Drugs can quickly take over our lives. Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person’s body or mind works. Drugs are not good for health as they have many side effects and damage our brain, heart and other important organs. Drugs are depressants that slow down the functions of the central nervous system. Some such drugs are marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, crystal meth and heroin. Drugs are consumed in different ways: by inhaling, ingesting, injecting, applying on skin, and smoking. When a person is addicted to a drug, the drug becomes so important that the person cannot live without it. Drug use leads to academic failure and poor social skills.
Stress plays a major role in drug use and continuing drug abuse. It also creates problem in family, school and with friends. The person’s reflexes will become slower; they will have trouble working and doing things which require any physical or mental coordination. In spite of knowing the harmful effects of drugs, people spend lots of money and consume them to forget their worries and sorrows and to seek happiness. Once a person is addicted, it is very hard to stop taking drugs. Drugs get us involved in many illegal activities such as crime, theft, etc. It leads to sexual assault and accidents. Young people use drugs because of curiosity, peer pressure, boredom, financial problems and for pleasure. The person’s behavior tend to self-destructive activities and it becomes harder to think clearly and make good decisions.
Drug addiction is a complex but treatable disease. An effective way to get rid of drugs is to have good companions, involvement in games and social activities, reading books, etc. In today’s busy life which is full of stress, everyone is looking to find ways to please and relax himself/ herself. Many teenagers and adults find drugs to be their best source of relaxation and excitement.
Transitioning from middle to high school is a huge shift for many teens. After leaving the relative safety of a familiar school, they’re suddenly thrown in a brand new school with older peers (i.e. 10th -12th graders) who are at a totally different stage of development – farther along in puberty, with different social hierarchies and romantic or even sexual relationships. On top of this, the majority of students try alcohol or other drugs for the first time in high school. For these reasons, substance use researchers focus on the transition to high school as a key window for intervening to prevent or delay substance use initiation as much as possible. Teens who drink before age 15 are about twice as likely to report having alcohol-related problems later in life than teens who were older when they started drinking (Fergusson et al., 1994). Moreover, about 11% of teens meet criteria for a substance use disorder diagnosis (Merikangas et al., 2010). These statistics are striking. Why are these numbers so high? And what can we do to prevent teens from developing substance use disorders? Unfortunately, these are not easy questions to answer. Substance use disorders are complex and determined by many factors, including influences from peers, genes, and the family environment. For example, genetic factors explain 40-60% of the risk for alcohol use disorders (Prescott & Kendler, 1999). That leaves about half of one’s risk towards alcoholism being associated with environmental factors – something that may be more malleable since we can’t change someone’s genes. Drugs can appear initially to have positive effects like lifting mood, relaxing you or even giving you more energy. However, they will have serious negative impacts on your mental and physical health.
Drugs & Mental Health: Everyone has their own definition of mental health. One may think of self-control and happiness as a sign of a healthy mind. Mental ill health is the opposite of this – it causes problems and creates barriers to being happy. People use psychoactive drugs like cannabis, alcohol, ecstasy and heroine to change their mood, as these drugs arouse certain emotions. This change in emotions and behaviour is only because these drugs influence the mind. These drugs have both short-term and long-term effects. You may enjoy short-term effects, but long term effects can be very serious.
Conclusion: Drug abuse is a growing problem, especially among the youth. There are many reasons that lead to this problem and the impact it has is extremely damaging. It is essential to spread awareness about the negative repercussions of drugs to discourage their use. Those gripped by this problem must consult a doctor and seek help from those close to them to come out of the hellish world of drug abuse.
—The writer is from Srinagar. [email protected]