People from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, and educational background may struggle with drug abuse problems. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Center for Research and Information on Substance Abuse, over 14 million Nigerians are hooked on drugs such as nicotine, cocaine, cannabis, and sedatives. However, it’s not just these illegal drugs that can lead to abuse and addiction. Prescription medications like opioid painkillers, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers can cause similar problems.
In this article, we will explore the warning signs, learn how substance abuse problem develops and how you can manage it.
What is Drug Abuse?
Drug abuse or substance abuse is the use of prescription, over-the-counter or illegal drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in excessive amounts. Substance abuse often leads to social, physical, and emotional problems.
Many drugs that are abused are also addictive; they cause cravings and an unquenchable desire to use them despite being fully aware of the negative consequences they pose to your health.
The most commonly abused drugs are stimulants (cocaine, cigarette and caffeine), depressants (alcohol), painkillers (heroin, tramadol), and hallucinogens (marijuana, ecstasy).
Causes of Drug Abuse
While frequency or the number of drugs consumed do not necessarily constitute abuse, they are often indicators of drug-related problems. Some of the reasons people abuse drugs include:
- Curiosity and peer pressure, especially among young adults between the ages of 25 and 39
- As a means of obtaining creative inspiration
- Recreational purposes
- To escape the reality of their problems
Effects of Drug Abuse
The effects of drug abuse depend on the type of drug, any other substances that a person is using.
Drug abuse has both short-term and long-term effects on a person. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
1. Short-term Effects
Abusing a drug can produce short-term effects such as changes in appetite, a temporary sense of euphoria, increased heart rate, loss of coordination and sleeplessness or insomnia.
2. Long-term Effects
Substance abuse can alter your brain structure and function, resulting in long-term effects such as depression, anxiety, liver disease, kidney damage, and respiratory problem.
Getting Help for Drug Abuse
According to a report published in the Surgeon General’s Facing Addiction in America, only about 1 in 10 persons with addiction seek treatment. So, it’s not surprising that there are over 160,000 deaths from substance abuse annually according to a study published in the Public Library of Science journal.
If you are ready to take the first steps towards sobriety, call 08000432584 toll-free to speak to a psychologist. Our who will guide you through various stages of treatment, depending on your needs.