Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, means using things like alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs in harmful ways that hurt your body, mind, and social life.
According to the UNODC Report, approximately 284 million individuals between the ages of 15 and 64 globally engaged in substance abuse in 2020.
Find out why people experience drug addiction, the effects of drug abuse, and how to prevent it!
The first step in preventing drug abuse is understanding the different types of abused substances. These can include –
Alcoholism is a more common problem than you think. It’s a widely consumed drink that can lead to addiction and health issues when misused, affecting millions worldwide.
A highly addictive substance in cigarettes that causes severe health problems like cancer and heart disease in the users.
This can result in addiction, overdoses, and fatalities, presenting a growing public health concern. Always be aware of your health concerns to avoid prescription drug misuse.
Illicit drug use is another common type of substance abuse. Cocaine and heroin are associated with health risks and legal consequences.
Evolving patterns of drug abuse, including new narcotic abuse and opioid addiction, pose unique challenges for public health and prevention efforts.
Short-term drug abuse can lead to various physical effects. These can be –
Users may experience euphoria, altered perception, impaired judgment, and increased heart rate during drug intoxication.
Some substances can induce nausea and vomiting, leading to discomfort and dehydration. You can also experience substance use disorder.
Abusing drugs can strain the cardiovascular system, causing elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and even the risk of heart attacks.
Certain drugs like tobacco can lead to respiratory distress, potentially endangering the user’s life.
Drug abuse often results in impaired motor skills and coordination, raising the risk of accidents and injuries.
Prolonged drug abuse effects can harm various organs and systems within the body. Drug overdose can even lead to death if the substance misuse treatment isn’t done properly.
Drug abuse can lead to organ damage, including cirrhosis of the liver, kidney dysfunction, and cardiovascular issues.
Substance misuse weakens the immune system, making individuals more vulnerable to infections and illnesses.
Persistent drug abuse can disrupt hormone levels, causing reproductive and endocrine problems.
Long-term drug abuse can result in irreversible neurological damage, leading to cognitive impairment and other neurological disorders.
Substance abuse commonly leads to dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease, impacting overall oral health.
Drug abuse can bring about rapid and often unsettling changes in mental well-being, affecting a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Drug use can induce extreme shifts in mood, resulting in intense highs and lows that disrupt emotional stability. You may also experience drug withdrawal.
Short-term drug abuse can lead to cognitive deficits, impairing memory, concentration, and overall mental functioning.
Certain substances may trigger severe anxiety and panic attacks, causing extreme emotional distress and fear.
Some drugs induce hallucinations and paranoia, distorting perception and leading to irrational thoughts and behavior.
Drug abuse often impairs an individual’s ability to make sound decisions, increasing the likelihood of risky and dangerous choices.
Extended drug abuse can result in profound and enduring mental health challenges, significantly impacting an individual’s psychological well-being.
It often leads to addiction and chemical dependency, making quitting a challenging process.
It can result in cognitive decline, manifesting as memory problems and reduced mental functioning.
It may trigger mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, exacerbating an individual’s struggles.
Those struggling with substance abuse face a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Drug abuse can lead to social isolation, strained relationships, and a host of psychological challenges, affecting overall quality of life.
Several factors contribute to drug abuse, including genetics, environment, social influences, and psychological vulnerabilities These shape an individual’s risk and choices.
Genetic factors can increase vulnerability to drug abuse, passing on a heightened risk from one generation to the next.
Surroundings, including access to drugs and stressors, play a significant role in influencing drug use patterns.
Social circles and peer pressure can sway individuals to experiment with drugs, seeking acceptance or fitting in.
Emotional factors like stress, trauma, and mental health conditions can drive drug abuse as a coping mechanism to alleviate distress.
Recovery from addiction is difficult but not impossible. Here are some ways we can carry out the intervention and treatment –
Detox is the initial step, assisting users in safely withdrawing from drugs under medical supervision and managing withdrawal symptoms.
Structured programs provide comprehensive support and therapy, addressing the root causes of addiction and facilitating recovery. One prominent rehab centre in Dhaka is the Niramoy Hospital.
Combining medication with therapy helps manage addiction, particularly opioid dependence, by reducing cravings and relapse risks.
Behavioral therapy and counseling are integral components, addressing underlying issues and providing coping strategies for lasting recovery.
Dual diagnosis (mental health and substance use) is essential for this.
Proactive strategies are important for drug abuse prevention. You should focus on education, early drug abuse intervention, community support, and legal measures to protect individuals and society.
Raising awareness about drug risks and consequences empowers individuals to make informed choices and resist peer pressure.
Identifying and assisting at-risk individuals early can prevent the progression of substance misuse into addiction, offering timely support.
Communities play an important role in fostering a supportive environment for individuals in recovery, offering resources and acceptance.
Implementing legal regulations and measures, such as stricter drug control, aims to reduce access to illicit substances and deter drug-related activities.
Drug abuse has a profound impact on family bonds and relationships, often resulting in significant changes and challenges.
Drug abuse disrupts family dynamics, leading to tension, conflict, and shifts in roles among family members.
Prolonged substance abuse can harm trust and communication, straining relationships to the point of separation or divorce.
Families play a crucial role in helping their loved one’s recovery from addiction, offering emotional support and guidance.
Drug abuse has significant impacts on society, including economic challenges, legal problems, and increased healthcare expenses.
Drug abuse costs society a lot of money because it leads to healthcare expenses, legal issues, and lost work productivity. Sometimes looking for drug rehabilitation can be expensive.
Drug abuse often leads to crimes and legal problems, causing concerns for public safety and law enforcement.
Treating health issues caused by drug abuse is expensive, adding financial pressure to healthcare systems and budgets.
There are numerous cases of substance dependency or chemical dependency in Bangladesh. We urgently need to raise awareness and take action against drug abuse while offering compassionate support for those in recovery.
It’s important to take help from a drug rehab center nearby.