Essay on Drug Abuse

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Essay on Drug Abuse in 150 words

Essay on drug abuse in 250-300 words, essay on drug abuse in 500-1000 words.

Drug abuse is a global issue that poses serious risks to individuals and society. It involves the harmful and excessive use of drugs, leading to physical and mental health problems. Drug abuse can result in addiction, organ damage, cognitive impairment, and social and economic difficulties. Prevention efforts should focus on education, raising awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, and promoting healthy lifestyles. Access to quality healthcare and addiction treatment services is crucial for recovery. Strengthening law enforcement measures against drug trafficking is necessary to address the supply side of the problem. Creating supportive environments and opportunities for positive engagement can help prevent drug abuse. By taking collective action, we can combat drug abuse and build healthier communities.

Drug abuse is a growing global concern that poses significant risks to individuals, families, and communities. It refers to the excessive and harmful use of drugs, both legal and illegal, that have negative effects on physical and mental health.

Drug abuse has severe consequences for individuals and society. Physically, drug abuse can lead to addiction, damage vital organs, and increase the risk of overdose. Mentally, it can cause cognitive impairment, and psychological disorders, and deteriorate overall well-being. Additionally, drug abuse often leads to social and economic problems, such as strained relationships, loss of employment, and criminal activities.

Preventing drug abuse requires a multi-faceted approach. Education and awareness programs play a crucial role in informing individuals about the dangers of drug abuse and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Access to quality healthcare and addiction treatment services is vital to help individuals recover from substance abuse. Strengthening law enforcement efforts to curb drug trafficking and promoting international cooperation is also essential to address the supply side of the issue.

Community support and a nurturing environment are critical in preventing drug abuse. Creating opportunities for individuals, especially young people, to engage in positive activities and providing social support systems can serve as protective factors against drug abuse.

In conclusion, drug abuse is a significant societal problem with detrimental effects on individuals and communities. It requires a comprehensive approach involving education, prevention, treatment, and enforcement. By addressing the root causes, raising awareness, and providing support to those affected, we can combat drug abuse and create a healthier and safer society for all.

Title: Drug Abuse – A Global Crisis Demanding Urgent Action

Introduction :

Drug abuse is a pressing global issue that poses significant risks to individuals, families, and communities. It refers to the excessive and harmful use of drugs, both legal and illegal, that have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. This essay explores the causes and consequences of drug abuse, the social and economic impact, prevention and treatment strategies, and the importance of raising awareness and fostering supportive communities in addressing this crisis.

Causes and Factors Contributing to Drug Abuse

Several factors contribute to drug abuse. Genetic predisposition, peer pressure, stress, trauma, and environmental influences play a role in initiating substance use. The availability and accessibility of drugs, as well as societal norms and cultural acceptance, also influence drug abuse patterns. Additionally, underlying mental health issues and co-occurring disorders can drive individuals to self-medicate with drugs.

Consequences of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse has devastating consequences on individuals and society. Physically, drug abuse can lead to addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms. Substance abuse affects vital organs, impairs cognitive function, and increases the risk of accidents and injuries. Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis, are often associated with drug abuse. Substance abuse also takes a toll on relationships, leading to strained family dynamics, social isolation, and financial instability. The social and economic costs of drug abuse include increased healthcare expenses, decreased productivity, and the burden on criminal justice systems.

Prevention and Education

Preventing drug abuse requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach. Education and awareness programs are essential in schools, communities, and the media to inform individuals about the risks and consequences of drug abuse. Promoting healthy coping mechanisms, stress management skills, and decision-making abilities can empower individuals to resist peer pressure and make informed choices. Early intervention programs that identify at-risk individuals and provide support and resources are crucial in preventing substance abuse.

Treatment and Recovery

Access to quality healthcare and evidence-based addiction treatment is vital in addressing drug abuse. Treatment options include detoxification, counseling, behavioral therapies, and medication-assisted treatments. Rehabilitation centers, support groups, and outpatient programs provide a continuum of care for individuals seeking recovery. Holistic approaches, such as addressing co-occurring mental health disorders and promoting healthy lifestyles, contribute to successful long-term recovery. Support from family, friends, and communities plays a significant role in sustaining recovery and preventing relapse.

Law Enforcement and Drug Policies

Effective law enforcement efforts are necessary to disrupt drug trafficking and dismantle illicit drug networks. International cooperation and collaboration are crucial in combating the global drug trade. Additionally, drug policies should focus on a balanced approach that combines law enforcement with prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies. Shifting the emphasis from punitive measures toward prevention and rehabilitation can lead to more effective outcomes.

Creating Supportive Communities:

Fostering supportive communities is vital in addressing drug abuse. Communities should provide resources, social support networks, and opportunities for positive engagement. This includes promoting healthy recreational activities, providing vocational training, and creating safe spaces for individuals in recovery. Reducing the stigma associated with drug abuse and encouraging empathy and understanding are crucial to building a compassionate and supportive environment.

Conclusion :

Drug abuse remains a complex and multifaceted issue with far-reaching consequences. By addressing the causes, raising awareness, implementing preventive measures, providing quality treatment and support services, and fostering supportive communities, we can combat drug abuse and alleviate its impact. It requires collaboration and a collective effort from individuals, communities, governments, and organizations to build a society that is resilient against the scourge of drug abuse. Through education, prevention, treatment, and compassion, we can pave the way toward a healthier and drug-free future.

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Essay on Drug Abuse

Drug abuse refers to the excessive and frequent consumption of drugs. Drug abuse can have several harmful effects on our mental and physical health. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the USA, passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and initiated the War on Drugs . He said, ‘Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is.’

essay on effect of drug abuse

Consuming drugs not only harms the individual himself but also affects society as a whole. Studies have shown that people who consume drugs become addicted to it. This addiction turns into substance abuse, resulting in self-damage, behaviour changes, mood swings, unnecessary weight loss, and several other health problems. Let’s understand what drug abuse is and how to fight it.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Essay on Drug Abuse in 250 Words
  • 2.1 Why Do People Consume Drugs?
  • 2.2 Why Is Drug Abuse Bad?
  • 2.3 Laws in India Against Drug Consumption
  • 2.4 Steps to Prevent Drug Addiction
  • 2.5 Conclusion
  • 3 10 Lines Essay on Drug Abuse

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Essay on Drug Abuse in 250 Words

‘When people consume drugs regularly and become addicted to it, it is known as drug abuse. In medical terminology, drugs means medicines. However, the consumption of drugs is for non-medical purposes. It involves the consumption of substances in illegal and harmful ways, such as swallowing, inhaling, or injecting. When drugs are consumed, they are mixed into our bloodstream, affecting our neural system and brain functioning.

The Indian government has taken significant steps to help reduce the consumption of drugs. In 1985, the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act came into force. This act replaced the Opium Act of 1857, the Opium Act of 1878, and the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1930. 

Drug abuse can lead to addiction, where a person becomes physically or psychologically dependent on the substance and experiences withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop using it. 

Drug abuse can have serious consequences for the individual and society as a whole. On an individual level, drugs can damage physical health, including organ damage, infectious diseases, and overdose fatalities. Not only this, a person already suffering from mental health disorders will face more harmful aftereffects. Addiction disrupts our cognitive functioning and impairs our decision-making abilities.

To fight drug abuse, we need collective action from all sections of society. Medical professionals say that early intervention and screening programmes can identify individuals at risk of substance misuse and provide them with the necessary support services. Educating people, especially those who are at-risk, about drug abuse and its harmful effects can significantly help reduce their consumption.

Drug abuse is serious and it must be addressed. Drug abuse is killing youth and society. Therefore, it is an urgent topic to address, and only through sustainable and collective efforts can we address this problem.

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Essay on Drug Abuse in 500 Words

Drug abuse is known as frequent consumption. In time, these people become dependent on drugs for several reasons. Curiosity drives adolescents and teenagers, who are among the most susceptible groups in our society. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, etc. are some of the popular drugs consumed. 

Why Do People Consume Drugs?

The very first question about drugs is: why do people consume drugs? Studies have shown that more than 50% of drug addicts consider drugs as a coping mechanism to alleviate emotional or psychological distress. In the beginning, drugs temporarily relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, or trauma, providing a temporary escape from difficult emotions or life circumstances. 

Some consume drugs out of curiosity, some under peer pressure, and some want to escape the painful experiences. Some people enjoy the effects drugs produce, such as euphoria, relaxation, and altered perceptions. Recreational drug use may occur in social settings or as a form of self-medication for stress relief or relaxation.

Why Is Drug Abuse Bad?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that drugs can worsen our eyesight and body movement, our physical growth, etc. Marijuana, one of the most popular drugs, can slow down our reaction time, affecting our time and distance judgement and decreasing coordination. Cocaine and Methamphetamine can make the consumer aggressive and careless.

Our brain is the first victim of drugs. Drugs can disorder our body in several ways, from damaging organs to messing with our brains. Drugs easily get mixed into our bloodstream, and affect our neural system. Prolonged and excessive consumption of drugs significantly harms our brain functioning.

The next target of drug abuse is our physical health and relationships. Drugs can damage our vital organs, such as the liver, heart, lungs, and brain. For example, heavy alcohol use can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, while cocaine use can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Laws in India Against Drug Consumption

Here is an interesting thing; the USA has the highest number of drug addicts and also has strict laws against drug consumption. According to a report by the Narcotics Control Bureau, around 9 million people in India consume different types of drugs. The Indian government has implemented certain laws against drug consumption and production.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS), prohibits the production, sale, purchase, and consumption of narcotics and other illegal substances, except for scientific and medical purposes.

Also, Article 47 of the Indian Constitution states that ‘ The State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.’

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Steps to Prevent Drug Addiction

Several steps can be taken to prevent drug addiction. But before we start our ‘War on Drugs’ , it is crucial to understand the trigger point. Our social environment, mental health issues and sometimes genetic factors can play a role in drug abuse.

  • Education and awareness are the primary weapons in the fight against drugs. 
  • Keeping distance from people and places addicted to drugs.
  • Encourage a healthy and active lifestyle and indulge in physical workouts.
  • Watch motivating videos and listen to sound music.
  • Self-motivate yourself to stop consuming drugs.
  • Talk to a medical professional or a psychiatrist, who will guide you to the right path.

Drug abuse is a serious problem. The excessive and frequent consumption of drugs not only harms the individual but also affects society as a whole. Only a collective approach from lawmakers, healthcare professionals, educators, community leaders, and individuals themselves can combat drug abuse effectively. 

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10 Lines Essay on Drug Abuse

Here is a 10-line essay on drug abuse.

  • Drug abuse can significantly affect our physical growth
  • Drug abuse can affect our mental functioning.
  • Drug abuse may provide instant pleasure, but inside, it weakens our willpower and physical strength.
  • Educating people, especially those who are at-risk, about drug abuse and its harmful effects can significantly help reduce their consumption.
  •  Drugs easily get mixed into our bloodstream, and affect our neural system. 
  • Prolonged and excessive consumption of drugs significantly harms our brain functioning.
  • In 1985, the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act came into force.
  • The USA has the highest number of drug addicts and also has strict laws against drug consumption.
  • Drug addicts consider drugs as a coping mechanism to alleviate emotional or psychological distress.
  •  Adolescents and teenagers are the most vulnerable section of our society and are driven by curiosity.

Ans: Drug abuse refers to the excessive and frequent consumption of drugs. Drug abuse can have several harmful effects on our mental and physical health.

Ans: ‘When people consume drugs regularly and become addicted to it, it is known as drug abuse. In medical terminology, drugs means medicines. However, the consumption of drugs is for non-medical purposes. It involves the consumption of substances in illegal and harmful ways, such as swallowing, inhaling, or injecting. When drugs are consumed, they are mixed into our bloodstream, affecting our neural system and brain functioning.

Ans: Drug abuse is known as frequent consumption. In time, these people become dependent on drugs for several reasons. Adolescents and teenagers are the most vulnerable section of our society who are driven by curiosity. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, etc. are some of the popular drugs consumed.  The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS), prohibits the production, sale, purchase, and consumption of narcotics and other illegal substances, except for scientific and medical purposes.

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The Effects of Drug Addiction on the Brain and Body

Signs of drug addiction, effects of drug addiction.

Drug addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease that involves complex interactions between a person’s environment, brain circuits, genetics, and life experiences.

People with drug addictions continue to use drugs compulsively, despite the negative effects.

Substance abuse has many potential consequences, including overdose and death. Learn about the effects of drug addiction on the mind and body and treatment options that can help.

Verywell / Theresa Chiechi

Drug Abuse vs. Drug Addiction

While the terms “drug abuse” and “drug addiction” are often used interchangeably, they're different. Someone who abuses drugs uses a substance too much, too frequently, or in otherwise unhealthy ways. However, they ultimately have control over their substance use.

Someone with a drug addiction uses drugs in a way that affects many parts of their life and causes major disruptions. They can't stop using drugs, even if they want to.

The signs of drug abuse and addiction include changes in behavior, personality, and physical appearance. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s substance use, here are some of the red flags to watch out for:

  • Changes in school or work performance
  • Secretiveness 
  • Relationship problems
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Legal problems
  • Aggression 
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in hobbies or friends
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Unexplained odors on the body or clothing

Drug Addiction in Men and Women

Men and women are equally likely to develop drug addictions. However, men are more likely than women to use illicit drugs, die from a drug overdose, and visit an emergency room for addiction-related health reasons. Women are more susceptible to intense cravings and repeated relapses.

People can become addicted to any psychoactive ("mind-altering") substance. Common addictive substances include alcohol , tobacco ( nicotine ), stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids .

Many of the effects of drug addiction are similar, no matter what substance someone uses. The following are some of the most common effects of drug addiction.

Effects of Drug Addiction on the Body

Drug addiction can lead to a variety of physical consequences ranging in seriousness from drowsiness to organ damage and death:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Impaired coordination and slurred speech
  • Decreased or increased appetite
  • Tooth decay
  • Skin damage
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage and cirrhosis
  • Various forms of cancer
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Lung problems
  • Overdose and death

If left untreated drug addiction can lead to serious, life-altering effects on the body.

Dependence and withdrawal also affect the body:

  • Physical dependence : Refers to the reliance on a substance to function day to day. People can become physically dependent on a substance fairly quickly. Dependence does not always mean someone is addicted, but the longer someone uses drugs, the more likely their dependency is to become an addiction.
  • Withdrawal : When someone with a dependence stops using a drug, they can experience withdrawal symptoms like excessive sweating, tremors, panic, difficulty breathing, fatigue , irritability, and flu-like symptoms.

Overdose Deaths in the United States

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 100,000 people in the U.S. died from a drug overdose in 2021.

Effects of Drug Addiction on the Brain

All basic functions in the body are regulated by the brain. But, more than that, your brain is who you are. It controls how you interpret and respond to life experiences and the ways you behave as a result of undergoing those experiences.

Drugs alter important areas of the brain. When someone continues to use drugs, their health can deteriorate both psychologically and neurologically.

Some of the most common mental effects of drug addiction are:

  • Cognitive decline
  • Memory loss
  • Mood changes and paranoia
  • Poor self/impulse control
  • Disruption to areas of the brain controlling basic functions (heart rate, breathing, sleep, etc.)

Effects of Drug Addiction on Behavior

Psychoactive substances affect the parts of the brain that involve reward, pleasure, and risk. They produce a sense of euphoria and well-being by flooding the brain with dopamine .

This leads people to compulsively use drugs in search of another euphoric “high.” The consequences of these neurological changes can be either temporary or permanent. 

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability 
  • Angry outbursts
  • Lack of inhibition 
  • Decreased pleasure/enjoyment in daily life (e.g., eating, socializing, and sex)
  • Hallucinations

Help Someone With Drug Addiction

If you suspect that a loved one is experiencing drug addiction, address your concerns honestly, non-confrontationally, and without judgment. Focus on building trust and maintaining an open line of communication while setting healthy boundaries to keep yourself and others safe. If you need help, contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

Effects of Drug Addiction on an Unborn Child

Drug addiction during pregnancy can cause serious negative outcomes for both mother and child, including:

  • Preterm birth
  • Maternal mortality

Drug addiction during pregnancy can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) . Essentially, the baby goes into withdrawal after birth. Symptoms of NAS differ depending on which drug has been used but can include:

  • Excessive crying
  • Sleeping and feeding issues

Children exposed to drugs before birth may go on to develop issues with behavior, attention, and thinking. It's unclear whether prenatal drug exposure continues to affect behavior and the brain beyond adolescence.  

While there is no single “cure” for drug addiction, there are ways to treat it. Treatment can help you control your addiction and stay drug-free. The primary methods of treating drug addiction include:

  • Psychotherapy : Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or family therapy , can help someone with a drug addiction develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
  • Behavioral therapy : Common behavioral therapies for drug addiction include motivational enhancement therapy (MET) and contingency management (CM). These therapy approaches build coping skills and provide positive reinforcement.
  • Medication : Certain prescribed medications help to ease withdrawal symptoms. Some examples are naltrexone (for alcohol), bupropion (for nicotine), and methadone (for opioids).
  • Hospitalization : Some people with drug addiction might need to be hospitalized to detox from a substance before beginning long-term treatment.
  • Support groups : Peer support and self-help groups, such as 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, can help people with drug addictions find support, resources, and accountability.

A combination of medication and behavioral therapy has been found to have the highest success rates in preventing relapse and promoting recovery. Forming an individualized treatment plan with your healthcare provider's help is likely to be the most effective approach.

Drug addiction is a complex, chronic medical disease that causes someone to compulsively use psychoactive substances despite the negative consequences.

Some effects of drug abuse and addiction include changes in appetite, mood, and sleep patterns. More serious health issues such as cognitive decline, major organ damage, overdose, and death are also risks. Addiction to drugs while pregnant can lead to serious outcomes for both mother and child.

Treatment for drug addiction may involve psychotherapy , medication, hospitalization, support groups, or a combination.

If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

American Society of Addiction Medicine. Definition of addiction .

HelpGuide.org. Drug Abuse and Addiction .

Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services. Warning signs of drug abuse .

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sex and gender differences in substance use .

Cleveland Clinic. Drug addiction .

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction Drugs and the Brain .

American Heart Association. Illegal Drugs and Heart Disease .

American Addiction Centers. Get the facts on substance abuse .

Szalavitz M, Rigg KK, Wakeman SE. Drug dependence is not addiction-and it matters . Ann Med . 2021;53(1):1989-1992. doi:10.1080/07853890.2021.1995623

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. top 100,000 annually .

American Psychological Association. Cognition is central to drug addiction .

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts .

MedlinePlus. Neonatal abstinence syndrome .

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Treatment and recovery .

Grella CE, Stein JA.  Remission from substance dependence: differences between individuals in a general population longitudinal survey who do and do not seek help . Drug and Alcohol Dependence.  2013;133(1):146-153. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.05.019

By Laura Dorwart Dr. Dorwart has a Ph.D. from UC San Diego and is a health journalist interested in mental health, pregnancy, and disability rights.

Guide to Exam

Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 100, 150, 200, 300, 350 & 500 Words

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Table of Contents

Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 100 words

Drug abuse is a critical issue that affects not only individuals but also society as a whole. In this expository essay, we will explore the root causes, effects, and potential solutions to drug abuse. Firstly, peer pressure, stress, and a need for escape are common factors that contribute to drug abuse. Secondly, the negative effects of drug abuse can manifest in various forms, including health problems, strained relationships, and financial instability. Lastly, addressing the issue requires a multifaceted approach, involving education, awareness campaigns, and support systems. By understanding the causes and consequences of drug abuse, we can develop strategies to prevent and combat this pervasive problem.

Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 150 words

Drug abuse is a serious societal issue that affects individuals from all walks of life. This essay aims to explain the causes and consequences of drug abuse in an expository manner.

First and foremost, drug abuse can be attributed to various factors. One of the primary causes is peer pressure, as individuals may succumb to the influence of their friends and seek solace in drugs. Additionally, some individuals turn to drugs as a means of escapism, trying to cope with emotional or psychological pain. Another contributing factor is the availability and accessibility of drugs, making it easier for people to engage in substance abuse.

The consequences of drug abuse are myriad and life-altering. Physically, drug abuse can lead to deteriorating health issues and even death. Furthermore, it often leads to strained relationships with family and friends. Drug addiction also has severe psychological effects, causing individuals to become isolated and trapped in a cycle of dependency. Additionally, drug abuse contributes to a rise in criminal activities, as individuals resort to illegal means to sustain their addiction.

Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 200 words

Drug abuse is a pervasive issue that affects individuals and communities worldwide. This expository essay aims to analyze the problem of drug abuse and provide factual information on its causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

To begin, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to drug abuse. Peer pressure, stress, and a lack of awareness about the dangers of drugs are common reasons for individuals to become involved in substance abuse. Furthermore, genetic, environmental, and psychological factors can also play a role in the development of drug addiction.

The consequences of drug abuse are far-reaching and devastating. Physically, drugs can harm vital organs, impair cognitive functioning, and even lead to death. Socioeconomically, drug abuse can strain relationships, hinder educational and professional opportunities, and burden healthcare systems. It can also contribute to crime rates and public safety concerns.

Addressing drug abuse requires a multifaceted approach. Prevention initiatives should focus on education about the risks associated with drug use, as well as promoting healthy coping mechanisms and positive peer influences. Additionally, accessible and effective treatment programs and support networks must be provided to individuals struggling with drug addiction.

In conclusion, drug abuse is a complex issue that poses serious threats to individuals and society as a whole. By understanding its causes and consequences, as well as implementing preventative and treatment measures, we can work towards a future free from the clutches of substance abuse.

Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 300 words

Drug abuse is a major global issue affecting individuals from all walks of life. It refers to the excessive and harmful use of substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. This expository essay aims to shed light on the causes, effects, and potential solutions to drug abuse.

One of the primary causes of drug abuse is peer pressure. Many individuals succumb to the influence of their peers, wanting to fit in or to be seen as cool. This often leads to experimentation with drugs, which can quickly escalate to addiction. Additionally, stress and trauma can also drive people towards drugs as a means of escape.

The effects of drug abuse are wide-ranging and devastating. Physically, drug abuse can lead to health problems such as heart disease, liver damage, and even death due to an overdose. Psychologically, drug abuse can cause severe mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Moreover, drug abuse negatively impacts relationships, leading to broken families and a breakdown in societal bonds.

Addressing drug abuse requires a multi-faceted approach. Firstly, preventative measures such as education and awareness campaigns are crucial. By educating individuals about the dangers of drug abuse, especially the youth, we can reduce the number of people succumbing to addiction. Additionally, rehabilitation programs and support groups play a pivotal role in helping drug abusers break free from their addiction and reintegrate into society.

In conclusion, drug abuse is a pressing issue affecting individuals worldwide. It is essential to understand the causes and effects of drug abuse to develop effective solutions. By implementing prevention measures and promoting rehabilitation programs, we can combat drug abuse and provide a brighter future for those trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction.

Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 350 words

Drug abuse is a prevalent issue that continues to affect individuals and societies across the globe. This expository essay aims to shed light on the realities of drug abuse, including its causes, consequences, and potential solutions. By examining the facts and presenting a balanced view, we can better understand this complex issue and work towards effective prevention and intervention strategies.

The primary cause of drug abuse can vary from individual to individual. Peer influence, stress, curiosity, and a desire for escape or pleasure are common factors that contribute to drug abuse. When people are surrounded by others who engage in drug use, they may feel compelled to experiment, thus increasing the likelihood of abuse. Additionally, individuals facing high levels of stress or seeking an escape from their problems may turn to drugs as a means of coping. The addictive nature of certain substances further exacerbates the problem, making it difficult for individuals to stop using once they start.

The consequences of drug abuse are far-reaching and affect not only the individual but also their families and communities. Physically, drug abuse can lead to organ damage, impaired cognitive function, and even death. Emotionally, it can cause mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Socially, drug abuse can lead to estranged relationships, unemployment, homelessness, and criminal behavior. The economic burden of drug abuse is also significant, as it places a strain on healthcare systems and law enforcement agencies.

To address the issue of drug abuse, a multi-faceted approach is necessary. Prevention programs should be implemented in schools, educating students about the dangers of drug abuse and providing them with the necessary skills to resist peer pressure. Parents and guardians should also play an active role in educating their children about substance abuse and maintaining open lines of communication. Furthermore, increased access to treatment programs, counseling services, and rehabilitation centers can help individuals overcome their addiction and pursue a healthier, drug-free lifestyle.

In conclusion, drug abuse remains a pressing concern that impacts individuals and societies globally. By understanding the causes, consequences, and potential solutions, we can work towards effective prevention and intervention strategies. Through education, awareness, and a focus on providing support to those affected, we can work towards reducing drug abuse and its devastating effects.

Write an Expository Essay on Drug Abuse 500 Words?

Title: an expository essay on drug abuse, introduction.

Drug abuse is a prevalent and multifaceted issue that affects individuals, families, and communities worldwide. It is characterized by the habitual misuse of drugs, often resulting in physical and psychological harm. This expository essay aims to provide an in-depth exploration of drug abuse, its causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

Definition and Types of Drugs

Drug abuse refers to the excessive and continuous misuse of both legal and illegal substances. Various types of drugs can be abused, including narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and prescription medications. Understanding the diverse range of drugs abused is crucial to comprehending the scope and significance of the issue.

Causes of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is often linked to a combination of genetic, environmental, and individual factors. Genetic predispositions to addictive behaviors can influence an individual’s susceptibility to drug abuse. Additionally, environmental influences such as dysfunctional families, poverty, peer pressure, and the availability of drugs contribute to the problem. Personal factors like low self-esteem, emotional distress, or mental health disorders can also increase the likelihood of drug abuse.

Consequences of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse has profound consequences on an individual’s health, relationships, and society as a whole. Physically, drug abuse can lead to addiction, overdose, and in some cases, death. Psychological effects include impaired cognitive function, an increased risk of mental health disorders, and diminished productivity. Social consequences encompass strained relationships, an economic burden on society, and an increase in crime rates.

Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Addressing drug abuse requires a multi-faceted approach that involves prevention, intervention, and treatment. Effective prevention strategies include education, raising awareness about the risks and consequences of drug abuse, and promoting healthy coping mechanisms. Early intervention programs that identify individuals at risk and provide appropriate support and counseling are crucial to curbing drug abuse. Treatment options such as detoxification, therapy, and support groups play a crucial role in helping individuals recover from addiction.

Governmental and Community Initiatives

Governments and communities have a crucial role to play in combating drug abuse. Public policies that focus on reducing drug availability, implementing stricter regulations, and offering rehabilitation programs are vital. Additionally, community-based initiatives like support groups, recreational activities, and counseling services can help create a supportive environment for recovery.

Drug abuse remains a significant challenge in contemporary society, affecting individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Understanding its causes, consequences, and potential solutions is essential to combating this harmful issue. By implementing prevention strategies, early intervention programs, and adequate treatment options, we can make progress in minimizing the devastating effects of drug abuse. It is the collective responsibility of governments, communities, and individuals to address drug abuse comprehensively and provide support to those impacted, in order to promote healthier societies for generations to come.

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Sample Essay On Cause And Effects Of Drug Abuse

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Law , Addiction , Human , Drug Abuse , Brain , Criminal Justice , Crime , Drugs

Published: 03/29/2020

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Many causes and effects of drug addiction are both related as to why a person is using illegal drugs and the outcome of becoming a drug addict. Being a drug addict creates a negative cycle, which undeniably precipitates some anomalies in the human brain. The process will result in strong cravings as well as involuntary inclination that prompt to use drugs. Drug addiction is a very serious threat to public safety and public health, not only in the United States, but also all over the world. Drug addiction develops in many ways. To better understand the causes of addiction, it would be essential to know how the use of illegal drugs is affecting the human brain. The human brain has its natural capability to reinforce and identify positive experiences. As an example, if a human eats his or her favorite food or puts a warm blanket during the cold winter nights, the brain will naturally release feel-good chemicals such as dopamine. By repeatedly experiencing these events, drugs will reinforce the human behavior through a process that teaches the brain to expect the positive experiences or pleasant sensations. However, none of these addiction causes will happen if there are no supporting factors that provoke people in getting addicted to drugs. Some people may not understand why other individuals are becoming addicted to drugs and how it changes the human brain’s activity to promote compulsive abuse of drugs. Sometimes, some people mistakenly observe drug addiction and abuse as one of the social problems. One of the causes of a person’s drug addiction is the surroundings. A person who lives in a community, where drug temptations are present, it is more likely that he or she may be with a group of people who use drugs. Therefore, the possibility of being in a group of drug users can be one of the causes of a person’s drug addiction. Another that factor that causes drug addiction is the person’s behavior. This normally happens to a person who normally gets along with a group of people who have similar behavior just like him. He will easily be convinced to use illegal drugs initially until he falls into addiction eventually. In some points, causes of drug abuse can be a personal or family matter. There may have a time that parents and guardian of a potential drug user may lack family openness, in which communication between family members is less. Therefore, there could be an attention deficiency, which they normally found from their peers. Experimentation many things including drug abuse could happen during the teenage years, which can worsen a person’s drug addiction in the long run. There could be hundreds of causes why a person becomes a drug addict. Along with this, there are also numerous effects that being a drug addict could provide. One of the effects of drug addiction could be a person’s attitude. A person who is addicted to drugs could turn his attitude to be a hot-tempered one. He or she tends to become irate as a response even on simple things. As a result, his or her relationship with her family and friends could become worse as his attitude becomes worse. In addition, drug addiction changes the human brain’s function. A drug addict will lose his self-control and his ability to recognize sounds. These effects could appear overtime as the person continues to use illegal drugs. The effects of being a drug user may depend on the length of time a person being into it. The longer a person uses illegal drugs, the more likely that he or she may have worse effects eventually. Besides emotional and social reasons, a person’s willingness to stop or continue using illegal drugs also contributes to being whether or not he is a drug abuser.

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Essay on Impact of Drugs on Youth

Students are often asked to write an essay on Impact of Drugs on Youth in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Impact of Drugs on Youth

Introduction.

Drugs have a significant impact on youth, affecting their health, education, and social relationships.

Health Consequences

Drugs can damage a young person’s physical and mental health. They can lead to addiction, organ damage, and mental disorders.

Educational Impact

Drugs can impair a youth’s ability to concentrate and learn, leading to poor academic performance.

Social Effects

Drug use can lead to isolation from friends and family, and involvement in illegal activities.

250 Words Essay on Impact of Drugs on Youth

The impact of drugs on youth is a topic of significant concern, affecting individuals, families, and communities worldwide. The youth, being the most vulnerable demographic, are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of drug use.

The Allure of Drugs

The allure of drugs for young people often stems from a desire to fit in, escape reality, or experiment. Peer pressure, social media influence, and the thrill of rebellion can all contribute to the initiation of drug use. This early exposure can lead to addiction, impacting their physical, mental, and social health.

Physical Impact

Drugs can have devastating physical effects on young bodies. They can hinder growth, affect brain development, and lead to long-term health problems like heart disease and cancer. Moreover, drug use can lead to risky behaviors, increasing the likelihood of accidents, violence, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Mental Impact

On the mental front, drug use can exacerbate or trigger mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. It can also impair cognitive abilities, memory, and academic performance, limiting a young person’s potential for success.

Social Impact

Socially, drug use can lead to isolation, strained relationships, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It can also lead to legal issues, reducing opportunities for future employment and education.

500 Words Essay on Impact of Drugs on Youth

The global landscape of drug abuse and addiction is a complex issue that has significant implications on the youth. The impact of drugs on youth is far-reaching, affecting not just their physical health, but also their mental well-being, academic performance, and future prospects.

The Physical Consequences

The first and most apparent impact of drugs on youth is the physical damage. Substance abuse can lead to a host of health problems, ranging from liver damage, cardiovascular diseases, to neurological issues. Furthermore, drugs can interfere with the normal growth and development processes, particularly during the critical adolescent years when the body undergoes significant changes.

Mental Health Implications

The social implications of drug use among youth are equally significant. Substance abuse can strain relationships with family and friends, leading to isolation and loneliness. It can also lead to delinquency, crime, and a general disregard for societal norms and values. This damage to their social fabric can have long-term consequences, affecting their ability to form meaningful relationships and contribute positively to society.

Educational and Career Impact

Substance abuse can severely impact a young person’s educational attainment and future career prospects. The cognitive impairments caused by drug use can lead to poor academic performance, lower grades, and increased likelihood of dropping out. This, in turn, can limit their career opportunities and earning potential, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and substance abuse.

Prevention and Intervention

In conclusion, the impact of drugs on youth is a multifaceted issue that extends beyond the individual to families, schools, and communities. It is a pressing problem that requires collective effort and commitment to address. By understanding the depth of its impact, we can better equip ourselves to combat this issue and pave the way for a healthier, more productive future for our youth.

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Essay on Substance Abuse

Narayan Bista

Introduction

Substance abuse is a common problem that impacts people from diverse backgrounds and age groups. It entails the harmful or risky consumption of mind-altering substances, including alcohol and illegal drugs. This behavior not only poses serious health risks but also has detrimental effects on social, economic, and personal aspects of life . For example, consider a teenager who begins experimenting with drugs at parties to fit in with peers. Initially, it may seem like harmless fun, but over time, this behavior can lead to addiction, academic problems, and strained relationships with family and friends. Comprehending the underlying causes and repercussions of substance abuse is vital for formulating effective prevention and intervention strategies.

Essay on Substance Abuse

Types of Substances Abused

Substance abuse covers a broad spectrum of substances, each carrying its own distinct effects and potential risks. Here are some common types of substances that are abused:

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  • Alcohol: Alcohol abuse is one of the most common forms of substance abuse worldwide. Overindulgence in alcohol use may result in addiction, cardiovascular issues, and liver damage.
  • Tobacco: Smoking tobacco products, particularly cigarettes, is a widespread form of substance abuse. The substance has the capability to result in a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory issues.
  • Opioids: This category includes prescription painkillers like oxycodone and illegal drugs like heroin. Abuse of opioids can result in overdose, addiction, and respiratory failure.
  • Stimulants: Substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants that can induce feelings of euphoria and heightened energy. Extended usage may result in addiction, cardiovascular problems, and mental health issues.
  • Hallucinogens: Substances like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms alter perception and mood. Chronic use can lead to hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and other mental health issues.
  • Cannabis: While increasingly legalized for medical and recreational use, cannabis abuse can still lead to dependency and negative cognitive effects, especially in young users.
  • Inhalants: Inhalants include substances like glue, paint thinner, and aerosol sprays. They can cause serious health issues, including brain damage and organ failure.
  • Club Drugs: These include MDMA (ecstasy), ketamine, and GHB, often used at parties and clubs. They can lead to dehydration, hyperthermia, and serotonin syndrome.
  • Anabolic Steroids: Many athletes and bodybuilders misuse these substances, leading to potential physical and psychological addiction as well as numerous health issues.
  • Prescription Drugs: Abuse of prescription medications, such as benzodiazepines and stimulants, can lead to addiction, overdose, and other health complications.

Causes of Substance Abuse

It can result from a range of factors, including biological, environmental, and psychological influences. Here are some common causes:

  • Genetics : Being from a family with a history of substance abuse can raise the chances of someone adopting similar behaviors. Additionally, genetic components may play a role in how a person reacts to drugs or alcohol.
  • Brain Chemistry : Certain substances can alter the brain’s reward system, leading to addiction. Individuals may seek out substances to experience the pleasurable effects or to cope with negative emotions.
  • Environment : Exposure to an environment where substance abuse is normalized or easily accessible can elevate the risk, as can peer pressure, stressful life events, and experiencing trauma or abuse.
  • Mental Health Disorders : Conditions like depression, anxiety , and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can increase the chances of substance abuse, as individuals may turn to substances to self-medicate and alleviate symptoms.
  • Social Factors : Socioeconomic status, education level, and cultural influences can impact substance abuse patterns. For example, individuals in environments with limited resources or opportunities may be more susceptible to substance abuse.
  • Accessibility : The availability of drugs or alcohol can lead to an increased chance of trying them and subsequently abusing them.
  • Personality Traits : Certain personal characteristics, like impulsiveness, seeking out new sensations, and a lack of self-discipline, may lead to substance abuse.

Prevention of Substance Abuse

Preventing substance abuse involves strategies aimed at reducing the risk factors associated with its development. Here are some key prevention approaches:

  • Education and Awareness : It can be beneficial to offer precise details about the dangers and outcomes of substance abuse to empower individuals to make well-informed choices. This includes education programs in schools and communities.
  • Parental Involvement : Positive parental involvement and communication can help reduce the likelihood of substance abuse among children. Parenting programs that teach effective communication and monitoring skills can be beneficial.
  • Community Support : Building strong, supportive communities can help individuals resist substance abuse. This includes access to recreational activities, after-school programs, and community centers.
  • Regulation and Legislation : Implementing laws and policies that regulate the sale and distribution of substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, can help reduce access and prevent abuse.
  • Mental Health Support : Making mental health services available can assist individuals in dealing with root problems that might result in substance abuse, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Early Intervention : Detecting and dealing with substance abuse at an early stage can help prevent it from developing into a more serious issue. This includes screening programs and early intervention services.
  • Peer Programs : Peer-led programs can effectively promote positive behaviors and attitudes toward substance use among peers.
  • Alternative Activities : Providing alternative activities and interests, such as sports, arts, and hobbies, can help individuals avoid substance use as a form of recreation.
  • Media Literacy : Teaching individuals to analyze media messages about substance use critically can help reduce the influence of media on attitudes toward substance abuse.
  • Policy Advocacy : Advocating for policies that support prevention efforts, such as funding for prevention programs and enforcement of laws related to substance abuse, can help create a supportive environment for prevention initiatives.

Treatment for Substance Abuse

Treatment for substance abuse generally encompasses a blend of approaches customized to the individual’s requirements. Here are some common components of treatment:

  • Detoxification : During the initial phase of treatment, healthcare providers often use detoxification to eliminate the substance from the body. This procedure may be carried out under medical observation to guarantee the safe handling of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral Therapies : These therapies help individuals modify their attitudes and behaviors related to substance abuse. Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and contingency management.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) : Healthcare providers can use certain medications to assist in managing withdrawal symptoms, minimizing cravings, and averting relapse for specific substances. Examples include methadone for opioid addiction and acamprosate for alcohol dependence.
  • Support Groups : Support and encouragement for individuals in recovery can be offered by organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
  • Counseling : By addressing the underlying causes of their substance usage and developing useful coping strategies, individuals might benefit from individual or group treatment.
  • Family Therapy : Family members participating in therapy can enhance family dynamics and create a supportive atmosphere for healing.
  • Holistic Therapies : Some individuals benefit from complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, or art therapy as part of their treatment plan.
  • Residential Treatment : In some cases, residential or inpatient treatment may be necessary, especially for severe substance abuse cases or when there are co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Aftercare Planning : Creating a plan for continued support post-treatment, which includes strategies for preventing relapse and access to support groups, can aid individuals in sustaining their recovery.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment : Integrated treatment, addressing both substance abuse and mental health disorders simultaneously, is often most effective for individuals with co-occurring conditions.

Challenges in Addressing Substance Abuse

Addressing substance abuse presents a complex array of challenges that span individual, societal, and systemic levels. These challenges can impede efforts to prevent substance abuse, provide effective treatment, and support long-term recovery. Here are some key challenges:

  • Stigma and Discrimination: It is often stigmatized, leading to discrimination against individuals seeking help. This stigma can discourage individuals from seeking treatment and can also affect their social and employment opportunities.
  • Access to Treatment: Many individuals face barriers in accessing substance abuse treatment, including financial constraints, lack of insurance coverage, and limited availability of treatment facilities, especially in rural areas.
  • Co-occurring Disorders: Anxiety, depression , and PTSD are common co-occurring disorders with substance abuse. Treating these co-occurring disorders simultaneously can be challenging and requires integrated treatment approaches.
  • Relapse Prevention: Treatment is a long-term process, and relapse is common. Developing effective strategies for relapse prevention and ongoing support for individuals in recovery is crucial.
  • Limited Research and Resources: Treatment and prevention programs often lack sufficient funding and research support compared to other health issues, which can hinder the development of effective interventions.
  • Cultural and Societal Factors: Cultural norms and societal attitudes towards substance abuse can impact how it is perceived and addressed. Comprehending and addressing these factors is crucial for effective prevention and treatment.
  • Availability of Harm Reduction Strategies: Strategies for harm reduction, such as needle exchange programs and supervised injection sites, can mitigate the adverse effects of substance abuse. However, these strategies are not universally available or accepted.
  • Adolescent Substance Abuse: Preventing and addressing substance abuse among adolescents presents unique challenges, including peer pressure, limited awareness of risks, and developmental factors.
  • Addressing the Root Causes: Substance abuse is often linked to underlying issues such as trauma , poverty , and lack of social support. Addressing these root causes is essential for long-term recovery.
  • Changing Legal and Policy Landscape: Shifts in drug laws and policies can impact access to treatment, availability of resources, and approaches to prevention and harm reduction.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Achieving recovery from substance abuse is a multifaceted and continuous journey that encompasses various components aimed at assisting individuals in sustaining a substance-free lifestyle. Here are the key components of recovery and rehabilitation:

  • Support Groups : Continued participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide ongoing encouragement, accountability, and a sense of community.
  • Counseling and Therapy : Continued counseling, either individually or in a group setting, can help individuals address underlying issues, develop coping strategies, and prevent relapse.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Changes : Incorporating a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep can support overall well-being and decrease the likelihood of relapse.
  • Relapse Prevention Strategies : Acquiring the ability to recognize triggers and cultivate coping mechanisms to manage cravings and stressors can assist individuals in preventing relapse.
  • Medication Management : Adherence to medication regimens and regular follow-up with healthcare providers is essential for long-term recovery for individuals on medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
  • Peer Support : Interacting with peers in recovery can offer a sense of belonging and understanding, along with practical advice for maintaining sobriety.
  • Healthy Relationships : Building and maintaining healthy relationships that support sobriety and avoid enabling behaviors is crucial for long-term recovery.
  • Continued Education and Skill-Building : Pursuing education, job training, or other skill-building activities can help individuals rebuild their lives and self-esteem.
  • Spirituality and Mindfulness : Spiritual or mindfulness practices can provide a sense of purpose and inner peace, supporting recovery efforts.
  • Regular Monitoring and Accountability : Continued monitoring of progress and being accountable to oneself and others can help individuals remain committed to their recovery goals.

Addressing substance abuse is a multifaceted challenge that requires a comprehensive and compassionate approach. Stigma, limited access to treatment, co-occurring disorders, and relapse prevention are among the key hurdles. To overcome these challenges, we must prioritize education, destigmatization, and increased access to evidence-based treatment and support services. Collaboration between individuals, communities, governments, and healthcare providers is essential. By tackling the underlying causes, delivering comprehensive care, and nurturing a supportive environment, we can strive to diminish the impact of substance abuse, facilitate recovery, and enhance the well-being of individuals and society at large.

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LAWRENCE MASHABELA | Effects of substance abuse affect everyone

Fight against addiction is our responsibility as families and communities.

Substance abuse does not recognise class, colour, or background. It is everyone's responsibility to stand up and fight this scourge, says the writer.

Addiction remains a critical issue in SA. As we recently commemorated the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, it is essential to reflect on the devastation that drugs and illicit trafficking continue to cause in our communities.

It is even harder to imagine that it is young people who are paying the highest price. Drugs and alcohol are mercilessly ravaging the future of our youth, with no limitations or boundaries. They continue to destroy the hopes and aspirations of our country.

Addiction continues to be a major pressing issue in our townships, affecting not only the users but also their families and the community at large. Substance abuse destroys the moral fibre in our communities. It is deeply disturbing that drugs and illicit trafficking find an easy way to circulate about our communities.

The abuse of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and crystal meth continue to be a significant problem, with the numbers rising over the years, especially among young people, despite the government’s integrated approach to fight this scourge.

This has led to an increase in crime, poverty, and health issues. The people who supply these substances live among us. They are our brothers and sisters, husbands or wives, uncles to some of us. We don’t have to wait until it affects our family members. We must help the government fight this war.

Several initiatives have been conducted to address the causes and effects of this chronic social and health problem at national, provincial and local government levels. The Gauteng government has partnered with various organisations to discourage youth and children from getting involved with substances. However, despite these efforts, surveys indicate that substance use is still on the rise.

According to the 2023 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, drug use continues to be high worldwide. In 2021, one in every 17 people aged 15–64 had used a drug in the past 12 months. The estimated number of users grew from 240 million in 2011 to 296 million in 2021 (5.8 percent of the global population aged 15–64). This 23% increase is partly due to population growth. Cannabis continues to be the most used drug, with an estimated 219-million users (4.3% of the global adult population) in 2021.

STEVEN ZWANE | Let's inspire our youth to take an active role in shaping a better SA

In SA, more and more women, especially those aged 15 and upwards, are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. To reduce the prevalence of substance abuse in our communities, the Gauteng department of social development has a flagship prevention programme called “ Ke Moja ” (I am fine without drugs), which empowers children, youth and parents about the dangers of substance abuse.

Substance abuse is also a major contributor to gender-based violence (GBV). Many individuals who are addicted to drugs resort to criminal activities to finance the addiction, leading to an increase in theft, burglary, and even violent crimes. It can also lead to an increased risk of HIV and other infectious diseases, as drug users may engage in risky behaviours such as sharing needles. Regrettably, SA is one of the countries experiencing a serious problem of substance abuse. In 2022, the country was identified as one of the world’s largest methamphetamine markets by Harm Reduction International in its Global State of Harm Reduction report.

Over the years, we have seen a growing trend in the number of young people involved in alcohol and substance abuse. Sadly, underage drinking has also been a growing problem. Many underage children who are supposed to be focusing on their studies have fallen into the trap of drinking. Numerous studies have revealed that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics. Meanwhile, school pupils who abuse substances are three times more likely to get involved in violent crimes. Frighteningly, the average age of drug dependency in SA is about 12 years old and continues to drop.

South African society is confronted with many social ills, ranging from young people who are homeless, children being attacked, dysfunctional families, high prevalence of teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, the spread of HIV/Aids, chronic diseases, and GBV. All these problems are mainly caused by the use of substances.

Although the government has its own integrated National Drug Master Plan to fight against substance abuse and drugs, serving as the national blueprint to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking and mitigate its negative effects on society, the government alone cannot win this battle.

It requires everyone’s active participation. It requires all hands on deck if we are to end this heinous monster that is crippling the future of our children.

We need everyone to stand up and fight the scourge of drug and alcohol abuse in our communities. It is everybody's responsibility.

Substance abuse does not know any boundaries; it does not recognise class, colour, or background. It affects everyone. We need to encourage and help our children avoid alcohol-related problems by discussing the dangers of drinking.

  •   Mashabela is a communicator with Gauteng department of social development

TODANI NOBOBA | Struggle for today’s youth affects their own future

Margot brews | pandemic of substance abuse to cope with depression in sa.

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Stronger than fentanyl and heroin: Nitazenes are causing fear amongst Australian law enforcement and medical authorities

"They were intending to take heroin," Bec tells 7.30.

"That's my understanding."

On the Tuesday after the Easter long weekend, Aboriginal peer worker Bec arrived at the Penrith needle and syringe exchange to see an unusual sight.

A line-up around the corner of people waiting for the service to open.

They were there to get take-home naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose.

"At first I was kind of, you know ... mucking around with them. I said, 'You have a big weekend, guys?'" she said.

"They were quick to tell me what had actually gone on … there'd been 20-odd overdoses in that one weekend."

That was strange to Bec, because many of the clients were seasoned heroin users. 

They all said the substance was a yellow powder. Some speculated the heroin had been cut with fentanyl, but no one was sure.

A bag of white powder

"They were telling me it happened very quickly, that people were going down very quick, and that it was taking multiple doses of naloxone to bring them back ... anywhere up to five."

The dozens of overdoses were later revealed to be caused by nitazenes, a deadly synthetic opioid which can be stronger than fentanyl and hundreds of times more potent than heroin.

Within days, peer support workers from the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) were on the streets of Penrith delivering extra doses of take-home naloxone to drug users and training them on how to administer it.

"I was just concerned that we weren't going to be able to dispense the naloxone as fast as we were needing it," Bec, an Aboriginal peer worker, said.

Researchers, harm reduction experts and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) worry that this is the start of what's to come as nitazenes increasingly infiltrate Australia's underground drug supply.

They are now warning anyone taking any kind of illicit substance to be on high alert, carry naloxone and be ready to use it.

'This might be coming at you in the future'

A bag of pills.

Nitazenes have been found in every state and territory in Australia and in drugs from heroin to MDMA, ketamine, cocaine and counterfeit pharmaceutical products.

The class of synthetic opioids were first developed by pharmaceutical companies looking for alternatives to morphine in the 1950s, but were abandoned because they were too potent.

Nitazenes are still not being used pharmaceutically but they are starting to appear in the illicit market in Australia, reflecting trends around the world.

In the UK there's been over 170 overdose deaths from nitazenes. It's estimated there's been thousands more in the USA over the past few years.

A woman wearing a hazmat suit in a laboratory.

Statistics around the exact number of Australians who have died from nitazene overdose are hard to confirm, because many people don't know what they've taken and testing isn't always done to confirm which opioid a person has overdosed on.

But the Victorian Coroners Court has confirmed there's been at least 16 deaths in that state alone.

The NSW cluster earlier this year was picked up because there were so many overdoses in a short time period.

Health workers were able to get a sample of the substance and send it for testing, resulting in a state-wide alert through the NSW Health early-warning alert system. But not every state has a drug alert system like NSW. 

NSW Ambulance Senior Assistant Commissioner Clare Beech says the service has seen an anecdotal increase in call outs for overdoses in some areas.

"We're noticing that drug users are having experiences that they weren't expecting," she said. 

"They might be finding that the drugs that they're using are much stronger than they expected, or they were expected to have a certain reaction and in fact they might be having the opposite effect.

"So I guess the message is, you just never know exactly what you're taking. And if someone around you becomes unwell, make sure you call triple-0 as quickly as you can."

An image of a nasal spray.

This week Victoria's chief health officer warned people have been seriously harmed after ingesting a white powder sold as cocaine that contained a type of nitazene.

Professor Nadine Ezard from the National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs says that is particularly concerning.

"If someone's purchasing cocaine for its stimulant effect, and they inadvertently take nitazenes, which are sedatives, they may actually become unconscious or even stop breathing altogether," she said.

"Even if you're thinking you're just only ever going to do a pill or a couple of lines of cocaine, you really need to be aware that this might be coming at you in the future.

"We don't know why they're ending up in other drug classes. It doesn't make a lot of sense to give someone a sedative when they're asking for a stimulant drug."

Nitazenes coming from China and India

Two plastic bags containing pills.

The AFP is warning that the synthetic opioid is likely to become more prevalent as drug dealers look for cheap alternatives to heroin after the Taliban cracked down on opium production in Afghanistan in 2022.

"Certainly that has been reported, that particularly in Afghanistan, the crackdown on opium production has caused organised crime across the globe to look to alternative opioid substances," AFP Commander Paula Hudson told 7.30.

The AFP says their intelligence suggests nitazenes are being manufactured cheaply in factories in China and India and imported into Australia through the mail.

A woman in a police uniform stares at the camera

"We are concerned with the increase in border detections of nitazenes. Since January 2023 to now we've detected 37 packages," Commander Hudson said.

"Criminal organisations stop at nothing to reap benefits and make money out of the misery of people and communities. They are seeing nitazenes purely as a cheap alternative.

"It does present a real danger to people that are thinking they're taking one substance, particularly people that are not tolerant to opioids, they might be thinking they're taking ketamine, ecstasy.

"Opioids have an effect of respiratory decompression, that means your breathing shallows, it reduces, and quickly you go into unconsciousness.

"And that's then, you know, on the pathway to to death."

Bracing for more overdoses

A man and a woman restock a vending machine.

User organisations say that as well as seeing nitazenes cut with other drugs, some clients are intentionally using them.

Because there's such a variation in strength, that's a dangerous prospect, according to NUAA CEO Dr Mary Harrod.

"I would say to be very, very careful," she said.

"[A] recent incident where two people overdosed, intentionally taking nitazenes, they thought they were getting one type of nitazene and they got another which was much stronger."

The NUAA runs a free statewide naloxone postal service, which has seen an increase in orders since alerts for nitazenes began.

A woman wearing a cardigan.

Dr Harrod says even occasional recreational drug users who would never consider using drugs like heroin need to be aware they are at risk of an opioid overdose and carry naloxone and be aware they may need multiple doses.

"You should always call an ambulance because the naloxone might wear off and the person will go back into overdosing," Dr Harrod said.

Watch 7.30 , Mondays to Thursdays 7:30pm on ABC iview and ABC TV

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108 Drug Abuse Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best drug abuse topic ideas & essay examples, 👍 good essay topics on drug abuse, 💡 most interesting drug abuse topics to write about, ❓ drug abuse research questions.

Drug abuse essays are an excellent way to learn about the issue and its influence on various groups and populations while demonstrating your understanding.

Various substances, including alcohol, narcotics, and other mind-altering products, are a popular method for recreation in some communities.

However, they are prone to result in addiction, psychological as well as mental, and lead the person to pursue another dose before anything else.

In doing so, he or she can eventually ruin his or her life, which is why most drugs are currently banned around the world. This article will offer you some tips that will help you write an excellent essay and receive the top grade.

Youth is a major demographic that is affected by addiction issues due to drug consumption. Young people are impressionable and prone to search for new sensations. Drugs can offer a sense of novelty and provide an experience they have not had before, leading to considerable appeal.

Considering that young people are generally not wealthy and have to focus on work to succeed in life, essays on drug among youth can use a variety of excellent topics. You can offer your ideas on the reason for the phenomenon’s existence and ways in which it can be prevented.

However, remember that the purpose of the programs should be to help the people who are at risk.

There are many other drug abuse essay topics that you can explore, with poverty being a prominent example. Despite their conditions, many people turn to substance abuse to try and escape the unpleasant aspects of their life.

These population segments are more likely to suffer after acquiring a drug habit than young people because they generally receive less attention.

Furthermore, poor neighborhoods with relatively low amounts of surveillance by law enforcement are likely to house drug dealers who prey on vulnerable people.

You can discuss this topic or discuss a variety of other ones, as the relationship between poverty and poor outcomes has been researched deeply.

Here are some additional tips for your essay:

  • Try to use examples to illustrate your points about various aspects of the issue. Drug addiction essay quotations from people who are affected by the condition or have overcome it can offer valuable insights. They also legitimize your findings by providing parallels with the real world.
  • Alcohol essays are an excellent choice, as the substance is legal and available to everyone without much difficulty. Nevertheless, its effects can be devastating, especially if a person’s consumption is chronic.
  • Try to write a drug abuse essay outline before starting work, as it will help you to organize the essay. Select some prominent ideas that you want to discuss and organize them in a manner that represents a logical progression. You do not have to discard all of the other concepts, as you can make them sub-headings under your main titles.
  • Be sure to include a drug abuse essay introduction and conclusion in your work. They will help you provide a structure to the essay and make it easier for the reader to understand your ideas. The introduction should describe the topic and provide the thesis, and the conclusion should restate your main points.

Visit IvyPanda for drug abuse essay titles, and other useful samples on various subjects to help you with your writing work!

  • Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse Drug trafficking contributes to drug abuse in the society. Drug trafficking also contributes to increased criminal activities that affect the security of citizens.
  • Drug Abuse and Current Generation Drug abuse also breeds an array of behavioral problems among young people, which may affect their suitability to fit in the society.
  • Social Media Impact on Drug Abuse Thus, social media platforms definitely contribute to the misuse of various drugs by romanticizing their consumption and making “social drug use” acceptable among users.
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse For along time now, drug and alcohol abuse in the society has been a problem that affects the youth and the society at large. This paper highlights the problems of drug abuse and alcohol drinking […]
  • Consequences of Drug Abuse The endless stream of drugs, obtainable to the individuals with little or no restrictions, poses a serious inquiry. When assessing the advantages of using pharmaceutical drugs, it is essential to consider the severity of health […]
  • Drug Abuse & Its Effects on Families Focusing on the family seems to be by far, the most known and effective way of finding a solution with regards to the “war on drugs” since it more promising to end the vicious cycle […]
  • Drug and Substance Abuse Many experts consider addiction as a disease as it affects a specific part of the brain; the limbic system commonly referred to as the pleasure center.
  • Prevention Research: The Fight Against Drug Abuse It is agreeable that US’s ‘War on Drugs’ has been an effective substance abuse prevention plan despite the hiccups that the program faces and its inability to attain some of its designated mandates within the […]
  • Substance Abuse: Prevention Strategies and National Benchmarks Still, this desire to get away from problems by means of substances instead of making effort to improve an individual’s environment contributed to the evolution of the challenge of substance abuse into a real public […]
  • Prevention Programs: Drug Abuse Resistance Education This program focuses on handling peer pressure among youths, a crucial cause of drug abuse in the country. The program is also grounded on sound research, which offers the critical elements vital to handling the […]
  • Drug Abuse in Adolescents and Its Causes Scientific research shows that the development factors for adolescent drug abuse are not limited to a set of three to five causes, but are usually linked to the integration of destructive environmental conditions.
  • Merton’s Argument of Deviance: The Case of Drug Abuse The most prominent example in support of Merton’s argument in relation to drug abuse is that cultural and social circumstances play a crucial role in defining people’s desire to engage in drug use.
  • Drug Abuse Among the Youth Essentially, this case study will allow the evaluation of the prevailing cases of drug abuse among the youth. In this regard, the pain and peer pleasure cannot be persevered to allow an explicit cure of […]
  • Teenage Drug Abuse in the United States The problem of teenage drug abuse inflicts a threat to the future society and health state of the overall population in the United States.
  • Youth Drug Abuse Among, Education, and Policies Although drug abuse encompasses improper use of drugs disregarding the prescriptions of medical practitioners, the principal challenges of drug abuse occasion from abuse of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  • The Formative Evaluation: Program of Addressing Drug Abuse in Schools The proposed program sought to educate students about the challenges of drug abuse, its impacts on academic performance, and the best techniques to avoid the vice.
  • Drug Abuse. “Nine Years Under” Book by Sheri Booker The book is thought provoking and important because it allows representing the difficult social situation and the problems of gang violence and drugs in the United States from the personal point of view.
  • Drug Abuse and Prevention Strategies When specialists deal with preventative factors, they pay attention to both mental and physical ways to resist the drug. The symbiosis of these procedures is exceptionally efficient in terms of the drug rehabilitation process when […]
  • Reasons Behind Youth’s Engagement to Drug Abuse in the 21st Century Although youths in the 21st century engage in drug abuse due to several factors, it suffices to declare factors such as the rising unemployment status, peer pressure, and their hiked tendency to copy their parents’ […]
  • Drug Abuse and Society Regardless of the many intervention measures that can be adopted to solve this problem of drug abuse, the most effective intervention measure is to create awareness to youths to enable them change their behaviors and […]
  • Music Analysis: Drug Abuse in Music So in this song the artist is also lamenting the dangers of drugs and the theme of the music is one that advocates against tackling the problem with issues of drug abuse by arguing the […]
  • Drug Abuse as a Social Problem This poses as problem to the society because many of the people who are unemployed will resort to different ways of seeking money and pleasure.
  • Drug Abuse and Its Psychological Effects The purpose of this paper is to explore in more depth the psychological effects of addiction on the family and inner circle of the addict.
  • Drug Abuse, Aggression and Antisocial Behavior The use of abusive drugs can cause anger in people because of the effect they have on the brain. An example of how alcohol can cause aggression in a person is that it impairs an […]
  • Policies for Pregnant Women With Drug Abuse Thus, out of all the offered policies, financial support for therapy is the best one, as it motivates prevention and treatment, which, in turn, causes the improvement of this situation.
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Canada Therefore, it contributes as a central factor in the essence of the character, and it is crucial to understand the core definition and the elements that foster the ideology.
  • Mitigating Drug Abuse in Pine View School The inclusion of professionals in the fields of health care, counseling, and drugs is expected to promote the delivery of desirable results.
  • Drug Abuse and Its Negative Effects This paper aims to highlight what the field of psychology says about the negative effects of drugs and why people continue using despite the consequences. The main effect is that it creates a memory of […]
  • Drug Abuse in Lake County, California The topic of drug abuse is essential for discussion due to the need to develop strategies to prevent and minimize the dangerous consequences of drug abuse in different regions.
  • Drug Abuse Among Homeless Young Adults in New Jersey The reason why young adults in New Jersey get involved in drugs and alcohol after becoming homeless is to manage their situations in an attempt to attain the tentative pleasure of life despite their problems. […]
  • Community Intervention Practices Against Drug Abuse The key features that result in successful community-based intervention on drug abuse are integrated for effectiveness and efficiency. On the other hand, drug abuse refers to the consumption of substances that elicit particular feelings and […]
  • Drug Abuse Effects on Health and Nervous System These numerous damages severely affect the quality of the brains work and the health of the nervous system. While discussing the effects of drug addiction, it is essential to notice that it has a devastating […]
  • Alcoholism, Domestic Violence and Drug Abuse Kaur and Ajinkya researched to investigate the “psychological impact of adult alcoholism on spouses and children”. The work of Kaur and Ajinkya, reveals a link between chronic alcoholism and emotional problems on the spouse and […]
  • Monitoring the Future: National Survey Results on Drug Use National survey results on drug use obtained by Monitoring the Future have a significant value to the development of various approaches with regard to the prevention of drug abuse.
  • The Health Issues Associated With Drug Abuse It is therefore imperative to develop strategies for health promotion to reduce the number of teenagers, the most at-risk family member when it comes to drug abuse.
  • Fentanyl – Drug Profile and Specific and Drug Abuse The drug has the effect of depressing the respiratory center, constricting the pupils, as well as depressing the cough reflex. The remainder 75% of fentanyl is swallowed and absorbed in G-tract.
  • Cases of Drug Abuse Amongst Nursing Professionals It is noteworthy that at the top of the information, the date posted is Monday, February 14, 2011, yet against the information, the date is February 11, 2011.
  • The Treatment of Drug Abuse Any medical practitioner treating a drug abuse patient has to be careful in many aspects, like: He has to be careful on the issue that if the addiction has effected the brain of the patient.
  • Drug Courts and Detoxification: Approach to Drug Abuse Treatment However, since 1989, the US federal system has been providing the majority of drug abusers with proper treatment or education with the help of a drug court option.
  • Drug Abuse in Adolescents Aged 15-19 Years Old: A Public Health Menace In addition, the objectives of the paper are as follows: the first aim is to analyze the collected data and produce a review of the information.
  • Drug Abuse and Addiction Holimon has succeeded in reviving some of her family relations, and she is still putting a lot of effort to get ahead in this area to the fullest extent possible.
  • Sports as a Solution to Youth Substance Abuse: Dr. Collingwood’s View His comments made me realize that it would be unwise by the end of the day for any parent to leave their children under the mercy of the media where they learned that doing drugs […]
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  • Critical Issues in Education: Drug Abuse and Alcoholism For this case, the ministry concerned has a very hard task of ensuring there are no critical issues that are left unsolved that relate to education, failure to which will affect the performance of students […]
  • The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program’s Effectiveness While evaluating the effectiveness of the DARE program analysis in accordance with the methodologies and evaluation criteria used, the given assessments refer to various methods of the analysis of participants, as well as various data […]
  • Biopsychosocial Experience in Drug Abuse Treatment There has to be a preventive strategy in every intervention procedure to avoid the occurrence of a disease. I find the course of treatment in this intervention beneficial for the creation of the needed preventive […]
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  • Social Behaviour as a Science: Drug Abuse in Youth Thus, the application of social psychology to the phenomenon of youth drug abuse helps to explain how social factors impact the prevalence of and risk for drug abuse.
  • ACTIQ Prescription Drug Abuse The fast-acting characteristic of ACTIQ is a result of being absorbed in the mucosal lining of the mouth. ACTIQ is a synthetic drug that is available as lozenges/lollipops, which are designed to be sucked in […]
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  • Financial Planning for Drug Abuse Prevention in Virginia Estates Therefore, the first preferred sources for the program are the County Commission and the Alabama Department of Corrections. The program can be financed by the Montgomery County Commission in the short term and Alabama Department […]
  • Addressing the Drug Abuse in Parolees and Probationers The aim of the program is to address the drug abuse in parolees and probationers during their probations and decrease the use of drugs in them.
  • Problem of Drug Abuse in Schools The research worked on the hypothesis that the treatment would reduce or result in the total cessation of drug use, and better relations with family and friends.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse in the United States The combination of Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are effective for the patients, who want to reduce and control the level of pain.
  • Drug Use Among Parolees and Probationers: A Comprehensive Plan To reduce drug use in probationers and the probability of a new crime, the approach to drug testing needs to be changed.
  • Drug Abuse and Medicaid Program The emergence of alcohol and drug abuse as a problem and the intensification of people with mental health problems, have exposed the society to the likelihood of involvement of the population in substance abuse.
  • Impact of Drug Abuse on Adolescent Development Therefore, it is important for counselors to consider these stages to help them address the issue of substance abuse among adolescents. In the habitual stage, most adolescents take drugs to help them modify their moods.
  • Drug Abuse: Age, Gender and Addictive Susceptibility This incorporates the aspects of gender where males and females possess varying biological constitutions that might affect the prescribed treatments in the realms of addiction. It is important to consider the rapidity and susceptibility of […]
  • Drug Abuse Prevention Programs Additionally, it is possible to prospect the success of the program in case the required readiness from the community can be unveiled prior to the program execution.
  • The Cultural Context and Ethics of Prevention of Drug Abuse The first prevention strategy outlined in the document is the involvement of young people in all levels of the prevention program establishment. Concurrently, it is crucial to relate this technique with the subject of culture […]
  • Use of Psychotropic Medications in the Treatment of Drug Abuse This is because the mental illness is, literally, the one that sustains the abuse of drugs and thus after it is healed; the patient will have no reason to continue abusing the drugs.
  • Drug Abuse: Awareness Amongst the Youths This project is going to carry out a public awareness campaign with the aim of educating the young people on the hazards related to the vice of drug and substance abuse. The awareness campaign is […]
  • A New Alcohol and Drug-Abuse Rehabilitation Center in Liverpool Hospital, Sydney The hospital, in response to this distress, has decided to bring help closer to the people of Liverpool by the construction of the annex facility.
  • Spirituality Effect on Drug Abuse Treatment Programs The hypothesis of the study was that spirituality is appropriate in the formal treatment of addiction; the study confirmed this hypothesis.
  • Drug Abuse and Religious Spirituality Concept Particularly, this high rate of relapses was determined by Olmstead et al.as a direct result of a degree of failure on the part of drug abuse treatment programs to sufficiently address the primary reason why […]
  • Drug Abuse and Harmful Health Effects The principle recognizes the importance of helping drug addicts out of the activity but also sees the importance of protecting their rights to health matters if the country is to realize economic development.
  • The Extent of Drug Abuse Among People in America Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Said He Lied about Crack Cocaine Use Because He Was Embarrassed Mayor lied about the use of crack cocaine The article titled “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he lied about crack […]
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  • Drug Abuse as an Ethical Issue On the side of duties and obligations, the societal norms stipulate that individuals should be caring to other members of the society especially the children and the old.
  • “Cocaine: Abuse and Addiction” by National Institute on Drug Abuse The literature provides us with a report of a research that has been conducted in the US regarding the topic of cocaine and drug abuse.
  • Prescription Painkillers, the New Drug Abuse of Choice Studies attribute the recent increase in the misuse of prescription drugs to an increase in the use of the Internet, which facilitates the growth of illegitimate online drug stores and uncontrolled online prescription drug sales.
  • Drug Abuse: Comprehensive Review The effects associated with drug abuse tend to vary depending on an individual’s age and the phase of drug abuse that the person is in.
  • Adolescent’s Drug Abuse and Therapy Success When one accepts to put up with negative peer pressure, they end up giving up the personal trusts and values thus the pressure becomes a form of a negative force.”Does peer pressure affect the decision […]
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Why your alcohol tolerance diminishes as you age

The same amount of alcohol is likely to have a bigger impact in your 60s or 70s than it did in your 20s. Here’s why one margarita could feel like two or three.

A middle-aged couple seen from behind as they toast with glasses of white wine from a shaded overlook by the sea.

If you’ve noticed that having a cocktail or two packs a bigger punch now than it did when you were younger, it’s not your imagination.

Many people don’t realize that both men and women develop an increased sensitivity and a decreased tolerance to alcohol as they get older. It's important to pay attention to this issue because research has shown that alcohol use has been increasing among people ages 65 and older in recent years —and the size of the older adult population is expanding rapidly now that people are living longer, notes George Koob, a neuroscientist and director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “People are largely unaware of the physiological changes [related to aging] that lead to higher blood alcohol levels and bigger impairments in behavior and cognition.”

“The effects may be sneaky in the sense that people think, Well, I used to be able to drink X— but they can’t necessarily pick up where they left off because it’s going to have more of an impact when they’re older,” says Michael Weaver, medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “There are a lot of physiological changes that take place as we get older.”

The simple truth: having one martini or margarita in your 60s or 70s could affect you the way two or three of these cocktails did in your 20s or 30s.

What’s behind the lower tolerance

As people get older, their bodies change. Over decades, for example, a person’s body composition shifts: The percentage of body fat tends to increase as people get older , even if their body weight stays the same, and the amount of water in the body decreases.

A study in a 2023 issue of the journal Kidney Research and Clinical Practice found that in people whose body weight is in the normal range, water accounts for 62 percent of that weight between the ages of three and   10; after that, it stays steady in males and declines to 55 percent in females between the ages of 11 and 60. At age 61, body water decreases in both sexes—to 57 percent in men and 50 percent in women.

The decline in the body’s water content is significant because “alcohol is a water-soluble substance,” says Alison Moore, director of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging and the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging. Because people have less body water as they get older, “if you drink the same amount at 80 as you did at 30, your blood alcohol level will be much higher.” In that scenario, one drink can have the same impact as two or three did when you were younger, causing you to feel intoxicated much sooner.

Keep in mind: At any age, women are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol because pound for pound women have less body water than men do. Women also have less of a stomach enzyme that helps with the metabolism of alcohol, Moore says. As a result, if a man and a woman who each weigh 150 pounds drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman will have a higher blood alcohol level than the man will. While this is true at any age, it also means that women will be even more susceptible to the effects of alcohol, as they get older.

( Alcohol is killing more women than ever before )

Meanwhile, people’s ability to metabolize alcohol changes as they get older because the activity of certain enzymes—alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase, and cytochrome P450 2E1 —that process alcohol diminish with age, says Olivera Bogunovic, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and medical director of the Alcohol, Drug, and Addiction Outpatient Program at McLean Hospital.

As a result, “the effects of alcohol build up faster and last longer,” says Stephen Holt, an addiction medicine specialist and associate professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine.    

The brain also becomes more sensitive to the effects of alcohol as people get older, Moore says. “This can make people more prone to developing problems with coordination or balance,” increasing their risk of falls. It also can impact judgment, reaction time, and driving ability.

Taken together, “all of these physiological changes add up,” Weaver says. “It’s a gradual change over time during adulthood.”

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In other words, there isn’t a sharp shift. The changes in physiology begin in the 40s and 50s and become more dramatic in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Moore says.

The potential for harm

An often overlooked concern: Older adults frequently take more medications than younger people do, and many prescriptions (including for some anticoagulants, sedatives, and diabetes drugs) and over-the-counter drugs (such as pain relievers and sleep aids) can have problematic interactions with alcohol.

This is a risk especially with medications that are metabolized by the liver, says Holt. “Alcohol could slow the metabolism of drugs or drugs could impair the metabolism of alcohol.”

These interactive effects could cause medications to become less or more effective. Or, they could create additive side effects such as heightened drowsiness or an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, says Moore. If you’re taking any medication, be sure to read the package label and insert carefully—and/or talk to your doctor—to see if you should abstain from drinking alcohol altogether.

( Are you taking the wrong medications? You might be surprised. )

It used to be thought that moderate alcohol consumption confers health benefits, but experts now recognize that regularly imbibing can have a variety of harmful health consequences. “It can exacerbate depression, increase blood pressure, and lead to cardiac arrhythmias,” Koob says.

Alcohol also can interfere with sleep. Sometimes people have a nightcap to help them fall asleep, Bogunovic says. “Often they don’t realize that alcohol disrupts sleep architecture, causing them to spend less time in deep sleep and to have more fragmented sleep.” This can be especially problematic as people get older, given that insomnia and other sleep disturbances become more common with advancing age .

Meanwhile, the chances of developing many chronic diseases increase as people get older, and alcohol consumption can amplify some of these risks. Regular alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for liver disease and head and neck cancer, and chronic alcohol use has been linked with an acceleration of age-related cognitive decline and brain atrophy. Research has found that having as little as one alcoholic beverage per day increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer , especially for estrogen-receptor positive tumors.

Plus, with advancing age, people often have medical conditions such as heart failure, liver or kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, or lung disease, Holt says, and “when you add alcohol on top of these, they become more dangerous.”

Playing it safe

Ultimately, the risk-vs-enjoyment calculus of consuming alcohol should be considered on an individual basis, based on your current health status, your medication use, and other factors, experts say. “I don’t think alcohol is evil by any means but it’s a riskier proposition as you get older—you have to be more cautious,” says Moore.

If you do drink alcohol, “make sure you monitor what you’re doing,” Koob says, and “know what a drink looks like.” Depending on where you go or who’s pouring, an alcoholic beverage can look different. But the definition of a “standard drink” is consistent : 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of distilled spirits (such as vodka, gin, or tequila).  

( What's worse than a hangover? Hangxiety. Here's why it happens. )

According to the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans , the recommendation for moderate drinking is a maximum of two drinks per day for men, one drink per day for women. Based on the age-related physiological changes in the way people respond to alcohol, some experts believe the criteria should be changed for older adults—perhaps limiting intake to no more than one drink per day after age 65.

When you drink, try to have a meal or snack before having a cocktail or have a glass of wine with a meal, which will slow absorption of alcohol, Weaver says. And be sure to drink plenty of water or another non-alcoholic beverage—perhaps alternating these with alcoholic drinks—to help you stay hydrated.        

“Being around friends and family is so important as people get older,” Holt says. “Just be careful about trying to keep up with drinking with younger friends and family members.”

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Guest Essay

The Imperial Supreme Court

The facade of the Supreme Court building.

By Kate Shaw

Contributing Opinion Writer

The court’s decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, which overruled the 40-year-old Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, won’t affect Americans’ lives in as stark and immediate a way as the 2022 decision overruling Roe v. Wade.

But like Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Loper Bright has the potential to fundamentally transform major aspects of the health, safety and well-being of most Americans. That’s especially true when it is viewed alongside some of the other major cases about agency power the court has handed down in recent terms — and indeed in recent days — that have stripped agencies of power and shifted that power directly to federal courts.

Just this week, the court eliminated a key mechanism used by the Securities and Exchange Commission to enforce securities laws and enjoined an important Environmental Protection Agency emissions standard based on, in the words of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in dissent, an “underdeveloped theory that is unlikely to succeed on the merits.”

Out of the 1984 Chevron decision came the doctrine of Chevron deference. In essence, Chevron deference allowed agencies to use their expertise to determine how to carry out laws passed by Congress — laws intended to keep our air and water clean, our drugs safe and effective and our securities markets protected from fraud and deception.

The Supreme Court has now decreed that it, rather than agencies staffed by individuals with deep subject matter expertise and answerable to presidential appointees, will be the final arbiter of the meaning of every statute passed by Congress.

What does it mean to require agencies to take the “best” or “appropriate” or “feasible” steps to reduce air and water pollution or to keep workplaces safe? While Chevron directed courts to defer to agencies when they brought their expertise to bear on such questions and produced reasonable answers, the court will now decide for itself.

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Watch CBS News

What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for a second Trump administration

By Melissa Quinn , Jacob Rosen

Updated on: July 10, 2024 / 9:21 AM EDT / CBS News

Washington — Voters in recent weeks have begun to hear the name "Project 2025" invoked more and more by President Biden and Democrats, as they seek to sound the alarm about what could be in store if former President Donald Trump wins a second term in the White House.

Overseen by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the multi-pronged initiative includes a detailed blueprint for the next Republican president to usher in a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch.

Trump and his campaign have worked to distance themselves from Project 2025, with the former president going so far as to call some of the proposals "abysmal." But Democrats have continued to tie the transition project to Trump, especially as they find themselves mired in their own controversy over whether Mr. Biden should withdraw from the 2024 presidential contest following his startling debate performance last month.

Here is what to know about Project 2025:

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transition project that is composed of four pillars: a policy guide for the next presidential administration; a LinkedIn-style database of personnel who could serve in the next administration; training for that pool of candidates dubbed the "Presidential Administration Academy;" and a playbook of actions to be taken within the first 180 days in office.

It is led by two former Trump administration officials: Paul Dans, who was chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management and serves as director of the project, and Spencer Chretien, former special assistant to Trump and now the project's associate director.

Project 2025 is spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation, but includes an advisory board consisting of more than 100 conservative groups.

Much of the focus on — and criticism of — Project 2025 involves its first pillar, the nearly 900-page policy book that lays out an overhaul of the federal government. Called "Mandate for Leadership 2025: The Conservative Promise," the book builds on a "Mandate for Leadership" first published in January 1981, which sought to serve as a roadmap for Ronald Reagan's incoming administration.

The recommendations outlined in the sprawling plan reach every corner of the executive branch, from the Executive Office of the President to the Department of Homeland Security to the little-known Export-Import Bank. 

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with advisers in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D,C., on June 25, 2019.

The Heritage Foundation also created a "Mandate for Leadership" in 2015 ahead of Trump's first term. Two years into his presidency, it touted that Trump had instituted 64% of its policy recommendations, ranging from leaving the Paris Climate Accords, increasing military spending, and increasing off-shore drilling and developing federal lands. In July 2020, the Heritage Foundation gave its updated version of the book to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. 

The authors of many chapters are familiar names from the Trump administration, such as Russ Vought, who led the Office of Management and Budget; former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller; and Roger Severino, who was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vought is the policy director for the 2024 Republican National Committee's platform committee, which released its proposed platform on Monday. 

John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Trump, is a senior advisor to the Heritage Foundation, and said that the group will "integrate a lot of our work" with the Trump campaign when the official transition efforts are announced in the next few months.

Candidates interested in applying for the Heritage Foundation's "Presidential Personnel Database" are vetted on a number of political stances, such as whether they agree or disagree with statements like "life has a right to legal protection from conception to natural death," and "the President should be able to advance his/her agenda through the bureaucracy without hindrance from unelected federal officials."

The contributions from ex-Trump administration officials have led its critics to tie Project 2025 to his reelection campaign, though the former president has attempted to distance himself from the initiative.

What are the Project 2025 plans?

Some of the policies in the Project 2025 agenda have been discussed by Republicans for years or pushed by Trump himself: less federal intervention in education and more support for school choice; work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on food stamps; and a secure border with increased enforcement of immigration laws, mass deportations and construction of a border wall. 

But others have come under scrutiny in part because of the current political landscape. 

Abortion and social issues

In recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agenda calls for the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its 24-year-old approval of the widely used abortion pill mifepristone. Other proposed actions targeting medication abortion include reinstating more stringent rules for mifepristone's use, which would permit it to be taken up to seven weeks into a pregnancy, instead of the current 10 weeks, and requiring it to be dispensed in-person instead of through the mail.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that is on the Project 2025 advisory board, was involved in a legal challenge to mifepristone's 2000 approval and more recent actions from the FDA that made it easier to obtain. But the Supreme Court rejected the case brought by a group of anti-abortion rights doctors and medical associations on procedural grounds.

The policy book also recommends the Justice Department enforce the Comstock Act against providers and distributors of abortion pills. That 1873 law prohibits drugs, medicines or instruments used in abortions from being sent through the mail.

US-NEWS-SCOTUS-ABORTION-PILL-NEWSOM-TB

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade , the volume states that the Justice Department "in the next conservative administration should therefore announce its intent to enforce federal law against providers and distributors of such pills."

The guide recommends the next secretary of Health and Human Services get rid of the Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force established by the Biden administration before Roe's reversal and create a "pro-life task force to ensure that all of the department's divisions seek to use their authority to promote the life and health of women and their unborn children."

In a section titled "The Family Agenda," the proposal recommends the Health and Human Services chief "proudly state that men and women are biological realities," and that "married men and women are the ideal, natural family structure because all children have a right to be raised by the men and women who conceived them."

Further, a program within the Health and Human Services Department should "maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family."

During his first four years in office, Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military. Mr. Biden reversed that policy , but the Project 2025 policy book calls for the ban to be reinstated.

Targeting federal agencies, employees and policies

The agenda takes aim at longstanding federal agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The agency is a component of the Commerce Department and the policy guide calls for it to be downsized. 

NOAA's six offices, including the National Weather Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, "form a colossal operation that has become one of the main drivers of the climate change alarm industry and, as such, is harmful to future U.S. prosperity," the guide states. 

The Department of Homeland Security, established in 2002, should be dismantled and its agencies either combined with others, or moved under the purview of other departments altogether, the policy book states. For example, immigration-related entities from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Health and Human Services should form a standalone, Cabinet-level border and immigration agency staffed by more than 100,000 employees, according to the agenda.

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington on March 7, 2017.

If the policy recommendations are implemented, another federal agency that could come under the knife by the next administration, with action from Congress, is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agenda seeks to bring a push by conservatives to target diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives in higher education to the executive branch by wiping away a slew of DEI-related positions, policies and programs and calling for the elimination of funding for partners that promote DEI practices.

It states that U.S. Agency for International Development staff and grantees that "engage in ideological agitation on behalf of the DEI agenda" should be terminated. At the Treasury Department, the guide says the next administration should "treat the participation in any critical race theory or DEI initiative without objecting on constitutional or moral grounds, as per se grounds for termination of employment."

The Project 2025 policy book also takes aim at more innocuous functions of government. It calls for the next presidential administration to eliminate or reform the dietary guidelines that have been published by the Department of Agriculture for more than 40 years, which the authors claim have been "infiltrated" by issues like climate change and sustainability.

Immigration

Trump made immigration a cornerstone of his last two presidential runs and has continued to hammer the issue during his 2024 campaign. Project 2025's agenda not only recommends finishing the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but urges the next administration to "take a creative and aggressive approach" to responding to drug cartels at the border. This approach includes using active-duty military personnel and the National Guard to help with arrest operations along the southern border.

A memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that prohibits enforcement actions from taking place at "sensitive" places like schools, playgrounds and churches should be rolled back, the policy guide states. 

When the Homeland Security secretary determines there is an "actual or anticipated mass migration of aliens" that presents "urgent circumstances" warranting a federal response, the agenda says the secretary can make rules and regulations, including through their expulsion, for as long as necessary. These rules, the guide states, aren't subject to the Administration Procedure Act, which governs the agency rule-making process.

What do Trump and his advisers say about Project 2025?

In a post to his social media platform Friday, Trump wrote , "I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they're saying and some of the things they're saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them."

Trump's pushback to the initiative came after Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said in a podcast interview that the nation is "in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be."

But even before Roberts' comments during "The War Room" podcast — typically hosted by conservative commentator Steve Bannon, who reported to federal prison to begin serving a four-month sentence last week — Trump's top campaign advisers have stressed that Project 2025 has no official ties to his reelection bid.

Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, senior advisers to the Trump campaign, said in a November statement that 2024 policy announcements will be made by Trump or his campaign team.

"Any personnel lists, policy agendas, or government plans published anywhere are merely suggestions," they said.

While the efforts by outside organizations are "appreciated," Wiles and LaCivita said, "none of these groups or individuals speak for President Trump or his campaign."

In response to Trump's post last week, Project 2025 reiterated that it was separate from the Trump campaign.

"As we've been saying for more than two years now, Project 2025 does not speak for any candidate or campaign. We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy & personnel recommendations for the next conservative president. But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement," a statement on the project's X account said.

The initiative has also pushed back on Democrats' claims about its policy proposals and accused them of lying about what the agenda contains.

What do Democrats say?

Despite their attempts to keep some distance from Project 2025, Democrats continue to connect Trump with the transition effort. The Biden-Harris campaign frequently posts about the project on X, tying it to a second Trump term.

Mr. Biden himself accused his Republican opponent of lying about his connections to the Project 2025 agenda, saying in a statement that the agenda was written for Trump and "should scare every single American." He claimed on his campaign social media account  Wednesday that Project 2025 "will destroy America."

Congressional Democrats have also begun pivoting to Project 2025 when asked in interviews about Mr. Biden's fitness for a second term following his lackluster showing at the June 27 debate, the first in which he went head-to-head with Trump.

"Trump is all about Project 2025," Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told CNN on Monday. "I mean, that's what we really should be voting on right now. It's like, do we want the kind of president that is all about Project '25?"

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, one of Mr. Biden's closest allies on Capitol Hill, told reporters Monday that the agenda for the next Republican president was the sole topic he would talk about.

"Project 2025, that's my only concern," he said. "I don't want you or my granddaughter to live under that government."

In a statement reiterating her support for Mr. Biden, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida called Project 2025 "MAGA Republicans' draconian 920-page plan to end U.S. democracy, give handouts to the wealthy and strip Americans of their freedoms."

What are Republicans saying about Project 2025?

Two GOP senators under consideration to serve as Trump's running mate sought to put space between the White House hopeful and Project 2025, casting it as merely the product of a think tank that puts forth ideas.

"It's the work of a think tank, of a center-right think tank, and that's what think tanks do," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

He said Trump's message to voters focuses on "restoring common sense, working-class values, and making our decisions on the basis of that."

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance raised a similar sentiment in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," saying organizations will have good ideas and bad ideas.

"It's a 900-page document," he said Sunday. "I guarantee there are things that Trump likes and dislikes about that 900-page document. But he is the person who will determine the agenda of the next administration."

Jaala Brown contributed to this report.

Melissa Quinn is a politics reporter for CBSNews.com. She has written for outlets including the Washington Examiner, Daily Signal and Alexandria Times. Melissa covers U.S. politics, with a focus on the Supreme Court and federal courts.

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