This is an essay on “Drug Abuse” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. The use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in excessive amounts. Drug abuse may lead to social, physical, emotional, and job-related problems. So this is a really important topic to write an essay on. Here is an essay on “Drug Abuse” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations.
Essay on “Drug Abuse”
Any substance (usually chemical) which influences our bodies or emotions when consumed may be called a drug, i.e. it is a chemical substance, that when put into your body can change the way the body works and the mind thinks. This substance may be medicinal i.e. prescribed by a doctor for reducing minor ailments or problems e.g. lack of sleep, headache, tension, etc. but is also
- used without medical advice,
- used for an excessively long period of time.
- us for reasons other than medical ones.
The use of such drugs is usually legal. Some drugs like alcohol. heroin, brown sugar, etc are dangerous and addictive. Such ‘abuse’ leads to addiction i.e. inability to lead a regular life in the absence of the drug/alcohol. It causes tolerance and dependence, and withdrawal symptoms may occur in its absence.
Cause of Addiction
It has been found that if both parents of a child are addicted, the child has greater chances of developing an addiction. While this does not mean that children” of all addicts will become addicts, it suggests a greater possibility. However, several other factors may also eﬀect the development of the problem, viz.
- amount of drug is taken and frequency
- the route of intake (injected drugs and more addicting)
- the availability, access, and price
- the influences in one’s environment, other than familial.
For several years, addiction has been viewed as a mental abnormality caused by individual problems. Studies have indicated that addicts are insecure people.
Whatever the relationship, there is enough evidence to indicate that addicts suffer from, deep personality problems, feelings of inadequacy, dependency, powerlessness, isolation, and a low sense of self-respect.
Childhood-related problems are observed among addicts as well as current stresses before the setting in of addiction.
Several theories are offered today which claim that addiction has socio-cultural origins.
In some tribal societies, the consumption of alcohol is a part of religious rituals and ceremonies. Such regular consumption may cause some people to become addicted.
Youth often take drugs as a rebellion against adult norms and values.
The cultural deviance theory thus indicates that drug addiction develops because of these emotional and social ties, with a non-conventional group.
Today, the social consumption of alcohol, in particular, has risen in all socio-cultural groups and it is considered to be a sign of social prestige to drink.
Among young people, growing up is a stage of proving oneself to one’s peer i.e. those in the same age group, who help to shape one’s sense of identity.
Since the ability to tolerate alcohol is equated with one’s manhood, boys often begin to consume alcohol and at times drugs at a young age, due to peer pressure.
Persons in jobs that create stress-physical and/or mental are known to become addicted. Those prone to addiction thus include:
(i) persons in conservancy jobs, morticians and morgue workers, ragpickers, etc. whose job is associated with unpleasant activities.
(ii) those performing excessively exhausting, monotonous, laborious work e.g. load carriers and porters, drivers, etc.
(iii) persons in competitive target-oriented jobs, where many deals may be struck around alcohol, like marketing and sales, etc.
(iv) Family influence is believed to be another important environmental factor in addiction.
(v) Imitation may occur if the family has an adult addict.
Other factors that operate are:
(i) the aggravating of stress by the family at periods of transition, e.g. adolescence,
(ii) the absence of reasonable parental control,
(iii) a disunited and dysfunctional family.
Different cultures provide diverse means to their members of gaining satisfaction and of handling tensions.
Sociological theorists offer other explanations as well. The theory of strain holds that people turn to drugs and alcohol because social conditions in their environment do not provide them adequate opportunities for achievement.
This is particularly so for lower socio-economic groups and other socially disadvantaged groups.
Drugs, Crime, and Politics
Addiction poses a danger not merely to the health of people but also to law and order, and national security.
Consumption of drugs itself often leads to crime of both, petty and serious nature. Addiction also influences people to commit violent crimes due to the chemical condition created in their bodies.
By 1985, most of the governments which submitted annual reports to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs reported the existence of illicit drug trafficking.
Seizures of drugs by the authorities are on the increase but they represent the tip of the iceberg. However, nations are coming together
(i) to plan strategies to prevent international drug trafficking,
(ii) to reduce production, and
(iii) to lower the general public attraction for drugs, through harsher penalties and prevention programs.
The prevention of drug abuse aims at a middle range of action by
(i) reducing drug victims
(ii) removing the harm of the drug
(iii) providing easier resocialization for the ex-addict. All the goals are easier articulated than put into practice.
Intervention: Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Prevention
It is fortunate that addiction is a treatable disease. Like a physical illness, it requires some medication.
However, this medication does not cure addiction. This phase begins after detoxification i.e. the period during which the patient is medically supervised and managed, through his physical withdrawal from the substance.
During this phase, psychological help via counseling to the patient and family, individually, in groups, on couples, or in the family is given as follows:
Psychological help is provided in:
(i) professionally run places like hospitals, general hospitals, mental hospitals, private hospitals, or units specially meant for de-addiction, i.e. moving away from addiction,
(ii) institutions (day-care or residential) run by recovering addicts and/or professionals,
(iii) by Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous fellowships of recovering addicts that help others and self to stay sober and to help others to achieve and retain sobriety or to remain ‘dry’ i.e. stay away from the addicting substance.
To sum up, the goals of rehabilitation may be defined as:
- total abstinence
- improving one’s physical condition
- taking up responsibility for one’s behavior
- developing faith in oneself, others, and a higher spiritual power
- learning to develop a healthy self-concept and understanding oneself
- developing socially acceptable and meaningful goals in life
- developing internal control
- resuming one’s education, job, and social roles
- re-entering the family
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