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Article Summary

Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

The effects of drug abuse are felt on many levels: personal, friends, family, and society. Using alcohol and other drugs carries many risks. Abuse of drugs and alcohol impairs your judgment, making you more likely to hurt yourself or others. Drug abuse may also result in trouble with the law, poor performance at work and school, and difficulty with relationships. In addition there are many health risks associated with drug abuse. Drug abuse can damage major organs, increase your risk of cancers, and even cause death. Additional effects of drug abuse include tolerance, withdrawal, sickness, overdose, and resorting to a life of crime.

Effects Drug Abuse on the Family

Parents who abuse drugs or alcohol tend to neglect their children leaving them to their own devices. Because they are preoccupied with their substances, they fail to provide the proper guidance that children need especially during their growing years. Teenagers who grow up in homes where a respected adult or parent uses alcohol or drugs have a higher tendency for developing the addiction later. This is mainly because the household is more lenient in terms of drug use.

Family and friends feel the effects of drug abuse as well. The user's preoccupation with the substance, plus its effects on mood and performance, can lead to marital problems and poor work performance or dismissal. It can disrupt family life and create destructive patterns of codependency. Meaning, the spouse or whole family, out of love or fear of consequences, inadvertently enables the user to continue using drugs by covering up, supplying money, or denying there is a problem.

Effects of Drug Abuse on the Community

According to national statistics, drinking and driving results in an injury every minute and one death every 32 minutes. In the United States, about 40% of traffic-related casualties are linked to alcohol use. Crime rates go up because of drug and alcohol related incidents. In 1992, over 25% of violent crimes and property crimes were attributed to drug and alcohol abuse. Three to four percent of social welfare cases in the country were caused by substance abuse. Income maintenance, cash assistance, foster care and other social welfare programs had to spend a lot on households affected by substance abuse. The abuse of drugs and alcohol impairs the individual's productivity. It can affect one's ability to maintain a full-time job.

The effects of drug abuse on society are manifested through lost work time and inefficiency. Drug users are more likely than nonusers to have occupational accidents, endangering themselves, and endanger those around them. Over half of the highway deaths in the United States involve alcohol. Drug-related crime can disrupt neighborhoods due to violence among drug dealers, threats to residents, and the crimes of the addicts themselves.

Effects of Drug Abuse on Economics
Drug abuse causes the government to spend a lot of money that could otherwise be spent on education or other channels. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the US, the total economic cost of substance abuse has reached to a whopping $245 billion. This was spent on treatment and prevention costs, healthcare, losses on job productivity and crime and social welfare.

Effects of Drug Abuse on the User's Health

Substance abuse can lead to the prevalence of many health issues. Crimes are just one thing but the spread of certain types of illnesses is another one of the many impacts of addiction. People who are abuse or are addicted to drugs are apt to behave irresponsibly. This essentially translates to undertaking dangerous sexual activities and making wrong decisions that are otherwise prevented by sobriety. Irresponsible sexual activities can lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS.

The health problems associated with the effects of drug abuse are potentially lethal depending on factors such as frequency of use, the kind of drug taken, how much is taken, how quickly it gets into the brain, what other drugs are taken at the same time, the differences in body size and chemistry, and the length of time the drugs are used. Drugs which are ingested by smoking tend to result in increased lung problems as well as mouth and throat cancers. Drugs that affect the central nervous system tend to list similar strings of symptoms involving psychotic behaviors. Stimulants give increased risks of heart attacks and so forth. Another common thread is pregnancy. Drugs can have very strong adverse reactions in the unborn children and cause associated problems, which can kill the baby and mother, or lead to a lifetime of health problems. Additionally, there are strong effects from mixing drugs.

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