Drug Abuse endangers: 1. Health 2. Character and 3. Life.
Among the health problems linked to drug abuse are: Malnutrition, AIDS, skin rashes, skin infection, etc. Abusers loss appetite, and they miss their regular meals. They later will become weak and susceptible to diseases. Among the risky practices that may lead to HIV/AIDS infection is the use of intravenous drug injection. Peer-group users may share needle and syringe that do not pass sterilization, or proper cleaning. Needle in contact with HIV/AIDS-contaminated blood can be a way to transmit the virus.
Drug abuse can blacken reputation and character. Someone said: “When money is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; but when character is lost, all is lost.” Drug abusers are prone to tell lies to hide their questionable activities. To support their drug habit, they resort to stealing, robbery, hold-up, prostitution, and other criminal acts.
Several drug addicts ended their own lives by jumping off tall buildings, committing suicide, and overdose of drugs – when they sleep, death follows.
Among the headlines and captions in print media run as follow:
- “DRUG-CRAZED ENGINEER SENT TO MENTAL HO– USE”
- “12 ADDICTS RAPE GIRL”
- “RISK OF SEX CRIMES WITH DRUG NOTED”
- “WHY BOLD DANGERS ARE BOLD: DRUGS”
- “STUD LEAPS TO DEATH FROM UM 7TH FLOOR”
- “POLICE NAB 8 STUDENTS NAKED IN POT SESSION”
One local newspaper in Davao City had this headline: “Addict abuses mother.” The mother complained to police investigator that her 18 year old son sexually attacked her inside their residence while high in prohibited drugs.
A father in Region X, Philippines once requested some bad elements to salvage his own son. “He is becoming so violent that we can’t sleep at night. He carries with him a knife. I have ten children and I want him killed than he to kill us all in the house”, he complained.
General signs of drug abuse :
- Change in behavior Persons who before were obedient, kind, and courteous become irritable, discourteous, defiant and aggressive.
- Change in appearance Persons who are neat and well-groomed become unconcerned with his grooming and become slovenly in person. They usually wear dark glasses and prefer to wear long sleeves which they were not wearing before. Whereas before, they were healthy-looking, they become thin, emaciated, with pale skin and the hair lacks luster.
- Change in mood During the effect of the drug, they may be euphoric or exhilirated. Sometimes they go into uncontrollable laughter or giggling.
- Change in interest Persons who have been good employees and who have been doing well with their work become idlers, lose interest in their work and become dependent on others. Students who are coping well in school become disinterested, truant and their grades deteriorate.
Why drug abuse is dangerous?
0. Bautista, writer for Health and Home magazine cited the following reasons:
- Dope utterly destroys will power.
- Dope obliterates the line between right and wrong.
- Dope spawns lawlessness.
- Dope breeds sex abnormalities.
- Dope drives addicts to poverty.
- Dope blasts careers.
- Dope leads to insanity.
- Dope addicts always make other addicts.
- Drug abuse leads to medical problems such as malnutrition,skin infections and skin rashes, infections diseases.
Why teenagers use drugs?
- To avoid peer pressure.
- Lack of information as to the harmful effects.
- Drug-oriented society. The models for solving problems through drug use come not only from parents and peer, but also from advertising.
- An age of permissiveness.
- For relief from problem – personal, family, school, work, etc.
- To escape from boredom.
A drug abuser will do everything possible to conceal his habit. So it is important to be able to recognize the outward signs and symptoms of drug abuse. One should be alert to these symptoms. If in doubt, seek professional advice and help from the experts such as agencies and physicians specializing in drug problems.
HOW TO IDENTIFY SOME DRUGS AND THEIR EFFECTS.
The damaging effects of some drugs to the body is the main reason for prohibition. Looking at some drugs will help us understand what they are and their effects.
1. Sniffing inhalants
These include sniffinę glue, paint thinner, fasoline, rugby, nail polished remover, hair spray, and furniture polish.In some neihborhood, sniffing starts as early as elementary schools. Youngsters attracted to sniffing thought that it is not dangerous. Through sniffing, the drug passes quickly through the nasal membrane into the blood.
Affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness and emotion, delusion, hallucinations Example : a) marijuana b) LSD c) Mescaline
3. NARCOTICS – relieve pain and enduce sleep
Example: a) Opium b) Morphine c) Codeine d) Heroin
It is a narcotic. Others are opium, morphine, paregoric, codeine, and other opiates which are widely used in medicine as pain killers. Heroin is usually mixed into a liquid solution and injected into a vein. Using of needle from one person to another may inflict tetanus to user because it is usually cone without proper sterilization. Users of intravenous drugs are also a major risk group on AIDS contaminate because of shared needles.
4. DEPRESANTS (also known as “downers”).
These drugs decrease or depress body functions and nerve activity. Poplar among this group are: a) Barbiturates b) tranquilizers C) Alcohol
1. Accident 2. rape 3. sorrow 4. broken home 5. broken bones 6. delinquency 7.inefficiency 8. poverty 9. killing 10. slander.
Effects of alcohol in the sex gland: “The swelling of the prostate gland caused by alcohol interferes with the ability of the male to perform sexually. it also interferes with the ability to climax during intercourse. It may increase sexual desire but make performance more difficult.” (Alcohol Your Friend or Enemy? p. 5)
5. STIMULANTS (Also known as “uppers”)
Stimulants are drugs which increase alertness, reduce hunger and provide a feeling of well-being. They include:
Amphetamines (Such as: Bensedrine; Dexedrine; Methadrine; and Daxamyl.)
Cocaine (A powerful stimulent obtained through criminal sources. It is a white, odorless,fluffy powder that looks like crystalline snow.)
Caffeine (Such as tea, cola, drinks, and coffee.)
Nicotine (Found in tobacco or cigarette).
“Tobacco is a slow insidious but most malignant poison whatever the form it is used.” The Philippine Medical Association reported that Tar and nicotine in cigarettes are the causes of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and cardiovascular disorder.
Effects of smoking: * Discolored teeth * cough * bad breath * plegm * premature birth * brain damage * reduces birth weights of babies * emphysema * asthma * premature deaths * bronchitis * still births yellow nails * shortened lifespan hardened arteries * cancer of the lungs, larynx, oral cavity, and esophagus.