Current Trends in Drug and Alcohol Addiction Essay

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Humanity has had a long relationship with drugs and alcohol, so long that Stone Age beer jugs dating back to 10,000 BC have been discovered. Some historians argue that beer predates bread as a staple of human consumption (Hanson, 2013, Para. 1). As the centuries passed alcohol and drugs became ingrained in the early cultures of recorded history, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and early Christians all utilized mind-altering substances in ceremony and celebration (Hanson, 2013, Para. 3). Today, drugs and alcohol still play an active role in societies around the world. Yet, governments in the majority of these societies have strict prohibitions against certain drugs, and limitations on the use of alcohol (Ratliff, 2014, Para. 2).…show more content…
2, Para. 3). In addition to stimulants and depressants there are hallucinogens, opioids, inhalants, and cannabinoids. These classes contain drugs that either stimulate or depress, and in some instances may exhibit both (Types of Drugs, 2013, Para. 4, Para. 5, Para. 6). Controlled substance is a term given by governments and agencies to label drugs that have a high probability of abuse (Get Informed, 2014, Para. 1). Controlled substances are then divided into two categories, drugs that have useful medical purposes, and drugs that do not have useful medical purposes. The substances with medical value are scheduled depending on their potential for abuse, whereas substances with no medical benefit are considered illegal. Prescription drugs are considered controlled substances that have a medical benefit, some of which are scheduled narcotics (Get Informed, 2014, Para. 2, Para. 3). This provides a legal avenue for individuals to become exposed to the affects of drugs, which can lead to abuse and potentially addiction. The word addiction traces its origin back to the Latin term for, “enslaved by or bound to” (Understanding Addiction, 2014, Para.1). This is an accurate description, as addiction usurps regular brain functions turning them against the user. Regardless of the stimulant human brains naturally release the

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