DRUGS

Content:

Drugs: causes, consequences, users 2
Subculture 2
Drug addict categories and drug taking motives 3
Drug effects and consequences 4
What are drugs? 6
How many young women/teenagers are affected by drug abuse today? 8
What are signs of drug addiction? 8
How to stay drug-free all the time? 10
How to quit using drugs? 10
Which drugs are dangerous? 10
Which drugs are against the law? 11
What about kids and drugs? 11
What if you are caught with drugs? 11
Alcohol 12
Tobacco 13
Why Children Use Drugs 14
Why do young people take drugs? 14
Literature: 15Subculture
People using drugs are united by a certain life style, pastime activities, clothes, relationships, value system. Ho owever, the statement that all drug addicts lead the same life style is far beyond the truth. It partly depends on the drug addicts’ category that a particular person belongs to. Take, for instance, young people who are using LSD, “ecstasy” and listening to modern techno or rave music in their parties, they usually stand out only by their appearance. Vilnius old town drug addicts who smoke “grass” are absolutely different in their clothes or value system. If the previous ar re tend to be conformist, the latter, on the contrary, try to be different.Drug addict categories and drug taking motives
It is impossible to explain the drug phenomenon plainly, seeing that there exist a great variety of reasons, a wide assortment of

f drugs, different ways and rates of using them and other factors. Speaking of drug taking motives it is useful to distinguish certain groups. Drug addicts can be differentiated between “adults” (the average age is 24) and “teenagers”. According to the rate of drug consumption another two groups – “experimenters” and “permanent users” can be singled out. The categories are interrelated with each other – “experimenters” are usually young people. On the other hand, the research carried out in Scandinavian countries in 1987-1991, showed that the experimental drug usage is becoming more and more popular among elderly people, possessing a high social position.

The causes of drug taking have been investigated since the middle of the nineteenth century, but the general conception has not been fo ormed yet. Literature presents a variety of motives for drug taking: the possibility to “push real problems aside” and experience a feeling of happiness, emotional discomfort, generation gap, young people protests against existing norms, curiosity, unfavorable family conditions, disharmony, inability to bring one’s plans into being, high requirements, group influence, personal psychopathic qualities, drug availability, cultural tradition, ignorance of drug taking consequences.

There are macro and micro causes of drug taking. Macro causes are new social economic conditions. As an American so

ociologist, R.Merton sees it, drugs in the same way as alcoholism and idleness is a form of social adaptation after a person had experienced a failure and refused his/her social ambitions. It is very near to Lithuanian situation. A considerable part of Lithuanian people have experienced failure as they had not created a strategy suitable for new social-economic conditions. The process of social-economic change is always followed by various deviations. A general reason for marginal group appearance is the chaotic society shift towards a new social-economic and political system which is not clearly defined.

Micro reasons depend on the category that a drug addict belongs to. The motivation of adults using drugs is a search for euphoria. Grown-up people use drugs to “run away from” their problems. In Oriental culture the feeling brought about by drugs, especially if it is a moment of religious ritual, is included into the whole personal experience, given sense and thus becomes a part of reality. Western people, in their turn, use drugs to escape unpleasant and difficult reality. The feeling brought about in this particular way is not taken into the context of the whole human experience and may become a pretext for new escapes fr

rom a difficult human experience.

Why do young people use drugs? There may be a lot of reasons for that: they have no occupation, they are bored; their friends use drugs; they like taking risks; they want to shock their friends and parents; they want to have style; they try to escape the present life and personal problems; the drugs are easily available; they love “that” feeling. Young people often use drugs as a kind of protest against the adult world. No wonder most of the people experimenting with drugs belong to a 14-17 year-old age group as people particularly in teenage years want to be independent from parents, have their “own” views and values, drug taking is one of the ways to demonstrate this. Curiosity is one of the basic motives to use drugs. Uncritical thinking, the desire to experience pleasure “now and here”, authority denial, and curiosity, wish to become independent, finally, inability to foresee the real consequences of drug using is typical of teenagers. The peculiarity of teenage socialization is to act after the fashion and to imitate friends. Friends play a considerable role at the very beginning of drug taking. Drugs are most often offered by friends or

r friends’ friends. The fir.st time is usually initiated by others. Drugs among teenagers are taken as help, because people of that age most often face conflicts at school, in the family or the like. The psychosomatic discomfort is expected to be eliminated by the help of drugs. It has been proved that the very early drug taking is determined not by the addicts themselves, but by their parents’ social destabilization.

The previously analyzed macro and micro levels are very closely interlinked: children using drugs is a reaction to parents’ failures which have been caused by the change of social-economic conditions. A large part of the parents are intelligent people. Therefore their children face a difficult dilemma: either to refuse the values that had been promoted by their parents (for example, high education) or choose the value in the know that they will not bring any social success, as it was the case with their parents.Drug effects and consequences
Different drugs have different effects and consequences. Drugs have both micro (psychological and physical) and macro (social) consequences.

Micro level consequences depend on the nature of the drugs:

A long-time solvent abuse causes depression, tiredness, lost of attention and concentration. Solvents used for a long period of time may have a damaging effect on brains, kidney and liver.
A regular cannabis smoking stimulates a constant anxiety, depression, the need for stronger drugs.

The popular stimulators amphetamines increase excitability, pulse rate, high blood pressure, rise of temperature. One usually feels ill after using them (pupils slowly react to light, persecution mania appears, appetite reduces). The after-effects may result in cordial or mental diseases.

The effects of cocaine and crack are similar to that of amphetamines only they are much stronger. Cocaine damages nose mucous membrane, strongly affects psychics.

“Ecstasy” leads to thirst, shudder, hallucinations, irregular heart beat, depression, various “phobias”. “Ecstasy” may be the cause of liver decay.

LSD effects are very different. Habitual usage may disturb mental state or lead to paranoia.

Heroine actively inhibits brain functions, affects organism reflex actions such as cough, breathing or pulse. This makes a man sleepy; he/she doesn’t feel any anxiety or pain. It results in psychological dependence. The syndrome of abstention, convulsion, muscle cramp, flu symptoms come after a sudden refusal of the drug.

Drugs also have social consequences. Regular drug taking change social relationship: family, school, ties are shaken or completely lost. Among the friends using drugs the atmosphere of pseudo-collectivism appears.

Drugs are also connected to crime. The connection is apparent, though it is difficult to explain it plainly. The fact is that drug – an illegal and expensive pleasure – provokes therefore drugs are thought to be the main reason for crime among drug addicts. Another opinion is that crime incites drug taking, as drugs are typical of the subculture of criminals. The third idea states that drugs and crime are interrelated with the drug addict’s identity, which plays the decisive role in life.

Different interpretations of drug taking motives reflect the fact that numerous theories are being developed in separate social and cultural contexts. Moreover, various disciplines are investigating the drug problem; therefore it is practically impossible to make a general conclusion. No doubt, it is an urgent and severe social problem demanding the scientific co-operation. What are drugs?
A drug is something that affects your body. Not all drugs are illegal. Drugs like cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine are illegal. Other drugs which are against the law include speed, heroin, LSD and magic mushrooms. But many are legal like alcohol, headache tablets, cigarettes and glue. Some legal drugs can only be given out by doctors, like tranquilizers. For this kind of drug doctors give you a special letter to take to the chemist’s shop. This is called a prescription. Drugs affect lots of people’s lives. Even legal drugs can be dangerous when people become addicted to them, like alcohol or smoking.
Drug Abuse: Problems and Solutions
Drug abuse is becoming a problem in our society. What are the causes of this and what are some solutions?
Drug abuse is rife in many countries. Billions of dollars are spent internationally preventing drug use, treating addicts, and fighting drug-related crime. Although drugs threaten many societies, their effects can also be combated successfully. This essay looks at some of the effects of drug use on society, and suggests some solutions to the problem.

Drug abuse causes multiple problems for countries and communities. The medical and psychological effects are very obvious. Addicts cannot function as normal members of society. They neglect or abuse their families, and eventually require expensive treatment or hospitalization. The second effect is on crime. Huge police resources are needed to fight smuggling and dealing. Criminal gangs and mafia underworlds develop with the money from drugs.

However, the menace of drugs can be fought. Education is the first battle. Children need to be told at home and in school about drugs. People need to be aware of the effects so that they can make avoid this problem. A second approach is to increase police manpower and powers to stop dealers and to enforce the law. However the main target should be the user. Families and counselors need to talk to children and people at risk. Parents need to look at their children and help them to Jobs are needed to give people a role in society.

In conclusion, although the problem of drugs may seem impossible to eliminate, there are concrete steps that can be taken to weaken the hold of drugs on society. The danger from drugs is too great to ignore.

What is drug abuse?

Drug abuse is the inappropriate use of any drugs. Drug abuse can cause problems in many ways, physically, mentally and emotionally. Even prescribed drugs can be abused.

Drug abuse can mean:
Taking drugs that are not for humans
Taking a lot of drugs
Taking drugs for no medical reasons
Taking drugs more than the prescribed period of time

Many people think drug abuse and addiction are only social problems. Parents, teens, adults, and other people think people who take drugs are weak, are losers, or might be crazy. They believe that drug abusers are able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to do so. In fact, drug addiction begins when a person chooses to use drugs, but addiction is not just “a lot of drug use.” Recent scientific researchers have shown evidence that drugs can mess up normal brain function and have long-term effects on your brain. At some point, those effects can turn drug abuse into drug addiction. People who are addicted to drugs will suffer from a big drug craving, which means the person always wants drugs and cannot stop using them. So, this means that drug use isn’t easily solved by the user being willing to stop, the person also needs help, in other word, treatment.

How many young women/teenagers are affected by drug abuse today?

Drug Abuse can happen to any woman in any situation and at any age. Today, more than 4 million women in this country are suffering from drug abuse. Among that big number, there are women of different ages, different races and cultures and mostly poor. We can easily find women near us that have drug problems.
• 9 million women have used illegal drugs in the past. year
• 3.7 million Women have used over-counter-drugs for no reason
• More than 70% of the women who have AIDS can relate it to drug problems

Almost 50% of all women 15-44 have tried drugs at least once in their life. About 2 million among them tried cocaine. More than 6 million tried marijuana recently. Most of them take more than one drug at a time.
(From National Institute on Drug’s page on Women & Drug Abuse) What are signs of drug addiction?
Drug addiction shows up in a lot of ways. It has many symptoms. Basically, when a person feels that they need drugs at a certain time, like when they feel bored, that’s one of the signs that the person might be addicted to drugs.

Some more signs of drug addiction are:
Slow walking; always feeling tired and feeling sick
Changes in sleeping habits, cannot sleep, awake at the middle of the night many times; or feel sleepy in unusual time in the day, and feeling lazy
Red, watery eyes; pupils (the black center of the eye balls) larger or smaller than usual
Cold, sweaty palms; shaky hands
Puffy face, blushing or pale skin
Smells of substance on breath, body or clothes
Runny nose; continuous cough
Unusual nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating
Unusual weigh loss
Slight signs of shakes on hands, feet or head
Irregular heartbeat rate, faster or slower

What are the ingredients in drugs that cause severe addiction?

The ingredients in drugs are common. All drugs contain stimulants or depressants that cause different kinds of feelings in your brain and body. Basically, a drug is one ingredient; they just make up a name for that. For example, Ecstasy is one of the names for MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine). The stimulant effects of MDMA, allows users to keep energetic and dance at a party for a long time. One tablet of Ecstasy can last 3-6 hours. It may also lead to dehydration, hypertension, and hallucination. There are also other drug ingredients like Gamma-hydroxybutyrate(GHB), Ketamine, Methamphetamine, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide(LSD). All these are similar to MDMA; they give your body relaxed and hyper feelings, but have negative effects on your brain and body that can lead to serious physical problems and can possibly cause death.How to stay drug-free all the time?
Say no to drugs!
Get involved in healthy activities such as: sports, watch TV, church activities, etc. Do something that you would like to do with your friends and family. Plan a schedule for your day.
Share your knowledge with your friends; promote drug-free messages to your peers.
There is always a way to stay away from drugs, understand the effects of using drugs and all other related problems. Always think positive. Be smart!How to quit using drugs?
If you want to quit using drugs, ask for help! Below are some of the low-cost or no-cost places that provide information on drug abuse. They also provide drug abuse treatments.Which drugs are dangerous?
All drugs, whether legal or illegal, can be dangerous. Some drugs can hurt people suddenly. An illegal drug called ecstasy, for example, kills 60 people a year in the UK.
But smoking and drinking too much alcohol can also kill you. Alcohol is said to cause more than 25,000 deaths a year. 120,000 people die every year from diseases caused by smoking.
What can drugs do to your body?

Different drugs have different effects on your body.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning and liver failure, which can kill.
Smoking can cause lung and mouth cancer, and serious heart and stomach problems.
Illegal drugs can cause things like hallucinations (seeing strange things), sickness, depression, liver and kidney problems and fits. Some illegal drugs can kill the first time the person takes them.
Taking too much of any drug is called an overdose. A serious overdose of almost any drug can kill you.Which drugs are against the law?
All drugs are illegal for children, except for some drugs given by doctors. Shopkeepers are not allowed to sell cigarettes to anyone under 16 or alcohol to anyone under 18.
Drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis are all illegal. People who take them, sell them or are found with drugs on them are breaking the law and could be arrested by the police and sent to prison. But other drugs, like cigarettes and alcohol are legal for adults.What about kids and drugs?
Are illegal and everyone has the right to say no. Recent research suggested almost one in 10 children between 11 and 15 years old had taken drugs in the previous month. But the government has promised to halve the number of young people using illegal drugs, like ecstasy, by the year 2008.What if you are caught with drugs?
A lot depends on things like your age and whether it’s the first time you have been caught. If you have been supplying your friends it will be taken very seriously.
Under 18s
you’ll be arrested and have your drugs confiscated. You get taken to the police station for a formal warning. Your parent or guardian will be asked to come to. If it is not your first offence, or you have been supplying or dealing, you are more likely to be charged.
18 or over
If it is a less serious offence, an adult may not be arrested. They might just have their drugs confiscated and receive a warning. If an adult has been caught before or the police think they are dealing they are likely to be charged.
If you are found guilty
If you are found guilty of having the drugs for personal use, you may be fined or given community service. For things like dealing or supplying, you could be sent to prison or a young offender’s institution. Alcohol
Most of you know what alcohol looks like, how it is packaged, and how it makes you feel. Perhaps something you didn’t know is that alcohol is a drug. Its scientific name is ethyl alcohol and it is classified as a depressant, the same drug class as a barbiturate or tranquilizer. Alcohol is unique because it is legal for adults to buy and drink and is widely accepted in our culture. In fact, alcohol is the most popular drug among youth and adults in our country.

Sadly, alcohol is also one of the most deadly drugs available to our youth today. The leading cause of death among teens in this country is alcohol-related traffic accidents. Alcohol also causes heart disease, high blood pressure, liver damage, brain damage, and many other health problems.

Once alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream, it acts upon the central nervous system like a depressant, affecting speech, vision, and coordination. The physical effects of alcohol depend on many factors, including the amount of alcohol consumed over time, the emotional state and body weight of the drinker, the concentration of the drink, and the amount of food in the stomach at the time of consumption.

Smaller doses of alcohol may cause euphoria and a mild relaxed feeling. Intoxication occurs when higher doses are taken. Responses to higher doses of alcohol are varied: it may make some people feel more outgoing and giddy, while others will feel depressed, aggressive, or hostile. Physical responses to increased doses of alcohol include altered perception, impaired judgment, and loss of coordination, staggered walk, blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. An overdose of alcohol can cause unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and death.

Alcohol is an addictive drug. The medical term for this addiction is called alcoholism. Research suggests that alcoholism may be a genetic predisposition, and that a child of an alcoholic parent runs many times the risk of becoming an alcoholic. Alcoholism strikes all age groups; about ten percent of the population will develop the disease.
Back To IdentificationTobacco
Tobacco is used in many forms, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff. Cigarettes are the most common type of tobacco used by teens, followed by chewing tobacco and snuff. Studies of school age children indicate that initiation of daily smoking (not occasional use) is highest among junior high school students (about ages 12-14).
Many harmful ingredients in tobacco, such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide are absorbed into the body through the lungs. Nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, is so toxic that it has been used as an insecticide.
Tobacco acts both as a stimulant and a depressant. A beginning smoker will experience euphoria, lightheadedness, giddiness, dizziness, elevated heartbeat and respiration rates, and a tingling sensation in the hands and feet. A chronic smoker will suffer from a diminished sense of smell and taste.
Not everyone who begins smoking will become addicted; however, when users give up smoking, withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, sleeplessness, sweating, reduced heart rate and blood pressure, inability to concentrate, compulsive eating, headaches, and irritability can occur. These physical withdrawal symptoms last for about one to three weeks.

Medical problems associated with smoking tobacco are normally the result of long-term use. Some of the many health hazards of tobacco are heart disease, cancer, lung disease, obstructive pulmonary and bronchial disease, gum and jawbone deterioration, gastrointestinal disease, eating disorders, and allergic reactions. The use of smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, can be as dangerous as smoking, causing mouth lesions and cancer.Why Children Use Drugs
Parents often think that friends or drug dealers may have pressured their child into taking drugs. But children say that they choose to use drugs because they want to:
1. Relieve boredom
2. Feel good
3. Forget their troubles and relax
4. Have fun
5. Satisfy their curiosity
6. Take risks
7. Ease pain
8. Feel grown-up
9. Show their independence
10. Belong to a specific group and look cool

Parents know their children best and are therefore in the best position to suggest healthy alternatives to doing drugs. Encouraging children to become involved in sports, clubs, music lessons, community service projects, church, and other after-school activities can keep children and teens active and interested, while building their confidence and interpersonal skills. These activities will also bring youth closer to parents and to other adults and peers who can influence them in positive ways.Why do young people take drugs?
Young people take drugs for many reasons. It might be as a form of experimentation; they may feel under pressure at home or at school; they may want to identify with a particular group of friends who are already using drugs.
By far the most common reason is because they enjoy the effects that their choice of drugs has. It is important to get young people’s drug use into perspective.
Most young people who experiment with drugs will do so for a short period of time and usually pass through this stage of their life without coming to any harm. Literature:
1. http://www.inform-ed.com/
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/default.stm
3. www.sociumas.lt
4. http://www.stopdrugs.org/identification.html
5. Juan Lepe „Teens, Crime and the community
6. http://www.writefix.com/argument/drugs.htm

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