The use of drugs can be recognized as one of the most harmful tendencies in contemporary society. Ever since childhood, each and every one of us is taught by parents and teachers about the harmful influence of drugs, their destructive effects, and the extremely negative consequences. In theory, every person regardless of their age is familiar with the names of the most common drugs, their forms, and effects. Moreover, the information about adverse impacts drug use can produce on a person’s health is also widely spread and frequently repeated.
At the same time, the modern youth and children group up and form their ideas in the society that has unlimited access to any kind of information. In fact, most of the time, the information comes to people’s awareness without any previous search or effort from the side of this individual. Very often, the information young people can find online or see on TV clashes with that communicated by their parents and teachers. In that way, the contemporary youth lives in the environment of clashing knowledge and data: their parents state that drugs are dangerous and the beloved characters of films and TV shows demonstrate how much fun it is to take drugs.
Drug Addiction: How It Feels
Moreover, the availability of drugs is very high. In fact, many children, adolescents, and young adults can find multiple ways to access drugs during the course of their youth. Drugs are present at parties, clubs, and can be owned or sold by someone from the young people’s circle of friends and acquaintances. The video titled Drug Awareness Video features a personal story told by a former drug addict, a young man who explains the ubiquity of drugs in his life that allowed the harmful substances to enter his day-to-day activities and eventually become a habit and a dependency.
The young man describes his experience of using drugs as a very rapid downwards spiral of his entire life caused by the feeling of constant thirst for more drugs and the torturous sensation of being unfulfilled and yearning for more chemicals. From the confession of this man, it is possible to see that drug addiction cannot be related to fun and pleasure. Instead, it makes the affected individuals restless, dissatisfied, and desperate for more substance. This description is a very clear presentation of what one feels when drugs take over their life, their personality, and begin to absorb and annihilate everything good or important that used to be present in one’s life.
Facts and Numbers
Personal stories, just like one of the men in the video, are extremely impressive and impactful because they communicate individual experiences and emotions connected to drugs and addictions. However, discussing a problem such as a drug abuse, it is critical to present numbers, facts, survey results, and statistics.
The organization is trustworthy and recognized as one of the leading health institutions in the world. In reports that the individuals who take drugs regularly and have additions tend to suffer from at least one (often, more than one) health problem and a set of symptoms that can potentially contribute to the future development of such dangerous conditions as stroke, cancer, lung disease, and mental disorders.
Besides, one of the most well-known health facts is that the individuals who inject drugs have a very high rate of becoming affected by HIV/AIDS – one of the curses of contemporary public health. In fact, about 18% of all the individuals who inject drugs suffer from HIV/AIDS; for the reference, the estimated number of drug abusers worldwide is as high as 11 to 21 million people. The other blood-borne infections can be transferred just like HIV/AIDs through the use of unsanitary needles. For example, one of the diseases with the highest rates of prevalence among the users of drugs is Hepatitis C – it is transferred easier than HIV/AIDs and affects more people – 45 to 55% of all the estimated drug users of the world.
In addition to the adverse impacts produced on one’s health (both physical and mental), drugs tend to affect the world and people around the addict. For example, NIH states that the use of drugs by pregnant women causes serious health problems of the infants; one of such conditions is the development of drug addiction by the baby in utero. In that way, after being born, such children experience a withdrawal syndrome.
Moreover, people can demonstrate unpredictable behaviors when under the influence of drugs, become aggressive and dangerous to the individuals around them. Finally, addicts desperate to buy more drugs are capable of committing crimes because the additions tend to reshape their values and mentality completely transforming them into completely different people compared to who they used to be prior to the addictions.
Speaking about drugs, it is critical to remember that not only the substances traditionally associated with this subject (such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, to name a few) can harm the families and close ones of the addicts. Alcohol and nicotine produce harmful effects as well. For instance, NIH maintains that passive smoking is a very serious problem for the families of smokers who inhale heavy and harmful substances along with the smoke in the air. The effect produced by alcohol is very different; its major harmful impact is caused by the behaviors of people under the influence such as aggressive attacks on people, drinking and driving, committing crimes, and damaging private properties, to name a few.
There is a very wide variety of drugs, and each of them tends to cause a variety of adverse health effects. Moreover, in their search for the feeling of satisfaction and driven by the unreasonable thirst for more drugs, some users tend to take combinations of substances. It could be alcohol combined with smoking and some sort of stimulant, or it could be a selection of several different types of stimulants.
Listening to this speech, some could have thought that it does not relate to them in particular because addiction is not their problem. There is a popular belief that addiction is someone one would be able to prevent or control by taking moderate doses of substances. However, the danger of drug addiction is in its subtle yet rapid emergence in one’s life followed by a lengthy period of denial and secrecy from the side of the affected individual. This speech was intended as an awareness-raising session for the young people who have tried drugs, encounter them on a daily basis, know people who have drug problems, and who think that drugs are fun.
Drug Awareness Video , YouTube ‘WurmMan’, 2011. Web.
Levy, J., The Harms of Drug Use: Criminalisation, Misinformation, and Stigma, INPUD, New York, 2014.
NIH, ‘Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction’, DrugAbuse [website]. 2016. Web.