Drug Abuse And Substance Abuse

2025 Words Mar 31st, 2016 9 Pages
Drug abuse is the recurrent use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over the counter drugs with negative consequences. The two terms, drug abuse or substance abuse can be defined as the use of chemical substances that lead to an increased risk of problems and an inability to control the use of the substance. Although drug and substance abuse do differ from addiction it sometimes can be mistaken for one another. Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs. Most often, an individual who regularly abuses drugs, even if they do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of drug addiction, has already lost control over their drug use. Drug and substance abuse can result in broken families, destroyed careers, death due to negligence or accident, domestic violence and physical abuse, and child abuse. Drugs contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. There are at least two ways that drugs cause this disruption: by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers and by overstimulating the “reward circuit”…
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