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Wanna Get Wasted

Wanna Get Wasted

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Published by Hamy Xi Quach

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Published by: Hamy Xi Quach on Aug 09, 2012
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08/17/2012

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Wanna GetWasted?
By Minh Nguyen
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Drug, a short four letter word, contains a lot of images and emotions: happiness, fun, heal, productivity, high, fly, sadness, grief, withdrawal, tears, pain, loss, and fear. Drugs take usto the cloud then cast us down on the concrete. In the videoMy Story: Drug Addictionby aseventeen year old teenager named Ben who did drugs to “escape” the life he hated, and drugsruined his life. Not only Ben but many other drug addicts, whose youth and promising futures arethreatened by meth, Dolphin
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Cloud 9, etc..., are suffering horrific consequences of drug abuse.There are more and more young people start to abuse drugs, but drugs make people ugly, insideout. We have to learn to say no to drugs and find solutions to reduce drug use in teenagers.Drugs damage the brain. Our brain contains billions of neurons that together make up networksof communication and control how we feel, think, and function. In order for each message to becommunicated in our brain, “a brain cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) into the spaceseparating two cells called the synapse. The neurotransmitter crosses the synapse and attachesto proteins (receptors) on the receiving brain cell. This causes changes in the receiving braincell and the message is delivered” (“Drugs, Brains, and Behaviors-The Science of Addiction”16). According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, when drugs are taken, the chemicalcontents will interrupt the way a message is delivered by activating the nerve cells to transmit themessage abnormally, like heroin, over releasing the natural neurotransmitters, and not allowingthe recycling of brain chemicals to take place normally (17). To fool the nervous system, “mostdrugs of abuse directly or indirectly target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit withdopamine,” which “is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement,emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure” (18). This type of neurotransmitter lets us feel a rush of pleasure when we drink an ice cold glass of water on a super hot day, eatwhen we are hungry, have sex, or experience something we like emotionally. Drugs “can release
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two to ten times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do...and the effects can last muchlonger” if the drugs are smoked or injected (18). In addition to the more powerful influence thatdrugs have on dopamine, our brain is functioned to repeat these activities unconsciously becausethey give us happiness; thus once we do drugs, we start to establish a habit of consuming themmore often so that we can gain pleasure (18). As the habit develops, our brain starts to becomeless sensible to rewards and pleasures; therefore, drugs abusers will feel depressed, in need of more drugs in other to create the high amount of dopamine that lets them reach the high theyonce felt (19).A few of my friends who first started out with heroin only sniffed half of a line that was twoinches long to get high, but they started to feel less lively, bored, unsatisfied, so they sniffed awhole line, then 2 lines, and so forth. Now some of them is alternating to injecting liquid heroin because it gives them a faster and stronger feeling of pleasure. Moreover, other brain chemicalsin drug abusers’ brains are also altered by the chemicals in drugs and can cause “impairment incognitive function,” damage memory systems, and “trigger uncontrollable cravings” for drugs(19). As a result, teenagers who abuse drugs will gradually lose their ability to stay focused,learn, process, and absorb information, so they will do bad in school or even drop out of school.Once they have drugs addiction, a mental disorder, and they will have to do whatever it takes tohave drugs, if they continue abusing drugs “for higher dosages to produce an effect” (20). This iswhen they will start to make wrong decisions and lose self-control because of intense cravings. Not only drugs kill our brain cells in many ways, but they also weaken our immune systems,cause several health systems, and increase the risk of catching infectious diseases. Accordingto Schlaffer, the risks associated with drug abusing are “cardiovascular hypertension,stroke, coronary artery disease, gastrointestinal and biliary ulcers, pancreatitis, cancer of the
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