9 Reasons Why People Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

1. People suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or other mental illnesses use drugs and alcohol to ease their suffering.

Mental illness is such a burden for some people they will try just about anything to relieve the pain. Drugs or alcohol can temporarily make that person feel ‘normal’ again, like they remember feeling in the past. Mental illness is scary for the individual experiencing it, so they are afraid to go to a doctor or family member for help and instead turn to drugs or alcohol to try and solve the problem on their own.

2. People see family members, friends, role models or entertainers using drugs and rationalize that they can too.

As teenagers and young adults, it’s very easy to think that drug and alcohol use can be handled and controlled, especially if they see others they know doing the same thing. It can become easy to rationalize like: ‘hey my friend’s been doing this for a couple years and he seems fine to me.’ Entertainment and music is full of drug references and that can add to the rationalization that drug use is OK sometimes. Individuals with a family history of drug or alcohol abuse are far more likely to develop an addiction than an individual with no family background of addiction.

3. People become bored and think drugs will help.

Boredom is a big factor in drug abuse in teens and young adults. People in this age bracket generally don’t have bills, jobs and all the stresses that go along with adulthood. So it’s easier to become bored and want to try something new and exciting. Drug use is often thought of as a way to escape the mundane world and enter an altered reality.

4. People think drugs will help relieve stress.

Our modern world is full of new strains and stresses that humans have never experienced in the past. Although many things in life are now easier than ever, the burdens are also very high. Simply having a family, maintaining a household, and holding a job are huge stress factors. Some drugs are viewed as a means of relaxation – a way to calm the storm in your mind. Although drugs can be very effective at doing that, there can be serious side effects.

5. People figure if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it must be ok.

It is easy for an individual to rationalize using a drug because it came from a doctor. The thinking goes like this ‘it was prescribed to someone I know for the same problem I am having, so it makes sense it should work for me too.’ The dangerous part about this rationalization is that this can lead to mixing of drugs, overdose, unintended side effects and/or dependency.

6. People get physically injured and unintentionally get hooked on prescribed drugs.

The people at risk for this are physical laborers, elderly, and anyone with pre-existing injuries. Some people are born with chronic pain due to deformities – others get injured. Doctors then prescribe drugs for what they are intended for and a person can quickly build a dependency. Especially if that drug is making them feel all better, they rationalize that it must be OK to keep taking the drug, which can result in dependency.

7. People use drugs to cover painful memories in their past.

Many people go through extremely traumatic events in their life, many times as children, and turn to drugs to cover the horrible memories. Children are extremely susceptible to trauma, whether physically or emotionally, and those feelings can haunt them into their adulthood. These people could benefit from working with psychologists to help repair their damaged mind. Drugs usually only deepen the issue.

8. People think drugs will help them fit in.

When hanging out with friends, it’s easy for people to want to fit in and seem like one of the crew. If others are drinking or doing drugs, it’s very likely for someone to fall into that trap. Peer pressure can be a tremendous force causing someone to try things they would normally not try on their own.

9. People chase the high they once experienced.

Ask anyone who has tried drugs and they will tell you that it is one of the best feelings of their life. The highs from drugs are so much more extreme than regular everyday joys because most drugs overload the pleasure sensors in your brain. Once a person feels this extreme pleasure, it’s common for that person to become hooked on a drug simply chasing the initial high they once felt. As we all know, this is a vicious cycle that is extremely difficult to break. The highs are equally as powerful as the lows felt when coming off of the drugs.

Alcohol and Drug Rehab: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is the most common diagnosis among adults in the United States today. It is estimated that one out of three depressed people suffer from some form of addiction or substance abuse problem. In addition to the above, there appears to be a common tendency among those suffering from depression to abuse drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with their symptoms. Many of these people end up with an addiction to those substances.

Dual diagnosis can create a very complex situation for both the professional, as well as, the individual. One of the obstacles they face is while the person may feel depressed, there are many drugs, including alcohol that create symptoms similar in nature to depression. The "million dollar" question is, which came first, the depressive disorder or the addiction / alcoholism causing it?

Although there appears to be a clear link between depression and addiction or drug / alcohol use, it is not clear that one necessarily precedes the other. Many times though, the depressive disorder appears first and the person begins to use drugs or alcohol as a means to better cope with the symptoms. This type of self-medication generally leads to addiction or alcoholism with the person in need of drug rehab or alcoholism treatment. Regardless of which issue develops first, they must be treated co-currently in rehab for the person to fully recover.

The most important thing is to work with a physician who fully understands drug addiction, alcoholism and is associated with an accredited addiction treatment center .

How Smoking (Drug Abuse) and Drinking (Alcohol) Affects Your Academic Performance

One day, Barack's mother, Ann Dunham marched into his room, wanting to know the details of Pablo's arrest. "Don't you think you are a little casual about your future?" she asked. "What do you mean? He responded." Bar, you know exactly what I mean. Your friend Pablo was just arrested for drug possession, and your grades are slipping. You haven't even started on your college application. "

Barack Obama was a serious and brilliant student before he gained admission into Punahou School, Honolulu. In this school, he joined the "Choom gang". It was a self-named gang that spent time together drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and sniffing cocaine. Drugs made the choom gang popular in school. His relationship with the choom gang prospered, but his academics suffered. Drugs and alcohol made him lose focus. All he thought about was how to get high. He and his friends Ray, Pablo, Mark and others exhausted their time devising simply ways of doing drugs, which include total absorption (TA), the antithesis and the choomwagon. Reading was difficult because he was always high and confused. Indeed, he was heading towards becoming a junkie.

His performance in school was a mess. Barack's mother was right. His grades were going down every term. He was not even bothered about admission to college. All he thought was drugs because it was part of him. Truly, his friend Pablo was arrested by the police for drug possession.

When pressure from his mum and his poor performance became unbearable, he thought about not going to college. Nevertheless, Barack's mother kept encouraging him. She always told him that he could get into any school in the country if he just put in a little effort. Within him, he knew that the "effort" he needed was to quit drugs.

He managed to graduate without mishap and was admitted into Occidental College in Los Angeles. Even without the choom gang around, Barack continued his drug escapade. To continue his education, Barack was transferred to Columbia University, New York.

In New York, he decided to stop getting high. For the first time in years, Barack applied himself to his studies. He regained his love and strength for reading. Reading and understanding became easy because he was focused and at alert always. Barack began to trace out his future. It became clear that he had been wasting his precious time on drugs. He attended class regularly and soon graduated with good grades.

"Using drugs and alcohol was a seriously misguided mistake. It was my greatest moral failure that could have destroyed my future. Maybe if I had not stopped doing drugs, I might have dropped out of school and wouldn't have become the 44th President of the United States ", he once said.

Lesson
Drug and alcohol use on campus is universal. Students articulate many reasons why they do it, but most neglect to consider the academic and long-time consequences of their actions. Some are compelled to use drugs at social gatherings either because everyone else seems to be doing it or they believe it's the cool thing to do. Others feel that drug and alcohol abuse offers an escape away from school or work-related stress, financial worries or relationship problems. Some feel that alcohol and drug abuse provide a way to compensate for feelings of shyness or low esteem.

According to one study, 90% of teens said they have used alcohol; 50% have used marijuana; 17% have used cocaine, and 13% have used some form of hallucinogenic drugs. Drug use has been classified as a major problem of students as early as in primary 4. A recent report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests that adolescents who receive grades of D or below are more likely than those in good academic standing to have recently used cigarettes, alcohol and / or other illicit drugs.

The new research is part of a large-scale study of health and development conducted in New Zealand. Researchers administered IQ tests to over 1,000 individuals at age 13 (born in 1972 and 1973) and assessed their patterns of cannabis use at several points as they aged. Participants were again tested for IQ at age 38, and their two scores were compared as a function of their marijuana use. The results were striking: Participants who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38-an average of 8 points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence. (For context, a loss of 8 IQ points could drop a person of average intelligence into the lowest third of the intelligence range.) Those who started using marijuana regularly or heavily after age 18 showed minor declines. By comparison, those who never used marijuana showed no declines in IQ.

Researchers studying the effects of alcohol use on the brain are aided by advanced technology such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), position emission tomography (PET) and electrophysiological brain mapping (EBM) showed that long-term heavy drinking lead to shrinking of the brain which impairs learning, memory formation and retrieval. That is why most times we read and forget within a short period.

The process of generating new brain cells (ie, neurons) is called neurogenesis. High level of alcohol leads to a disruption in the growth of brain cells. The decline of the number of brain cells leads to problems in learning and behavior. The number of brain cell a student possesses determines his level of understanding. A student who has a higher amount of brain cells will do better academically.

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is an essential nutrient required by the brain. Up to 80% of alcoholics have a deficiency in thiamine, which may lead to memory loss and mental confusion. It might also affect your attention and concentration. Substance abusers easily get distracted; misplace things, forgetting to keep appointments and so on. As the brain continues to adapt to the presence of the drug, regions outside of the reward pathway are also affected. Brain regions responsible for judgment, learning, and memory begin to physically change or become "hardwired." Learning, reading, and comprehension becomes difficult because the brain had been wired to focus on alcohol.

Alcohol can produce detectable impairment in memory after only a few drinks and as the amount of alcohol increases so does the degree of impairment. Large quantity of alcohol can produce a blackout or an interval of time for which the intoxicated person cannot recall key details of events or even an entire event. Think about how much study time you have lost because you were too hung-over the next day to go to class. Drug abusers oversleep and are always tired.

Severe Hallucination is another problem faced by drug users. Most times they lose touch with realities during lectures or examination. Physically they are in class but mentally they are somewhere else. Academics requires both physical and mental alertness. Therefore, a "high" students can attend lecture but will derive nothing because he was busy building castles in the air. Hallucination leads to academic failure.

Everyone who became a drug or alcohol addict started with "let me taste or try it." Smoking cigarette or Indian hemp or drinking alcohol is not a sign of "big boy or big girl". It is not a sign of maturity but immaturity. You should not please your company by abusing drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are slow poisons. It solves no problem, if you get high because of financial stress, relationship problems, shyness or peer pressure, after some minute, you will get low and the problem will still be there.