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What is drug abuse and drug addiction? Drug abuse. But the basic question which makes us think about drug addiction is: What is Drug? A drug. drug abuse destroys families and takes lives.” “Drugs are usually distinguished from endogenous biochemicals by being introduced from outside the organism. when absorbed into the body of a living organism. Find out how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse or addiction in someone you care about or yourself. slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. and decreased motivation for normal life activities. it is called a drug” Drug abuse is not a matter of moral weakness or faulty willpower. For example. consciousness. They also may be drugs obtained with a prescription. as there are different meanings: In pharmacology. the vulnerability to relapse. But there is hope. illegal due to their high potential for addiction and abuse. alters normal bodily function. It is a vicious cycle that actually causes changes in the brain. . using more of the substance than necessary to experience the intoxicating effects. insulin is a hormone that is synthesized in the body. leading to stronger and stronger impulses to use. (Fourth Edition) has categorized three stages of addiction: preoccupation/anticipation. it is called a hormone when it is synthesized by the pancreas inside the body. precise definition. They may be used for perceived beneficial effects on perception. or on a regular basis for chronic disorders. the road to recovery is possible. respectively. These stages are characterized. and withdrawal/negative affect. or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being. There is no single. These substances may be “street” or “illicit” drugs. withdrawal symptoms. With the right support and treatment. but if it is introduced into the body from outside. also known as substance abuse. But. and the decreased. such as hallucinogens. and experiencing tolerance. involves the repeated and excessive use of chemical substances to achieve a certain effect. and behavior.Drug addiction is a pathological condition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behavior. everywhere by constant cravings and preoccupation with obtaining the substance. is any substance that. Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration. used for pleasure rather than for medical reasons. binge/intoxication. cure. a drug is "A chemical substance used in the treatment. broadly speaking." “Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system. prevention. personality.

prescription drugs provide an easy access point to other family members susceptible to abuse. and health. may produce excessive feelings of relaxation and calm. What causes drug abuse and addiction? What makes one person abuse drugs to the point of losing their home. is over stimulation of the pleasure center of the brain. The problem arises when these drugs begin to be used ‘off label’. such as cocaine or methamphetamine.  Untreated physical pain: Without medical supervision. due to the changes drugs make to the brain. Some other risk factors include:  Family history of addiction: While the interplay between genetics and environment is not entirely clear.Different drugs have different effects. When used appropriately. while another does not? There is no one simple reason. such as heroin. drugs can be a tempting way to deal with the situation. Some. their family and their job. pain medications or illegal drugs like heroin can rapidly become addictive. prescription drugs can have beneficial effects medically or psychologically. With time. it can be difficult to resist the pressure to try them. the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. becomes more and more powerful. such as valium or XENIX prescribed to treat anxiety. may produce an intense “rush” and initial feelings of boundless energy. especially if you are a teenager. Without the self-resilience and support to handle stress. disrupting work.  History of mental illness: Drug abuse can worsen mental illness or even create new symptoms. can only take a few times or even one time to be on the road to addiction. if you have a family history of addiction.soothes or gets relief from untreated mental or physical pain. Drug abuse and addiction is due to many factors. Unfortunately. Benzodiazepines. relationships. you are at higher risk for abusing drugs. Prescription drugs in the opiate family. Furthermore. such as vicodin (hydroquinone) and oxycontin. A powerful force in addiction is the inability to self.  Peer pressure: If people around you are taking drugs. benzodiazepines or the prescription oxycontin. loneliness or depression. addiction. This compelling urge to use. Prescription drug abuse: Prescription drug abuse is just as dangerous as street drug use. What most drugs have in common. though. are often prescribed for chronic pain or recovery from surgery. Others. .

roach clips or syringes  For snorted drugs. leading to coughing up excessive mucus or blood. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine “amp up” the body. from blood pressure to heart rate. Some physical signs of abuse and addiction include:  Cycles of increased energy. such as constantly wearing long sleeved shirts. speech or reaction time. a persistent cough or bronchitis. the basic pattern is the same. chronic troubles with sinusitis or nosebleeds  For smoked drugs.  Progressive severe dental problems (especially with methamphetamine). reducing blood pressure. The physical and emotional consequences of drug abuse and addiction also make it difficult to function. confusion and disorientation (often seen in opiates. and inability to sleep (often seen in stimulants)  Abnormally slow movements. While high. to hide scarring at injection sites  Suspected drug paraphernalia such as unexplained pipes. metabolism and reducing the ability to sleep. . Drugs like opiates and barbiturates slow down the body. benzodiazepines and barbiturates)  Sudden weight loss or weight gain  Cycles of excessive sleep  Unexpected changes in clothing. restlessness. friends and family. the drug affects the entire body. breathing and alertness sometimes to dangerous levels. including job. Getting and using the drug becomes more and more important than anything else.Signs and symptoms of drug abuse and addiction: What is more important? Although different drugs may have different effects on overall physical and mental health. Physical signs of abuse and addiction: Drug abuse affects the brain and body directly. often impairing judgment to a dangerous level. increasing blood pressure.

Tolerance and withdrawal: Most drugs are not only mentally addictive but physically addictive as well. depending on the drug. or have a new group of friends? A teen with drug problems may spend a lot of time sleepingor be keyed up or unable to sleep. with seemingly boundless energy. agitation. and even hallucinations or psychosis. Mental and emotional signs of abuse: Abuse and addiction also affect mood. teenagers are notorious for oversleeping. being argumentative and pushing boundaries. as drugs are abused for the temporary good feelings they provide. agitation and anger Unusual calmness. difficulty sleeping. Have you noticed that money or objects that could be sold for drugs seem to be disappearing? Do prescription drugs seem to be used up too quickly? [Percentage of youngster and teenager using drugs is more than adult showing in the diagram] . chills. Increased irritability. After all. trying to cut down or stop is unpleasant or even painful. can include shakes. hallucinations Lowered threshold for violence Teenagers and drug abuse It can sometimes be hard for parents to tell if their teenager has a drug problem. More and more of the drug is needed to achieve the desired effect. severe aches and pains. “up” and cheerful. Some mental and emotional signs include:        Cycles of being unusually talkative. These feelings can vary depending on the drug used. These withdrawal symptoms. unresponsiveness or looking “spaced out” Apathy and depression Paranoia. delusions Temporary psychosis. appearance and health. depression. If you suspect you’re teen has a drug problem. As the body physically adjusts to the drug. Is your teen suddenly having trouble in school? Does he/or she seem more and more isolated. look for marked changes in behavior. or wanting their own privacy and space. Tolerance is built up to the drug. Avoiding withdrawal adds to the urgency of keeping up drug abuse and increases drug dependence.

Child abuse and neglect is much more common when there is drug abuse in the family. Domestic violence also happens more frequently. Might not be able to see friends and engage in hobbies. family and the entire society. The person abusing drugs may blame an “unfair boss’ for losing her job. Its enormous emotional strain for the family of the drug user. and how much time it takes away from their family and work. finances and relationships. friends.and even the community. The shame of drug abuse in the family stops many family . how much it is costing them. They may lash out at concerned family members. The urge to use is so powerful that criminal activity for money or more drugs can be a strong temptation. or a ‘nagging wife’ for why he is increasingly going out with friends to get high. brain damage and death from overdose. from neglecting their own health to risk of infectious disease like hepatitis or HIV from sharing needles. This denial and rationalization can lead to increased problems with work. finances and stability. Drug abuse and the family: Sadly. and can make the family member feel like the dysfunctional one.Effects of drug abuse and addiction: What makes drug addiction problems so challenging to face. employment and crime: Those who abuse drugs have a greater risk for health problems down the road. While work and relationship stresses happen to everyone. Health. Staying addicted: Denial and rationalization: One of the most powerful effects of drug abuse and addiction is denial. arthritis. Someone abusing drugs may drastically underestimate the quantity of drugs they are taking. making the family feel like they are exaggerating and overstating the problem. including lung disease. the strong denial and rationalization of the person using drugs makes it extremely difficult to get help. What makes this so frustrating for family members is the person abusing drugs often sincerely believes they do not have a problem. But it also affects the entire family. as opposed to other mental or physical problems? Drug abuse affects the person’s life in many ways. Drug abuse by a pregnant woman affects the developing baby’s health. colleagues-. The abuser may neglect a child’s basic needs in the quest for more drugs. The urge to use is so strong that the mind finds many ways to rationalize drug use. It affects friends. including health. drug abuse and addiction doesn’t only affect the person abusing drugs. Abusing drugs leads to higher risk of injuries and death to self and others in car accidents. they might feel compelled to cover for the abuser. What’s more. as to deal with the abuser takes more and more time. or lack of impulse control can lead to increased physical and emotional abuse. Heavy drug use directly affects health as well. an overall pattern of deterioration and blaming others may be a sign of trouble. and can make concerned family members feel like they are the problem. cutting back from work to deal with the abuser’s problems— or working more to make financial ends meet. heart problems. Productivity at work often suffers. and eventually trouble keeping a job or even homelessness can occur.

if your loved one is addicted to benzodiazepines or is a heavy drinker. Ongoing support is crucial to work through those issues. usually the cravings are too strong to resist during times of stress. While medical input is always a good idea. Someone who abused drugs will not suddenly be a cured person once sober. instead pretending nothing is wrong. race and culture. and even deadly.  Recovery will be an ongoing process. Or the realization that there is something seriously wrong is almost too painful to admit. and how to apply them in stressful situations.  Don’t expect one to be able to quit without support. not constantly cycling through the process. and your loved one might also have tried to hide the extent of the drug use from you. The right support can help you make positive choices for yourself. Don’t be ashamed. from every socioeconomic status. maybe I wouldn’t need to use drugs as often” It is never your fault that someone is using drugs. there are other coping skills they can choose to use. Understanding what is involved in recovery:  You cannot force someone to stop abusing drugs.members from asking for help. and balance encouraging your loved one to get help without losing yourself in the process. Drug use may have been masking painful feelings that will bubble up to the surface. When someone has a drug addiction problem: You may not immediately realize that someone you love has a drug problem. You might have gotten so used to the drug abuse that coping with it seems almost normal. Even if they are feeling stressed. painful. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant. I’ve done it lots of times”. If you wouldn’t stress me out so much. “It’s your fault. Drug abuse affects millions of families. and as hard as it is seeing the effects of drug abuse. “Why do you exaggerate so much? I’m hardly using at all!” Remember denial is a key part of drug addiction. The key to recovery is staying sober. The emotional toll can be overwhelming. is an ongoing process. There is help and support available. It may have started slowly. The person using drugs might actually believe they are not using as much as they are. . and you are not alone. The final choice is up to them. withdrawal can be dangerous and should be done under medical supervision. As much as you may want to. What the person abusing drugs might say if you confront them about their usage? “I can get sober any time I want to. you cannot make someone stop using. Even if the person abusing drugs is able to resist for a little while. Many in recovery experience depressed moods for up to a year or more as their brain reestablishes from the drug abuse. Learning new coping skills to resist cravings.

Finding support: A good place to start looking for support is through local support groups. it’s time for immediate action. for families coping with cocaine abuse. these places may be a good place to begin as these groups are the most numerous. . or a pastor or rabbi. “Al-Anon” is a free peer support group for families coping with alcohol. These include NarAnon. Information about these groups can be found in Related Links below. a therapist. for families coping with narcotic abuse. Listening to others with the same challenges can be a tremendous source of comfort and support. there are several support groups for families coping with specific drug abuse as well. and Co-Anon. Other sources of help and support include trusted friends. Similar to Al-Anon. But when the family is threatened with immediate violence. and frequently with drug abusers. Keeping your family safe: Dealing with a loved one’s drug abuse can be emotionally draining and exhausting.

DRUGS AND PAKISTAN: Pakistan is today notorious for many things. and agitation. you will greatly reduce the risk of relapse. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine can also trigger delusions. Getting the drug may also become so important that activities like caring for a child fall by the wayside. Without the right support. and withdrawal symptoms can test the strongest resolve.Drug abuse can lower inhibitions and increase the possibility of violence. If you take the time to build a support network and learn your triggers for using. . paranoia. Recovery is possible with the right medical help and social support. but in the last 20 years. The road to sobriety is rewarding but challenging. Starting down the road to recovery If you are abusing drugs. making the person especially dangerous to be around. don’t try to quit alone. even admitting that you may have a problem is a huge step. It takes tremendous strength and courage to admit that you are having trouble. it is very easy to rationalize just one more hit or pill. drug production and addiction has increasingly become just one of them. increasing the chance of child neglect. Much as you may want to.

So there is a an immense need not just for formulating more laws but to take action to implement the existing laws and also try to eradicate the problem by creating the awareness among the youth. Heroin was once upon a time a drug which was virtually unknown in the country until the late 1970s. the issue of drug abuse touches the most vulnerable: the majority of drug users in South Asia belong to the poorest strata of society. In addition. Today. since drug traffickers often escape punishment by giving bribes to get out of being held accountable for their actions. While Bangladesh. heroin users have increased from 7. so much so that the United Nations Commission on narcotic drugs no longer discusses individual situations. it has also become a net importer of drugs. Almost 80 percent of the opium processed in Pakistan comes from neighboring countries. It appears that only three percent of the gross profits from the illegal opium industry remain within Pakistan. India.The issue of drug addiction is often overshadowed by the many of the country's other human development problems. such as poverty. it also erodes Pakistan's social cohesion and stability. Drug addiction is one of the elements which is dragging our nation away from the prosperity as it is destabilizing our society weakening the roots of nation. But the fact is. This not only makes the gap between the rich and the poor as well as income inequality even worse. these measures have produced very disappointing results. We are away from peace. Nepal and Maldives all suffer from this. Pakistan became a major exporter of heroin in the 1980s. It has argued that the solution does not lie in the hands of individual countries. Drug production for Pakistan's domestic market is estimated at close to $1. But Pakistan is not alone in fighting this disease. As a proportion of drug abusers. With the globalization of the drug abuse problem in the last two decades. It has to be worked out through mutual efforts by South Asian countries. when we try to get peace from any thing else we go astray as Islam is a religion of whole mankind when peace is absorbed into our spirits no danger is left behind. It is estimated that about 50 tons of opium are smuggled into Pakistan for processing heroin for domestic use. drug abuse is rapidly growing in Pakistan and in South Asia in general. the presence of a large drug industry in Pakistan leads to a redistribution of income from the poor to a few rich individuals who control the drug trade. . That is our religion. Although almost all South Asian countries have enacted strict laws for fighting drug trafficking and drug use. Pakistan is the worst victim of the drug trade in South Asia.5 percent in 1983 to a shocking 51 percent a decade later in 1993. the country has the largest heroin consumer market in the south-west Asia region. Widespread drug abuse may be indicated by the fact that almost five percent of the adult population is using drugs in Pakistan. the situation has gone from bad to worse. Pakistan is not only one of the main exporters of heroin.5 billion. It wasn't always this way. following the influx of Afghan refugees escaping the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. illiteracy and lack of basic health care. One problem is that corruption has also touched the fight against drug abuse in Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Today. Like many of the countries other human development problems. The major consequence of this has been a significant increase in domestic consumption of heroin in Pakistan.