Essay on Abuse of Legal and Illegal Drugs

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Drug abuse is “a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p.114-115). The difference between using drugs and abusing drugs depends on three things, what the drug is for, how much of the drug is used, and the effect that the drug has on the person. Drug abuse typically relates to one using drugs in an excessive manner, whether the drug is legal or illegal. For example, marijuana is illegal in some states, but in other states, it is not. It is legal if you are using the drug for a specific reason under written consent of a doctor. You can use the drug, such as marijuana, in an excessive manner, which can result in the person abusing the …show more content…
Caffeine usage depends on the situation you are facing such as college students facing an exam or a long distance truck driver may need caffeine to stay awake for alertness (Macionis, 2010). Nicotine is a legal drug, but it can be has harmful side effects to the person’s body. The use of nicotine comes from smoking tobacco. In effect, nicotine is a drug because it gives you the urge, the motive, the craving to want to smoke cigarettes. Nicotine is a poisonous alkaloid C10H14N2 that is the chief active principle of tobacco and used as an insecticide (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nicotine).
Cocaine and Crack are powerful stimulants that increase your heart rate, your pulse rate, and will raise your blood pressure because of these drugs (Macionis, 2010). Cocaine is a powder form, but when it is cooked, melted down, stirred with baking soda and other ingredients, the powder form becomes hard like a rock and thus you have crack. Cocaine is taken in through the nose and crack is smoked through a pipe or use of white paper, which tobacco can also be used to smoke in as well. Cocaine is very addictive due to the stimulant, which causes the person to stay awake, have reduced appetite, and has the tendency to cause people to become annoyed, frustrated, and violent.
Depressants are drugs because it “slows the operation of the central nervous system” (Macionis, 2010). Depressants are known as “downers”, due to the

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