Drug Abuse and Addiction SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, AND HELP FOR DRUG PROBLEMS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE Some people are able to use recreational or prescription drugs without ever experiencing negative consequences or addiction. For many others, substance use can cause problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, leaving you feeling isolated, helpless, or ashamed. If you’re worried about your own or a friend or family member’s drug use, it’s important to know that help is available.
Learning about the nature of drug abuse and addiction—how it develops, what it looks like, and why it can have such a powerful hold—will give you a better understanding of the problem and how to best deal with it. Understanding drug use, drug abuse, and addiction People experiment with drugs for many different reasons. Many first try drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, because friends are doing it, or in an effort to improve athletic performance or ease another problem, such as stress, anxiety, or depression.
Use doesn’t automatically lead to abuse, and there is no specific level at which drug use moves from casual to problematic. It varies by individual. Drug abuse and addiction is less about the amount of substance consumed or the frequency, and more to do with the consequences of drug use. No matter how often or how little you’re consuming, if your drug use is causing problems in your life—at work, school, home, or in your relationships—you likely have a drug abuse or addiction problem. Top 8 Reasons why Teens Try Alcohol and Drugs
There is no single reason for teenage drug use and alcohol use. Dr. Neil I. Bernstein In How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do if You Can’t, Dr. Neil I. Bernstein details some of the core issues and influences behind teenage drug and alcohol use. It’s important that you, as a parent, understand these reasons and talk to your kids about the dangers of drinking and using drugs. Other People — Teenagers see lots of people using various substances. They see their parents and other adults drinking alcohol, smoking, and, sometimes, abusing other substances.
Also, the teen social scene often revolves around drinking and smoking pot. Sometimes friends urge one another to try a drink or smoke something, but it’s just as common for teens to start using a substance because it’s readily available and they see all their friends enjoying it. In their minds, they see drug use as a part of the normal teenage experience. Popular Media — Forty-two percent of teens agreed that movies and TV shows make drugs seem like an OK thing to do, according to a 2003 study.
Not surprisingly, 12- to 17-year-olds who viewed three or more “R” rated movies per month were seven times more likely to smoke cigarettes, six times more likely to use marijuana, and five times more likely to drink alcohol, compared to those who hadn’t watched “R” rated films (Amy Khan 2005). Escape and Self-Medication — When teens are unhappy and can’t find a healthy outlet for their frustration or a trusted confidant, they may turn to chemicals for solace. Depending on what substance they’re using, they may feel blissfully oblivious, wonderfully happy, or energized and confident.
The often rough teenage years can take an emotional toll on children, sometimes even causing depression, so when teens are given a chance to take something to make them feel better, many can’t resist. Boredom — Teens who can’t tolerate being alone, have trouble keeping themselves occupied, or crave excitement are prime candidates for substance abuse. Not only do alcohol and marijuana give them something to do, but those substances help fill the internal void they feel. Further, they provide a common ground for interacting with like-minded teens, a way to instantly bond with a group of kids.
Rebellion — Different rebellious teens choose different substances to use based on their personalities. Alcohol is the drug of choice for the angry teenager because it frees him to behave aggressively. Methamphetamine, or meth, also encourage aggressive, violent behavior, and can be far more dangerous and potent than alcohol. Marijuana, on the other hand, often seems to reduce aggression and is more of an avoidance drug. LSD and hallucinogens are also escape drugs, often used by young people who feel misunderstood and may long to escape to a more idealistic, kind world.
Smoking cigarettes can be a form of rebellion to flaunt their independence and make their parents angry. The reasons for teenage drug-use are as complex as teenagers themselves. Instant Gratification — Drugs and alcohol work quickly. The initial effects feel really good. Teenagers turn to drug use because they see it as a short-term shortcut to happiness. Lack of Confidence — Many shy teenagers who lack confidence report that they’ll do things under the influence of alcohol or drugs that they might not otherwise.
This is part of the appeal of drugs and alcohol even for relatively self-confident teens; you have the courage to dance if you’re a bad dancer, or sing at the top of your lungs even if you have a terrible voice, or kiss the girl you’re attracted to. And alcohol and other drugs tend not only to loosen your inhibitions but to alleviate social anxiety. Not only do you have something in common with the other people around you, but there’s the mentality that if you do anything or say anything stupid, everyone will just think you had too many drinks or smoked too much weed.
Misinformation — Perhaps the most avoidable cause of substance abuse is inaccurate information about drugs and alcohol. Nearly every teenager has friends who claim to be experts on various recreational substances, and they’re happy to assure her that the risks are minimal. Educate your teenager about drug use, so they get the real facts about the dangers of drug use. Consequences of Drug Abuse The Consequences of Drug Abuse Drug abuse is not an issue to be taken lightly—as you know, there are serious consequences for all ages, and for all members of your family.
It’s important to fully understand the variety of consequences your child may experience if they get caught up in drug abuse. 1. Legal Consequences In this section, the DEA shares information on the specific legal implications for drug abuse charges. 2. Health Consequences In this section, the DEA shares information on the impact of drugs on physical health and mental health. 3. Social Consequences In this section, the DEA shares information on how drugs affect relationships with families and peers and how drugs affect academics and behavior. 4. Financial Consequences
In this section, the DEA shares information on the impact that drug use has on society and governments financially. 5. FAQ’s about Drug Consequences In this section, the DEA shares information on the consequences of drug involvement prepared by a District Attorney’s office for a university’s Division of Student Affairs to distribute to students. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing.
It is medically considered a disease, specifically a neurological disorder, and in medicine several other terms are used, specifically “alcohol abuse” and “alcohol dependence,” which have more specific definitions.  In 1979 an expert World Health Organization committee discouraged the use of “alcoholism” in medicine, preferring the category of “alcohol dependence syndrome”.  In the 19th and early 20th centuries, alcohol dependence in general was called dipsomania, but that term now has a much more specific meaning.  People suffering from alcoholism are often called “alcoholics”.
Many other terms, some of them insulting or informal, have been used throughout history. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 140 million people with alcoholism worldwide.  Alcoholism is called a “dual disease” since it includes both mental and physical components.  The biological mechanisms that cause alcoholism are not well understood. Social environment, stress, mental health, family history, age, ethnic group, and gender all influence the risk for the condition.  Long-term alcohol abuse produces changes in the brain’s structure and chemistry such as tolerance and physical dependence.
These changes maintain the person with alcoholism’s compulsive inability to stop drinking and result in alcohol withdrawal syndrome if the person stops.  Alcohol damages almost every organ in the body, including the brain. The cumulative toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse can cause both medical and psychiatric problems.  Identifying alcoholism is difficult because of the social stigma associated with the disease that causes people with alcoholism to avoid diagnosis and treatment for fear of shame or social consequences.
The evaluation responses to a group of standardized questioning is a common method for diagnosing alcoholism. These can be used to identify harmful drinking patterns, including alcoholism.  In general, problem drinking is considered alcoholism when the person continues to drink despite wanting to stop because of social or health problems caused by drinking.  Treatment of alcoholism takes several steps. Because of the medical problems that can be caused by withdrawal, alcohol detoxification is carefully controlled and may involve medications such as benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium). 14] People with alcoholism also sometimes have other addictions, including addictions to benzodiazepines, which may complicate this step.  After detoxification, other support such as group therapy or self-help groups are used to help the person remain sober.  Thombs (1999) states according to behavioural sciences alcoholism is described as a “maladaptive behaviour”. He explains this must not be confused with “misbehaviour”. Behavioural scientists explain that addicts have a behaviour pattern that may lead to destructive consequences for themselves, their families and society.
This does not label addicts as bad or irresponsible.  Compared with men, women are more sensitive to alcohol’s harmful physical, cerebral, and mental effects.  Reasons Why People Drink Alcohol An alcohol free lifestyle has many benefits. Understanding the reasons why people drink alcohol can shed a lot of insight into how alcoholism and alcohol addiction begins. It can also help those who are working towards recovery and sobriety avoid triggers and work on making changes in their lifestyle to continue living sober.
Here are Some of the Most Common Reasons Behind Drinking Alcohol: 1. Social Influence: We’re constantly surrounded by the acceptance and encouragement of alcohol in many different situations. From television advertisements to walking into a restuarant that serves alcohol, we constantly see things that show that encourages drinking. Many restaurants will post their daily drink specials ($1 drafts for example) or have banners and signs featuring certain types of alcohol. Watch any football game on television and you’ll likely see plenty of beer commercials.
While obviously a television commercial isn’t going to cause you to start drinking directly, it adds to the social influence and acceptance of alcohol in our society. The more “normal” and “accepted” alcohol becomes, the easier it is for people to disregard the dangers of alcohol abuse. 2. Social Pressure: Many of us have had our first drink from some sort of social pressure. Maybe it was a group of friends having their first underage keg party, maybe it was someone else that said “Here, have a beer”.
While you would think peer pressure would stop after high school and college, for many adults it does not. Coworkers who make it a habit to go to the bar after work can put social pressure to drink – visiting friends or special events such as weddings or family reunions may also include social pressure and expectations to drink. Many individuals who often find themselves in social drinking situations, may someday need to consider an alcohol treatment program. 3. Looser Inhibitions: Many people feel shy, awkward, or afraid in certain situations.
It can be a social situation, such as a party full of strangers, or it can be something more formal such as while at work. Alcohol naturally causes people to lose their inhibitions, feel more relaxed, and become seemingly more outgoing or less shy temporarily. (Temporarily is the key to be stressed – it can cause more problems after prolonged use) Rather than dealing with problems such as overcoming shyness or other issues, alcohol is used as a temporary solution to deal with awkward situations. 4.
Stress Relief: Many people in a stressful situation want something that is quick and easy to get their mind off their problems. By drinking alcohol, someone is able to forget about their problems, and so it becomes a temporary solution to their problem. Unfortunately, excessive drinking only leads to more problems, and while you may forget about something for a few hours while drinking, it does not actually provide an end to the cause of stress. 5. Escapism: This is another reason why someone may start drinking alcohol or continue the habit.
Escapism can be brought on by a variety of things – boredom, depression, mounting stress or problems, etc. For those who have been drinking long term and are borderline alcohol abusive, the need for escapism rises. Youth Drinking: Risk Factors and Consequences Alcohol Alert From NIAAA Despite a minimum legal drinking age of 21, many young people in the United States consume alcohol. Some abuse alcohol by drinking frequently or by binge drinking–often defined as having five or more drinks* in a row.
A minority of youth may meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for alcohol dependence (1,2). The progression of drinking from use to abuse to dependence is associated with biological and psychosocial factors. This Alcohol Alert examines some of these factors that put youth at risk for drinking and for alcohol-related problems and considers some of the consequences of their drinking. Prevalence of Youth Drinking Thirteen- to fifteen-year-olds are at high risk to begin drinking (3).
According to results of an annual survey of students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, 26 percent of 8th graders, 40 percent of 10th graders, and 51 percent of 12th graders reported drinking alcohol within the past month (4). Binge drinking at least once during the 2 weeks before the survey was reported by 16 percent of 8th graders, 25 percent of 10th graders, and 30 percent of 12th graders. Males report higher rates of daily drinking and binge drinking than females, but these differences are diminishing (3).
White students report the highest levels of drinking, blacks report the lowest, and Hispanics fall between the two (3). A survey focusing on the alcohol-related problems experienced by 4,390 high school seniors and dropouts found that within the preceding year, approximately 80 percent reported either getting “drunk,” binge drinking, or drinking and driving. More than half said that drinking had caused them to feel sick, miss school or work, get arrested, or have a car crash (5). Some adolescents who drink later abuse alcohol and may develop alcoholism.
Although these conditions are defined for adults in the DSM, research suggests that separate diagnostic criteria may be needed for youth (6). Drinking and Adolescent Development While drinking may be a singular problem behavior for some, research suggests that for others it may be an expression of general adolescent turmoil that includes other problem behaviors and that these behaviors are linked to unconventionality, impulsiveness, and sensation seeking (7-11). Binge drinking, often beginning around age 13, tends to increase during adolescence, peak in young adulthood (ages 18-22), then gradually decrease.
In a 1994 national survey, binge drinking was reported by 28 percent of high school seniors, 41 percent of 21- to 22-year-olds, but only 25 percent of 31- to 32-year-olds (3,12). Individuals who increase their binge drinking from age 18 to 24 and those who consistently binge drink at least once a week during this period may have problems attaining the goals typical of the transition from adolescence to young adulthood (e. g. , marriage, educational attainment, employment, and financial independence) (13). Risk Factors for Adolescent Alcohol Use, Abuse, and Dependence Genetic Risk Factors.
Animal studies (14) and studies of twins and adoptees demonstrate that genetic factors influence an individual’s vulnerability to alcoholism (15,16). Children of alcoholics are significantly more likely than children of nonalcoholics to initiate drinking during adolescence (17) and to develop alcoholism (18), but the relative influences of environment and genetics have not been determined and vary among people. Biological Markers. Brain waves elicited in response to specific stimuli (e. g. , a light or sound) provide measures of brain activity that predict risk for alcoholism.
P300, a wave that occurs about 300 milliseconds after a stimulus, is most frequently used in this research. A low P300 amplitude has been demonstrated in individuals with increased risk for alcoholism, especially sons of alcoholic fathers (19,20). P300 measures among 36 preadolescent boys were able to predict alcohol and other drug (AOD) use 4 years later, at an average age of 16 (21). Childhood Behavior. Children classified as “undercontrolled” (i. e. , impulsive, restless, and distractible) at age 3 were twice as likely as those who were “inhibited” or “well-adjusted” to be diagnosed with alcohol dependence at age 21 (22).
Aggressiveness in children as young as ages 5-10 has been found to predict AOD use in adolescence (23,24). Childhood antisocial behavior is associated with alcohol-related problems in adolescence (24-27) and alcohol abuse or dependence in adulthood (28,29). Psychiatric Disorders. Among 12- to 16-year-olds, regular alcohol use has been significantly associated with conduct disorder; in one study, adolescents who reported higher levels of drinking were more likely to have conduct disorder (30,31).
Six-year-old to seventeen-year-old boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who were also found to have weak social relationships had significantly higher rates of alcohol abuse and dependence 4 years later, compared with ADHD boys without social deficiencies and boys without ADHD (32). Whether anxiety and depression lead to or are consequences of alcohol abuse is unresolved. In a study of college freshmen, a DSM-III (33) diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence was twice as likely among those with anxiety disorder as those without this disorder (34). In another study, college tudents diagnosed with alcohol abuse were almost four times as likely as students without alcohol abuse to have a major depressive disorder (35). In most of these cases, depression preceded alcohol abuse. In a study of adolescents in residential treatment for AOD dependence, 25 percent met the DSM-III-R criteria for depression, three times the rate reported for controls. In 43 percent of these cases, the onset of AOD dependence preceded the depression; in 35 percent, the depression occurred first; and in 22 percent, the disorders occurred simultaneously (36). Suicidal Behavior.
Alcohol use among adolescents has been associated with considering, planning, attempting, and completing suicide (37-39). In one study, 37 percent of eighth-grade females who drank heavily reported attempting suicide, compared with 11 percent who did not drink (40). Research does not indicate whether drinking causes suicidal behavior, only that the two behaviors are correlated. Psychosocial Risk Factors Parenting, Family Environment, and Peers. Parents’ drinking behavior and favorable attitudes about drinking have been positively associated with adolescents’ initiating and continuing drinking (41,42).
Early initiation of drinking has been identified as an important risk factor for later alcohol-related problems (43). Children who were warned about alcohol by their parents and children who reported being closer to their parents were less likely to start drinking (42,44,45). Lack of parental support, monitoring, and communication have been significantly related to frequency of drinking (46), heavy drinking, and drunkenness among adolescents (47). Harsh, inconsistent discipline and hostility or rejection toward children have also been found to significantly predict adolescent drinking and alcohol-related problems (46).
Peer drinking and peer acceptance of drinking have been associated with adolescent drinking (48,49). While both peer influences and parental influences are important, their relative impact on adolescent drinking is unclear. Expectancies. Positive alcohol-related expectancies have been identified as risk factors for adolescent drinking. Positive expectancies about alcohol have been found to increase with age (50) and to predict the onset of drinking and problem drinking among adolescents (51-53). Trauma. Child abuse and other traumas have been proposed as risk factors for subsequent alcohol problems.
Adolescents in treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence reported higher rates of physical abuse, sexual abuse, violent victimization, witnessing violence, and other traumas compared with controls (54). The adolescents in treatment were at least 6 times more likely than controls to have ever been abused physically and at least 18 times more likely to have ever been abused sexually. In most cases, the physical or sexual abuse preceded the alcohol use. Thirteen percent of the alcohol dependent adolescents had experienced posttraumatic stress disorder, compared with 10 percent of those who abused alcohol and 1 percent of controls.
Advertising. Research on the effects of alcohol advertising on adolescent alcohol-related beliefs and behaviors has been limited (55). While earlier studies measured the effects of exposure to advertising (56), more recent research has assessed the effects of alcohol advertising awareness on intentions to drink. In a study of fifth- and sixth-grade students’ awareness, measured by the ability to identify products in commercials with the product name blocked out, awareness had a small but statistically significant relationship to positive expectancies about alcohol and to intention to drink as adults (57).
This suggests that alcohol advertising may influence adolescents to be more favorably predisposed to drinking (57). Consequences of Adolescent Alcohol Use Drinking and Driving. Of the nearly 8,000 drivers ages 15-20 involved in fatal crashes in 1995, 20 percent had blood alcohol concentrations above zero (58). For more information about young drivers’ increased crash risk and the factors that contribute to this risk, see Alcohol Alert No. 31: Drinking and Driving (59). Sexual Behavior.
Surveys of adolescents suggest that alcohol use is associated with risky sexual behavior and increased vulnerability to coercive sexual activity. Among adolescents surveyed in New Zealand, alcohol misuse was significantly associated with unprotected intercourse and sexual activity before age 16 (60). Forty-four percent of sexually active Massachusetts teenagers said they were more likely to have sexual intercourse if they had been drinking, and 17 percent said they were less likely to use condoms after drinking (61). Risky Behavior and Victimization.
Survey results from a nationally representative sample of 8th and 10th graders indicated that alcohol use was significantly associated with both risky behavior and victimization and that this relationship was strongest among the 8th-grade males, compared with other students (62). Puberty and Bone Growth. High doses of alcohol have been found to delay puberty in female (63) and male rats (64), and large quantities of alcohol consumed by young rats can slow bone growth and result in weaker bones (65). However, the implications of these findings for young people are not clear.
Prostitution Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including “john”. Prostitution is one of the branches of the sex industry. The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country, from being a punishable crime to a regulated profession. Estimates place the annual revenue generated from the global prostitution industry to be over $100 billion. 1] Prostitution is sometimes referred to as “the world’s oldest profession”.  Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution. In escort prostitution, the act may take place at the customer’s residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort’s residence or in a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (called in-call). Another form is street prostitution. Sex tourism refers to travelling, typically from developed to under-developed nations, to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes.
Sex trafficking, one type of human trafficking is defined as using coercion or force to transport an unwilling person into prostitution or other sexual exploitation.  Reasons for prostitution. While earlier, it was considered a shame now it is looked upon as a high profile business and you wonder how time keeps on changing. From college girls to married women prostitution has been adopted as business by many of them. Earlier prostitution was just a business one use to adopt out of helplessness and financial aids but now there are several reasons for prostitution: She belongs to a poor family and to satisfy her dreams of high profile and well to do life she has accepted being a prostitute. * She is obsessed with sex and wants some more. * She was forced by her cruel family members to indulge into prostitution for benefits. * She is an orphan and with no one to guard her pimps got her into this business. * She acts as a tool for a big organization for seducing their clients. * She was betrayed in true love and that made her crazy and go against her own morality and principles. Consequences Of Prostitution There are obvious risks for prostitutes no matter which time period they were from.
They could contract syphilis or gonorrhea. They were labeled as whores and could be punished with whipping, much like women who cross-dressed. Prostitutes risked bodily harm and humiliation. Also, reputation was crucial for success in employment for women. A known prostitute would have a very poor and negative reputation. It was so bad that even slander about a woman could ruin her career. Women took cases of slander to church courts in order to clear their names. While women risked all of these consequences, men were not punished for being a customer of a prostitute unless they fathered a child during the act.
What are the effects of prostitution? The sex of prostitution is physically harmful to women in prostitution. STDs (including HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, human papilloma virus, and syphilis) are alarmingly high among women in prostitution. Another physical effect of prostitution is unwanted pregnancy and miscarriage The emotional health consequences of prostitution include severe trauma, stress, depression, anxiety, self-medication through alcohol and drug abuse; and eating disorders.
More succinctly, women in prostitution suffer the same broken bones, concussions, STDs, chronic pelvic pain, and extreme stress and trauma that women who have been battered, raped and sexually abused endure. In fact, the case can be made that women in prostitution — because they are subject to being battered, raped and sexually abused all at the same time over an extensive period of time — suffer these health consequences more intensively and consistently. RESEARCH PAPER ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Submitted by: Rico Jay D. Jamco BSSW-1