EFFECTS OF DRUG ABUSE ON YOUR LIFE
The abuse of drugs can have very serious effects on yourself and your family. The consequences can be so devastating and cause the irreparable damage to your own social life and that of your family as a social unit.
Your whole outlook on life changes. Most of the time, the effects of drugs will:
- have a negative impact on their self-esteem, relationship skills, their physical and emotional independence, and future plans. As a result, they often lose job and their reputation is often tarnished by their behaviours.
- also increase the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among females resulting from unprotected sexual activity.
- not only influence the social problems above, they also threaten the fundamentals of the social fabric of societies such as values, beliefs, and cultural systems; and can cause a range of mental illnesses that are not necessarily reversible.
- increase risk-taking behaviours, which can have serious consequences and is a leading cause of death or injury related to car accidents, suicides, violence, and drowning.
- make frequent delinquency to take place because of dysfunctional dynamics within the home, and these are mostly characterized by poverty, disruption and conflict. Studies also show that some of the crimes committed by young people are frequently a result of the need for the money to support their drug habits and addictions (Bholah, 2007).
- make you a recluse, want you to shy away from society as a whole;
- without a dose of the drug, make the abuser feels flat, lifeless, depressed. Without drugs, an abuser's life seems joyless.
By abusing drugs, the addicted person has changed the way his or her brain works. Drug abuse and addiction lead to long-term changes in the brain. These changes cause addicted drug users to lose the ability to control their drug use. Drug addiction is a disease. 
Point 1:In your discussion you would have mentioned some of the following points: his friends had insisted that John drinks alcohol: John gave in when they teased him as Johnny-Lyn;John had a beer to prove them wrong;John insisted that he drive the car;the friends encouraged Kyle to accept that John drives.
Point 2: respect John's decision not to drink;John accepts the teasing graciously and makes light of it;John sticks to his principles about drrinking; decide on whether they were fit to drive;Kyle insisting that he was the only one who had a licence and should do the driving if he was not drunk;friends not encouraging kyle to accept the decision
Point 3: communicating values; assertiveness; bargaining; decision making; critical thinking:
On Your Family
When drugs come into the family, parents and siblings have to confront with much pain when a son or daughter, brother or sister develops a drug problem. A chain of negative events are set in motion and have severe and enduring impacts on family functioning as well as on the social and physical lives.
- The continued use of drugs by the family member, despite help or opposition, leaves families feeling an acute impotence to alter the course of the drug problem.
- Parents lament the loss of the child that was
- most siblings report sadness at the loss of a valued relationship.
- Others witness their child or sibling becoming more enmeshed by the drug problem, they have a sharp sense of the vulnerability. This is created through involvement in criminal activities.
- homelessness and vagrancy would result because of family ties being eroded.
- hospitalisation,violence and the risk of death through overdose *contraction of disease, . (Bholah, 2007).
- other social problems, namely, child neglect, poverty, social pressures and traumas, crime and death and diseases.
Addiction and Recovery
Families remain the cornerstone of societies in all cultures throughout the world to resist alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse and to cope with problems where they occur. Drug addiction is a complex but treatable brain disease.
1.Addiction is a disease that affects the mind and body
- The person starts using the drug
- The person gets high
- The person keeps using the drug
- The Brain changes
- It takes more of the drug to get high
- The person starts to depend on the drug
- The person gets sick without the drug
- The drug causes serious problems
2.Recovery is possible if the person admits having a problem
- The person can no longer deny the addiction
Something happens in the person's life that causes him/her to admit that there is a problem Then the person decides to do whatever it takes to stop using the drug and get reatment.
- The person stops using the drug
When addicted people stop using a drug, they usually have some kind of physical withdrawal. The body and the brain try to remember how to work without the drug. Withdrawal can be mild to severe. It depends on the drug, the addiction and the person. It can last several days to several weeks. Medical may be needed to get through the physical withdrawal symptoms.
- The person learns about drug addiction
To recover from addiction, people learn how drugs worked in their lives. They learn why and how they used the drug to deal with life's problems. Counseling and group therapy are often needed during this stage
- The person learns to live comfortably without drugs
People with an addiction cannot use drugs again. To recover, they learn positive and healthy ways to cope with day-to-day life without drugs. This stage can last for a long time. Therapy and/or ongoing self-help support groups can be helpful. Helping others through the early stages of recovery can make it easier for a recovring person not to start using drugs again.
The ultimate goal of drug addiction treatment is to enable an individual to achieve lasting abstinence, but the immediate goals are to reduce drug abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of drug abuse and addiction. Like people with diabetes or heart disease, people in treatment for drug addiction will need to change behavior to adopt a more healthful lifestyle.(National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency)
How Can I tell if a friend or relative has a problem with alcohol, marijuana or other illicit drugs?
Sometimes it is hard to tell. Most people would not walk up to someone they are close to and ask for help. In fact, they are most like to, and do everything possible to deny or hide the problem. But, there will always be some warning signs to indicate that a family member or friend is using drugs and drinking too much alcohol.
If your friend or relative has one of the following signs, then he/she may have a problem with drugs or alcohol:
- getting high on drugs or getting drunk on a regular basis
- lying about things, the amount of drugs or alcohol they are using
- avoiding you and others in order to get high or drunk
- giving up activities they used to do such as sports, homework or hanging out with friends who do not do drugs/drink
- having to use more marijuana or other illicit drugs to get the get the same effects
- constantly talking about using drugs or drinking
- believing that in order to have fun they need to drink or use marijuana or other drugs
- pressuring others to use drugs or drink
- getting into trouble with the law
- taking risks, including sexual risks and driving under the influence
- feeling run down, hopeless, depressed or even suicidal
- suspension from school/work for a drug/alcohol-related incident
- missing school or poor work performance because of drinking or drug use.
- Many of the signs, like sudden mood swings, difficulty in getting along with others, poor job/school performance, irritability and depression, might might be explained by other causes. Unless you observe drug use or excessive drinking, it can be hard to determine the cause of these problems. Your first step is to contact a qualified alcohol/drug professional in your area who can give you advice.
More information can be found on the Signs for Drug Addiction (for parents and educators) page. <kaltura-widget kalturaid='100545' size='L' align='L'/>