Pinning Down Drug Abuse

Excessive drug intake can pose a set of problems, including physical, emotional, psychological, and social ones. So why do people become addicted, you may ask? Unfortunately, the exact cause of drug addiction is still not known because circumstances vary for every victim.

Previous studies have found that genes, when combined with other biological factors such as gender and ethnicity, may also contribute to an individual’s vulnerability. Mere drug use beyond medical prescription due to curiosity already poses a risk to progress into an addiction, particularly if surrounded by peers, parents, or other loved ones who also have such a habit. Moreover, existing mental disorders and results of physical or sexual trauma can also trigger the victim to become a drug dependent as a form of respite.

Despite being designed to cure ailments, prescribed medications—specifically, over-the-counter (OTC) products—are among the most-abused substances. These are divided into three general categories: narcotics, depressants, and stimulants.

Being powerful painkillers, narcotics and opiates are often sought after due to the feelings of euphoria, bliss, and delight that they bring. Popular narcotics include opium, heroin, and codeine. Meanwhile, stimulants like cocaine, amphetamines, and Ritalin kindle brain activity and nerve cells, supposedly for treating people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Lastly, depressants have the opposite effect of stimulants, wherein known tablets like Valium, Xanax, and Ativan are given to people with anxiety issues.

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