Drug abuse involves compulsive and excessive intake of drugs over a period of time. Repeated use of drugs results in developing addiction that has harmful repercussions. It is a problem that directly impacts the structure and functioning of the brain causing grave damage to it. Drug abuse, a term used for obsessive and excessive use of drugs, is a common problem these days. Regular use of drugs is self damaging. It leads to addiction and causes behavioural changes. Drug abuse particularly impacts the brain and can also lead to other health issues such as kidney failure and heart problem. Here are essays of varying lengths to help you with the topic in your exam.
Essay on Drug Abuse
Drug Abuse Essay 1 (200 words)
Drug abuse is the repeated and excessive use of drugs. It impacts a person’s mental as well as physical health negatively causing a major damage to the brain. Drug abuse hampers a person’s power to practise self-control and interferes with their ability to resist the urge to take drugs. Drugs are initially taken out of choice, however, it becomes hard to resist them sooner than you realise. It is difficult to recover from this problem and even those who do stand a high risk of developing it again.
People usually take to drug abuse in order to curb the stress caused due to the following:
- Family Issues
- Pressure at Work
- Growing Competition in Schools and Colleges
- Relationship Problems
- Financial Issues
- Feeling of Emptiness
Besides, it can also be a genetic problem. Whatever be the reason, it is essential to understand that drug abuse only aggravates the problems rather than solving them. It is thus wise to stay away from it. Those who have already fallen prey to this problem can seek expert guidance to overcome it. Proper medication, support from loved ones and strong will power can take one out of the dark world of drug abuse. The treatment for drug abuse is extended over a long period so as to ensure that the problem does not relapse.
Drug Abuse Essay 2 (300 words)
Drug abuse refers to obsessive and excessive use of drugs. It impacts a person’s mental as well as physical health mainly causing damage to the brain. Drugs are initially taken by choice owing to different reasons. However, gradually it becomes difficult to resist them. There are different reasons why people take the road to drugs. Here is a look at these and also the ways to curb this problem.
Reasons for Drug Abuse
- Family/Relationship Problems
Many people have problems in their family. For them, drug abuse seems to be an easy escape from the stress caused due to those problems. Youngsters, particularly try to tackle their relationship problems by way of drug abuse.
- Work Pressure
Pressure at work place and competition at the school and college level is another major cause of drug abuse.
It is often seen that a person’s genes also play a significant role in him/ her turning addict. The problem usually, not necessarily, runs in the family.
The feeling of loneliness or emptiness can also force a person to turn to drugs.
Medication for Drug Abuse
Different types of medications are given to people suffering from different stages of drug abuse. Here is a look at these:
- Staying in Treatment
The patient’s brain needs to be trained to adapt to the absence of drugs. This treatment helps the patients control their craving for drugs.
- Withdrawal Treatment
People who stop using drugs can experience symptoms such as stress, anxiety, mood swings, etc. They are prescribed medications to overcome these symptoms.
- Prevent Relapse
There are many factors that can trigger a relapse. Medications are being developed to control these triggers.
Drug Abuse is a common problem these days. Though hard to resist, the usage of drugs can be controlled with proper medication and guidance.
Drug Abuse Essay 3 (400 words)
Drug abuse is a chronic disease. Those who abuse drugs are unable to resist them despite being fully aware about their harmful consequences. Regular intake of drugs can damage the brain adversely and can also lead to various other health problems. Brain changes caused due to heavy intake of drugs can be persistent. Drug addiction is thus known to be a relapsing problem. Here is a look at the various causes of drug abuse and also the ways to overcome this problem:
Factors Causing Drug Abuse
The factors causing drug abuse have mainly been classified in three categories. Here is a look at each of these in detail:
A person’s environment includes various factors such as his social status, family, friends, professional life, etc. Problems in the family, bad company, competition at work and lack of proper guidance and support from parents or teachers can often lead to drug abuse.
Drug abuse can also be a genetic problem. A child stands a high chance of falling prey to drug abuse if either of his parents has been under the influence of the same. Certain mental disorders can also cause a person to turn towards drugs.
Though drug addiction can develop at any age however those who begin taking drugs at an early age have a high chance of getting addicted. This is because those areas in their brain that are responsible for self-control, judgement and decision making are still in their development stage. This is the reason why teenagers are more prone to drug abuse.
Ways to Cure Drug Abuse
Though difficult, there are ways to cure the problem of drug abuse. Here is how:
It is suggested to visit a doctor and seek proper medication to overcome this problem. Most of those who are suffering from this grave problem are recommended to join a rehabilitation centre to control it.
The damage caused due to drug abuse must be replenished in order to become physically and mentally fit and this can only be done by having a healthy diet. It is also suggested to exercise regularly in order to keep stress at bay.
Drug abuse, mainly caused in an attempt to overcome emotional upheaval in one’s life, can be self damaging. It is suggested to stick to a healthy lifestyle and steer clear of unhealthy practices such as dependence on drugs or alcohol to stay fit and active.
Drug Abuse Essay 4 (500 words)
Drug abuse is excessive, compulsive and repeated use of drugs. It is a chronic disease that can damage a person’s physical as well as mental health beyond repair. Initially, a person takes drugs by choice. However, after some time it becomes almost impossible for him/ her to resist them. Drug addiction is difficult to control and is often referred to as a relapsing disease. It mainly impacts the brain.
Why does this problem occur?
Different people get addicted to drugs owing to different reasons. Here is a look at some of the main reasons that lead to this problem:
Many people take to drugs to overcome the feeling of loneliness. Many a times, people feel that they have no one to share their joys and sorrows with and they eventually take to drugs in order to get rid of this feeling.
Growing competition in schools, colleges and at work leads to pressure which is often difficult to handle. Many people turn to drugs in order to handle this pressure.
- Relationship Problems
This is also a common reason for drug abuse. Youngsters often take to drugs in order to overcome the emotional upheaval caused due to failed relationships.
Many people, mostly teenagers are just curious to find out how drugs taste as well as their after effects. Little do they know that this experimenting can lead to addiction before they would even realise.
Drug abuse is often hereditary. If any of the parents is addicted to drugs, the child has a high risk of incurring the problem.
How to curb this problem?
While it is difficult to get out of the dark world of drug abuse and it is highly likely for the problem to relapse, there are certain things that can help those trying to get rid of this problem. These are discussed below in detail:
- Expert Consultation
It is suggested to consult a doctor or better still join a rehabilitation centre in order to get rid of drug abuse. As easy as it is to fall prey to this problem, it is equally difficult to come out of it. The step by step approach followed at the rehabilitation centres is an effective way to curb this issue.
- Eat Healthy
Your mental as well as physical health deteriorates due to heavy intake of drugs. In order to replenish the lost nutrients, it is suggested to have a healthy diet.
Physical activities such as jogging, dancing, swimming, yoga, etc promote the growth of endorphins also known as the happy hormones. It is suggested to indulge in such activities to get rid of drug addiction as reducing the drug dosage can increase the stress level.
Drug Abuse is a grave problem. Especially common among the youth these days, it can be damaging for those who are addicted as well as the ones related to them. The sensitivity of the issue must be recognized and one must not start this practice in any case. Remember, there are better ways to handle problems such as loneliness, fear, anxiety and heart break.
Drug Abuse Essay 5 (600 words)
Drug abuse, the compulsive and excessive use of drugs, particularly impacts a person’s brain. It causes brain changes that make it difficult for a person to practice self-control and interfere with their power to defy the urge to take drugs. The changes in the functioning of the brain are inexorable and this is the reason why it often relapses. Even those who recover stand a high risk of returning to drugs even after years of recovery. However, this does not mean that the treatment is not effective enough. One must ensure that the treatment is not stopped. It is an ongoing process though the doctors alter the medication from time to time on the basis of the response received from the patients.
What causes Drug Addiction?
Different people fall prey to this self-damaging habit due to different reasons. Some of the key reasons for drug addiction are shared below:
- Feeling of Emptiness
Feeling of emptiness can be the worst feeling and is often difficult to handle. To get rid of these feelings, many people take the road to drugs. They feel that drugs will help them fill the void.
- Work Pressure
Many students begin taking drugs to overcome the study related stress. Similarly, there is so much pressure in the corporate offices these days that people are unable to cope up with it. They often turn towards drugs to deal with the stress and anxiety caused at work.
- Family/ Relationship problems
Many people also tend to begin taking drugs to overcome stress caused due to family issues or relationship problems and eventually become addicted to the same.
Teenagers often try drugs just for experimenting and get addicted to them before they even realise. Teenagers are more prone to get addicted to them.
Drug addiction can even be genetic. It is often seen that this problem runs in the families. So, there is a high risk of children getting addicted if their parents abuse drugs.
- Drugs Available on Prescription
Most drugs prescribed by the doctors are as addictive as the street drugs. Many people mistake them as safe and repeated use of these leads to addiction.
Measures to Overcome Drug Addiction
Overcoming drug addiction can be difficult. However, it is not impossible. With the help of medication, expert guidance and support from family and friends, one can overcome this problem. Discussed below are some measures to help you overcome drug abuse.
- Consult Doctor
It takes much more than a strong will power when it comes to getting rid of drug addiction. If you have taken the plunge to get out of the dark world of drugs then it is suggested to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Reducing drug dosage may result in increased level of stress. You can overcome this to a large extent by indulging in physical activities such as jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing and yoga among others.
- Eat Healthy
Your physical health especially brain deteriorates because of regular intake of drugs. It is thus advised to have food that contains all the essential nutrients.
- Talk to Close Ones
Instead of keeping your feelings to yourself, it is suggested to vent them out. Talk to your family and friends about your issues. This is a good way to de-stress rather than relying on drugs.
Drug abuse is a growing problem, especially among the youths. There are many reasons that lead to this problem and the impact it has is extremely damaging. It is essential to spread awareness about the negative repercussions of drugs to discourage their use. Those gripped by this problem must consult a doctor and seek help from those close to them to come out of hellish world of drug abuse.
Speech on Drug Abuse
Overcoming drug addiction: Decide to make a change
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to make a change, or if you have what it takes to quit. If you’re addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. It’s okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:
- the way you deal with stress
- who you allow in your life
- what you do in your free time
- how you think about yourself
- the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take
It’s also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know it’s causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.
Overcoming addiction step 1: Think about change
- Keep track of your drug use, including when and how much you use. This will give you a better sense of the role the addiction is playing in your life.
- List the pros and cons of quitting, as well as the costs and benefits of continuing your drug use.
- Consider the things that are important to you, such as your partner, your kids, your pets, your career, or your health. How does your drug use affect those things?
- Ask someone you trust about their feelings on your drug use.
- Ask yourself if there’s anything preventing you from changing. What could help you make the change?
Preparing for change: 5 key steps to addiction recovery
- Remind yourself of the reasons you want to change.
- Think about your past attempts at recovery, if any. What worked? What didn’t?
- Set specific, measurable goals, such as a start date or limits on your drug use.
- Remove reminders of your addiction from your home, workplace, and other places you frequent.
- Tell friends and family that you’re committing to recovery, and ask for their support.
Explore your addiction treatment options
Once you’ve committed to recovery, it’s time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
- Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
- Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
- Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
|Types of drug treatment programs|
|Residential treatment – Residential treatment involves living at a facility and getting away from work, school, family, friends, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment. Residential treatment can last from a few days to several months.|
|Day treatment/Partial hospitalization – Partial hospitalization is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but wish to still live at home and have a stable living environment. These treatment programs usually meet at a treatment center for 7 to 8 hours during the day, then you return home at night.|
|Outpatient treatment – Not a live-in treatment program, these outpatient programs can be scheduled around work or school. You’re treated during the day or evening but don’t stay overnight. The major focus is relapse prevention.|
|Sober living communities – Living in a sober house normally follows an intensive treatment program such as residential treatment. You live with other recovering addicts in a safe, supportive, and drug-free environment. Sober living facilities are useful if you have nowhere to go or you’re worried that returning home too soon will lead to relapse.|
As you consider the options, keep in mind:
No treatment works for everyone. Everyone’s needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. It’s important that you find a program that feels right.
Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case you’ll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
As you seek help for drug addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for any other medical or psychological issues you’re experiencing. Your best chance of recovery is through integrated treatment. This means getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team.
Find support for your addiction recovery
Don’t try to go it alone—reach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones because you’ve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. It’s important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while you’re recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you don’t have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a recovery support group such as a 12-step program and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
Learn healthy ways to cope with stress
After addressing your immediate problems with addiction and starting treatment, you’ll still have to face the problems that led to your drug abuse. Did you start using to numb painful emotions, calm yourself after an argument, unwind after a bad day, or forget about your problems? Once you’re sober, the negative feelings that you dampened with drugs will resurface. For treatment to be successful, you’ll first need to resolve your underlying issues.
Once you have resolved your underlying issues, you will, at times, continue to experience stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, shame, anxiety, and hopelessness. These emotions are all a normal part of life. Finding ways to address these feelings as they arise is an essential component to your treatment and recovery.
Relieving stress without drugs
Drug abuse often stems from misguided attempts to manage stress. Many people turn to alcohol or drugs to unwind and relax after a stressful event, or to cover up painful memories and emotions, but there are healthier ways to keep your stress level in check. You can learn to manage your problems without falling back on your addiction. When you’re confident in your ability to quickly de-stress, facing strong feelings isn’t as intimidating or overwhelming. Different quick stress relief strategies work better for some people than others. The key is to find the one that works best for you.
Movement. A brisk walk around the block can be enough to relieve stress.Yoga and meditation are also excellent ways to bust stress and find balance.
Step outside and savor the warm sun and fresh air. Enjoy a beautiful view or landscape.
Play with your dog or cat. Enjoy the relaxing touch of your pet’s fur.
Experiment with your sense of smell. Breathe in the scent of fresh flowers or coffee beans, or savor a scent that reminds you of a favorite vacation, such as sunscreen or a seashell.
Close your eyes and picture a peaceful place. Think of a sandy beach, or a fond memory, such as your child’s first steps or time spent with friends.
Pamper yourself. Make yourself a steaming cup of tea, give yourself a neck or shoulder massage. Soak in a hot bath or shower.
Keep drug triggers and cravings in check
Your recovery doesn’t end at getting sober. Your brain still needs time to recover and rebuild connections that changed while you were addicted. During this rebuild, drug cravings can be intense. You can support your continued recovery by avoiding people, places, and situations that trigger your urge to use:
Step away from your friends who use. Don’t hang out with friends who are still doing drugs. Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, not those who tempt you to slip back into old, destructive habits.
Avoid bars and clubs. Even if you don’t have a problem with alcohol, drinking lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment, which can easily lead to a relapse. Drugs are often readily available and the temptation to use can be overpowering. Also avoid any other environments and situations that you associate with drug use.
Be upfront about your history of drug use when seeking medical treatment. If you need a medical or dental procedure done, be upfront and find a provider who will work with you in either prescribing alternatives or the absolute minimum medication necessary. You should never feel ashamed or humiliated about previous drug use or be denied medication for pain; if that happens, find another provider.
Use caution with prescription drugs. If you were addicted to a prescription drug, such as an opioid painkiller, you may need to talk to your doctor about finding alternate ways to manage pain. Regardless of the drug you experienced problems with, it’s important to stay away from prescription drugs with the potential for abuse or use only when necessary and with extreme caution. Drugs with a high abuse potential include painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medication.
Coping with drug cravings
Sometimes craving cannot be avoided, and it is necessary to find a way to cope:
Get involved in a distracting activity. Read, see friends, go to a movie, immerse yourself in a hobby, hike, or exercise. Once you’re interested in something else, you’ll find the urges go away.
Talk it through. Talk to friends or family members about craving when it occurs. Talking can be very helpful in pinpointing the source of the craving. Also, talking about craving often helps to discharge and relieve the feeling and will help restore honesty in your relationship. Craving is nothing to feel bad about.
Challenge and change your thoughts. When experiencing a craving, many people have a tendency to remember only the positive effects of the drug and forget the negative consequences. Therefore, you may find it helpful to remind yourself that you really won’t feel better if you use and that you stand to lose a lot. Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you.
Urge surf. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. But some cravings are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think.
The three basic steps of urge surfing:
- Take an inventory of how you experience the craving. Do this by sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving and what the sensations are like. Notice each area where you experience the urge, and tell yourself what you are experiencing. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
- Focus on one area where you are experiencing the urge. Notice the exact sensations in that area. For example, do you feel hot, cold, tingly, or numb? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? How large an area is involved? Notice the sensations and describe them to yourself. Notice the changes that occur in the sensation. “My mouth feels dry and parched. There is tension in my lips and tongue. I keep swallowing. As I exhale, I can imagine the tingle of using.”
- Repeat the focusing with each part of your body that experiences the craving. Describe to yourself the changes that occur in the sensations. Notice how the urge comes and goes. Many people, when they urge surf, notice that after a few minutes the craving has vanished. The purpose of this exercise, however, is not to make the craving go away but to experience the craving in a new way. If you practice urge surfing, you will become familiar with your cravings and learn how to ride them out until they go away naturally.
Source: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Build a meaningful drug-free life
You can support your drug treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. It’s important to be involved in things that you enjoy, that make you feel needed, and add meaning to your life. When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal.
Pick up an old hobby or try a new one. Do things that challenge your creativity and spark your imagination—something you’ve always wanted to try. Learn a musical instrument, a foreign language, or try a new sport.
Adopt a pet. Yes, pets are a responsibility, but caring for an animal makes you feel loved and needed. Pets can also get you out of the house for exercise.
Spend time in nature. Take a scenic hike, go fishing or camping, or enjoy regular walks in a park.
Enjoy the arts. Visit a museum, go to a concert or a play, take an art class or write a memoir.
Get involved in your community. Replace your addiction with drug-free groups and activities. Volunteer, become active in your church or faith community, or join a local club or neighborhood group.
Set meaningful goals. Having goals to work toward and something to look forward to can be powerful antidotes to drug addiction. It doesn’t matter what the goals are, just that they are important to you.
Look after your health. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits help you keep your energy levels up and your stress levels down. The more you can stay healthy and feel good, the easier it will be to stay sober.
Don’t let relapse keep you down
Relapse is a common part of the recovery process from drug addiction. While relapse is frustrating and discouraging, it can be an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, identify additional triggers, and correct your treatment course.
What causes relapse?
Various “triggers” can put people at risk of relapsing into old patterns of substance use. Causes of relapse can differ for each person. Some common ones include:
- negative emotional states (such as anger, sadness, trauma or stress)
- physical discomfort (such as withdrawal symptoms or physical pain)
- positive emotional states (wanting to feel even better)
- testing personal control (“I can have just one pill”)
- strong temptations or urges (cravings to use)
- conflict with others (such as an argument with a spouse or partner)
- social pressures to use (situations where it seems as though everyone else is using drugs)
- good times with others (such as having fun with friends or family)
Source: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
The important thing to remember is that relapse doesn’t mean drug treatment failure. Don’t give up. Call your sponsor, talk to your therapist, go to a meeting, or schedule an appointment with your doctor. When you’re sober again and out of danger, look at what triggered the relapse, what went wrong, and what you could have done differently. You can choose to get back on the path to recovery and use the experience to strengthen your commitment.