Drugs Addiction


One of the current health issues in global society is drug abuse leading to dependence and addiction. For instance, for individuals aged fifty and above years requiring addiction treatment by 2020is estimated to be 4.5 million with the statistics expected to be higher for youths (Li and Caltabiano, 1). There are several health conditions associated with drug abuse and addiction that call for the health sector to fight against drug abuses and addiction including death. Statistics show that mortality rates from drug abuse are high across the world. For instance, in 2016, approximately 144,000 deaths occurred as a direct result of drug abuse internationally and a death rate of up to ten deaths for every 100,000 deaths in Russia and US (Ritchie and Roser, n.p). The significant prevalence and negative impact of drug abuse can make anyone wonder why people abuse drugs to the point of addiction and why not stop when the habit threatens life. The issue has several underlying preconceived ideas which can be put into different perspective with access to new knowledgethrough research.

Preconceived Ideas

The presumption is that drug abuse is a personal choice stemming from individual factors that one has control over and thus the user can control drug use or quit at will. People choose to use drugs and continue using them for pleasure and enjoyment, and therefore it is a personal choice they make.Additionally, people haveself-control which they can use control drug use and stop when their bodies no longer react well to the drugs. Abusing drugs to the point of addiction and continuing even after a medical warning is a sign of irresponsibility. The preconception is that people or rather addicts can stop abusing drugs at will by choosing not to and staying clean. These preconceived ideas about drug abuse and addictions make relatives and friends to addicts expect addicts to change after sometime and stop abusing drugs soonest possible thus increasing disappointment and neglect of addicts who cannot stop the abuse. The cases of relapse are many, and most addicts will have to undergo treatment for long to stop drug usage completely with others dying from an overdose. The stipulation appears as a sign of weakness and arrogance on the part of the addict under the preconceptions.

New knowledge

The issues of drug abuse and addictions have turn out to be more complicated than they are usually preconceived. Firstly, the causes and factors leading to drug abuse are not only individuals but also social factors. Social factors such as isolation and peer pressure are significant causes of drug abuses and addiction (Dingle, Cruwys and Frings,1). The provision means that to treat drug abuse and addition, factors beyond the individual have to be considered. The social factors are actually the major factors behind the relapse of addicts under treatment. Treatment of addicts thus requires the support and influences of social networks towards abstinence (Dingle, Cruwys and Frings, 1).

Secondly, drug abuse is not entirely within one’s control after a period of use. According to the National Institute on drug abuse, drug users can exercises control on drug use at the initial stages of use before addiction and abuses. They derive some positive effects such as feeling good and better and honestly believe they can control the use. However, over time the structure of the brain changes physically affecting the judgment, memory and decision-making abilities of the human neurological system (National Institute on Drug abuse, n.p). The provision means that drug abuses and addiction become medical problems and are not within the self-control of the addict. The provision means that drug abusers and addicts are actually not in control of their body and behaviors at the point of addiction and thus cannot stop drug abuse by choice as preconceived. After long use of drugs, the brain changes in cognitive functions of judgments, self-control and decision making thus the individual cannot control their use of the drugs. Therefore, the addicts need medical assistance and time to reset the brain to function normally and restore judgments for one to exercise self-control again. Ending an addition is thus not as simple as making a choice to as it is in choosing to take drugs initially.

How Information is Beneficial

The research offers new knowledge regarding underlying factors of drug abuse and addiction and offers a new perspective on treatment capabilities. Knowledge is beneficial in different capacities. Firstly, the knowledge derived from the research provides a better understanding of drug abuse and addiction thus helps in better understanding of the struggle on fighting addiction. Secondly, the knowledge expands the knowledge base on the causes of drug abuses and the extent of damage that happens to an addict. The information helps one to understand addicts better and realize their role as the social network in facilitating treatment of the addiction. Relatives and friends can understand that the patient is not in a position to exercise self-control at the point of addiction and understand that treating addiction is a medical process that requires time and support. People thus stop expecting instant response from their addicted loved ones and aid in the process by becoming positive influences and being supportive in the recovery process. Also, it guides drug users who are yet to be addicted to understand the denial in drug abuse use early and exercise control when they can thus reducing drug abuse and addiction prevalence.


Works Cited

Dingle, Genevieve A., Tegan Cruwys, and Daniel Frings. “Social identities as pathways into and out of addiction.” Frontiers in Psychology 6 (2015): 1795.

Li, Wendy, and Nerina Caltabiano. “Prevalence of substance abuse and socio-economic differences in substance abuse in an Australian community-dwelling elderly sample.” Health Psychology Open 4.1 (2017): 2055102917708136.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drug misuse and addiction.” Retrieved on 5 March 2019 fromhttps://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-misuse-addiction

Ritchie, Hannah., and Roser, Max. “Substance abuse.” Our World Data. Retrieved on 5 March 2019 from https://ourworldindata.org/substance-use

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