasons include escaping reality, fitting in, relieving boredom, rebelling, and experimenting. Regular drug use leads to drug abuse and addiction, a cycle a drug abuser is unable to break even though they exhibit the will-power to reform. Although the first choice to take drugs is voluntary, the drugs contain chemicals that alter the working of the brain ensuring an addicted person is unable to exercise self-control and desist from taking drugs.
Drugs contain chemicals that interfere with the brain’s nervous system disrupting the way nerve cells send, receive, and process information. The drugs cause the disruption by either imitating the brain’s chemical messengers or by over-stimulating the production of neurotransmitters by the nerve cells. For example, drugs such as heroin and marijuana contain chemicals that have a similar structure as neurotransmitters. The similarity in structure allows the drugs to prevent brain receptors from producing neurotransmitters naturally activating nerve cells to send abnormal messages.
Hard drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, can cause nerve cells to overproduce natural neurotransmitter, or prevent the natural recycling of the brain chemicals. The excess neurotransmitters especially dopamine disrupts body functions such as motivation, movement, emotion, and feelings of pleasure. Consequently, the overstimulation of the brain reward system affects natural behavior linked to survival as well as euphoric responses to the drugs. As the drugs take hold in a person’s life, they may find it difficult to meet daily obligations such as keeping up job and school performance and neglecting family and social obligations. At this stage, the ability of the individual to stop the drug use is compromised. A user is said to be addicted and what started off as a voluntary choice turns into psychological and physical need.
Nonetheless, drug abuse is breakable with the right treatments and support. Disruptive effects can be counteracted to allow the addicted person to regain control of their life. The first step in breaking harmful drug abuse starts with the addicted individual admitting they have a problem, or are willing to listen to their loved ones who see and experience the negative effects of the drug abuse. In case, the person does not break the drug use; changes occur in the brain chemical circuits and systems. With long-term abuse, the brain attempts to compensate for the abnormal reward systems leading to impairing of the cognitive functions.
| Jill Nicholson|
|Everybody knows bad things can happen to drug users. They become addicted. They can have serious or even fatal health problems. They can ruin their personal, social and professional lives. They may even end up in jail. But why do young people start taking drugs in the first place? What are the causes of drug use among young people?|
|The first cause is simple curiosity. Many teens have heard about drugs, and they are curious to experience them for themselves. They have heard that drugs can be fun, or make a person feel and act different. Maybe they have seen their friends or family members behave differently while on drugs, and they want to see how it really feels. We see drugs on TV and movies every day. Many young people encounter them at school, at home or in their neighborhood. It is not unusual to be curious about something you see and hear about so often, so many people first try drugs because they are curious about them.|
|Another reason young people take drugs is to escape their reality. Maybe their home life is not very happy. Maybe they have a boring job, are not doing well in school, or are just not happy with their life for whatever reason. For many people, drugs are a way to escape that unhappy reality. They can feel a little braver, stronger, a little smarter, more beautiful or more important. Of course this doesn�t last long, but that doesn�t matter. For the brief time that the drugs are taking affect, the user can forget about the problems, responsibilities and limitations of everyday life and escape to a fantasy world. It is no secret that drugs change the way you feel; this is why they are so attractive to young people despite their dangers.|
|Young people also take drugs to feel cool and impress their friends. If your friends all smoke marijuana, you will probably be expected to smoke it, too. If they snort cocaine, they will offer it to you. They may tell you that you are scared or acting like a baby if you don�t want to try it. This push to do what your friends are doing is called peer pressure, and it has a very strong effect on young people who don�t want to appear uncool to their friends. Some kids will do whatever their friends do, just to fit in and follow the crowd. They don�t want to be the only one not doing something, even if it is something dangerous, like taking drugs.|
|Unfortunately, many young people become involved in drugs before they are fully aware of the health risks and the power of addiction. They need to understand the ways young people first become involved with drugs so they can beware of them. Many curious teens have died the first time they tried certain drugs, like ecstasy. Others have found their temporary escape became a permanent addiction. Was it worth it?|
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