Drug Use And Substance Abuse Essay

Drug Use And Substance Abuse Essay

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Scope of Problem
In America, 75% of American high school students have used substances known to be addictive; such as, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine, according to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). This is over 10 million teens in America, and of this ten million one fifth of them meet the medical criteria of addiction. This atrocious statistic is a fact of our youth that gets ignored and doesn’t get as much attention as it should. This is because many people do not believe that their kids would try drugs let alone become an addict, when in reality it is a very real situation. The United Stated youth have such a high rate of drug and alcohol use and especially high rate of illicit drug use.
When talking about substance use and abuse, the definition of substance use and substance abuse need to be more defined. The book, “At Risk Youth”, defines the cause of substance use as; “often linked to social influences (e.g., peer drug use).” This book defines the cause of substance abuse as; “more tied to internal processes, for example, using drugs as self-medication against persistent emotional distress.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, defines between substance dependence and substance abuse. The DSM defines that substance dependence is strictly an addiction that has physiological responses of tolerance and withdrawal systems. While substance abuse is the use of a substance that causes impaired social, school, or occupational functioning. Drug use is described by the DSM as, being able to use a substance with or without any physiological dependence.
Since the 1960s, illicit drug use has been a major concern for the youth of America. This includes alc...


... middle of paper ...


... heroin, morphine, amphetamines, and other narcotics. Also constant use of these substances cause the user to build a tolerance for that drug causing the user to use more to get the same effect. When someone have a physiological addiction when they try to stop they suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is “a painful physical experience that occurs when the drug is withheld from the system and the body reacts.” The body’s reaction is different from person to person and from drug to drug, although there are some extremely sever symptoms from withdrawal. For example, you can experience vomiting/dry heaves, seizures, insomnia/hypersomnia, etc. There are health classes in many high schools to warn kids of all of these symptoms but these classes and symptoms are not taken seriously since most kids have the mentality that it would never happen to them.


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