What you need to know about drug abuse

In science, the term drug is used for products of plants, animals, and minerals that have curative properties. In everyday language, this term is used for narcotic drugs that are psychoactive substances (those substances that alter the state of mind, mood, and behavior). Their repeated consumption can lead to addiction. Due to numerous unwanted and harmful effects of the production and marketing of these substances, they are either illegal activities (e.g. production of opium, cocaine, etc.) or strictly controlled by the state (for drugs such as amphetamines, morphine, etc.).


Modern Classification of Diseases defines all health disorders that may occur due to the intake of psychoactive substances. Among them are the most important concepts of acute poisoning (intoxication ), abuse of and dependence on substances and withdrawal syndrome or crisis.


Abuse represents the periodical taking of psychoactive substances that causes damage to health, either physical (as in cases of hepatitis when entering drug by unsterile syringes) or mental (e.g. episodes of a depressive condition in the intensive consumption of alcohol). This all leads to:


  • Acute intoxication is a transient condition that occurs after the intake of psychoactive substances, when there is a change in mental functioning, with changes of consciousness (commonly sees increased alertness or drowsiness – depending on which drug is in question), altered thought process, sometimes the appearance of hallucinations. It also changes the mood which may cause euphoria, fear or panic attack. The behavior is also changing from hyperactive and fast, with lots of movement and exaggerated expression of emotions to slow, lethargic, where a person works drowsy and distracted. The duration of these changes is different and depends on the type of incorporated substances. In the event that you take excessive doses of a substance that can lead to death, then we talk about an overdose.


·         Dependence on psychoactive substances implies the existence of at least three of the following symptoms: craving for taking substances, physical withdrawal syndrome when use of the substance is interrupted, tolerance to the effects of previously effective dose of the substance, preoccupation with substance, neglecting other things, large amount of time for acquisition and taking the substance, as well as continuing exposure to a substance, despite knowledge of its harmful effects. There is a psychological and physical dependence on psychoactive substances. Alcohol, sedatives, and opiates lead to one and to another, other drugs usually lead to a state of psychological dependence whose symptoms can sometimes be very profound and result in deterioration of the overall psychophysical condition of addicts.


  • Withdrawal syndrome or crisis are a group of symptoms that occur after the termination of the introduction of psychoactive substances that a person is dependent of. Beginning and current abstinence crisis is limited in time and depends on the type and quantity of substances that are taken. Symptoms of withdrawal syndrome can be expressed in the mental and the physical level.


  • Poly is very common among young people and is at the same time taking more psychoactive substances because it is a combination of different drugs, drugs and alcohol amplify their effects.


Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is about having a law prohibited drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy, heroin or other drugs to which it is possible to reach only by illegal means, as well as the abuse of legal drugs that can get at the pharmacy with a prescription or without a prescription. Some people are starting to abuse drugs to overcome stress and emotional problems while others want to achieve a state of intoxication. Later, when they develop an addiction, people continue to abuse drugs to be able to function and to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.


Drugs are not the specificity of our century. For them, they knew and prehistoric humans, narcotics are mentioned in Sumerian tablets, the Indian sacred books of the Vedas, the Egyptian papyri, and in China were led real wars over opium. Also, the production of alcoholic beverages began very early. The ancient Egyptians made wine, the Church in Europe used it in the rite of Communion. In Renaissance era, alcohol is posted as an integral part of the European culture. For a long time, drugs were limited to the regions in which they are produced, for example, the hashish was used in the Middle East, khat at the Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, opium in Asia, cocaine in South America, but in the 20th century they got used worldwide.  Some of the reasons that contributed this pandemic are: determined legal status of protected substances (Tobacco and alcohol), and somewhere soft drugs (United Kingdom and USA), pharmacological nature of these compounds (lead short-term effect sufficient faction, and then create the need to use increased amounts), as well as social factors such as migration, urbanization, difficulties in adapting to the demands of the new environment and the new circumstances. Today, alcohol and drugs are used wide and this is one of the most widespread and the most serious sociomedical problem of this century. Epidemic use of these substances has affected all countries, both developed and  those developing. The World Health Organization reports that more and more people try substances which cause addiction and mostly in the younger age.

Each drug addict goes through different phases:


  • The first phase – experimentation with drugs
  • The second phase – the desire for a psychoactive substance
  • The third phase – losing control
  • Fourth phase – complete addiction


Factors that lead young people at risk from the use of alcohol and drugs:


  • Environmental factors:

1.      Economic / social poverty – children from socially disadvantaged families, in poor living conditions, whose parents are unemployed, are at a higher risk of delinquent behavior and drug and alcohol abuse 2.      Poor neighborhoods and poor organization of society  – the neighborhood with a high crime rate and temporary residents does not provide a sense of belonging and stable relationships that exist in well-organized local communities 3.      Transition periods and relocation  – transition from lower to higher grades or from primary to secondary school, and frequent movings

  1. Laws and social norms that favor use of alcohol and drugs


  1. Easy access to alcohol and drugs


  • Individual risk factors:

1.      Alcoholism in family history  – children who were born or brought up in families where there was alcoholism are at higher risk of becoming alcoholics themselves or drug users 2.      Poor and inconsistent family education  – in families where parents do not have a clear view of what they expect from their children, do not follow their development, where discipline is implemented too harsh 3.      Antisocial behavior and hyperactivity – children in early childhood exhibit aggressive behavior combined with hyperactivity