Essay on Addiction: Drug Addiction and Subversive Street Drugs

Submitted By jdriggars
Words: 1690
Pages: 7

Everyday many people get pressured into trying drugs or simply decide to cross the line of the taboo of society due to curiosity or, often, just plain boredom. Many people who become addicted to drugs began taking them recreationally, but in many cases, this recreational 'flight of fantasy' or 'mental escape' comes with more than the user bargained for. Unfortunately for most people, they are either unaware or uncaring of their family or ethnic background that may be markers of their predisposition for addiction. Since many drugs are considered "ok” on a trial or "for fun" basis, thrill-seekers fail miserably to realize the true toll of the effects of drugs and their individual tendency for addiction. When taking drugs goes from a want to a need, this is when addiction starts. Accessibility is a large factor required for drug addiction to begin. Tam relates to us that “the use of illicit drugs is primarily influenced by environmental factors…" (2012) The ease of accessibility, the financial capacity of today's young adults, as well as society's underground network of drug transportation and distribution mean that many people who have a propensity for drugs are now more than ever able to get their hands on forbidden fruit. Drugs and forced addiction are also a large part of underground human trafficking. To add to the already wide distribution of subversive street drugs, many Americans have access to common NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, alcohol, tobacco, and other addictive substances in their households. These are considered "gateway" drugs (D.A.R.E. 2012). Oftentimes, consistent over-use of such gateway drugs eventually "numbs" one's internal chemical balance. In other words, your body builds a resistance to artificial alteration of its inherent natural chemistry. For the average individual, however, OTC drugs and addictive substances maintain their primary purpose as either pain killers or "social lubricants" owing to the fact that addiction not only stems from accessibility, but also relies largely on one's propensity for addiction either genetically or psychologically (Tam, 2012). There are many different types of drugs available to people; "uppers"; "downers"; hallucinogenic drugs, to name a few categories. Not only does one's predisposition for drugs depend on genetic factors, but also how the particular drug affects them; that is to say, not every individual is addicted to opiates for example, nor does every drug have the same effect on different people. Gateway drugs for certain predisposed individuals are only the beginning and eventually cease to satisfy their need(s) beginning their descent to either stronger medication or riskier, more dangerous street drugs. As the need for increased stimulation waxes, so too does the risk of greater, more serious complications as a result of the drug abuse. These complications can arise in physical manifestations or may be apparent in the user's altered routines and habits that will eventually cause problems at work, during extracurricular activities, and in the personal lives and relationships of users. There are two different processes of addiction; psychological dependence is when you have a strong craving for the effects of a drug and the compulsion to use it according to the National Anti-Drug Strategy of Canada (2011); physical dependence is an “adaptive change in the body that occurs with regular drug use and results in withdraws…” (“The Risks”, 2011). Drugs, in the most basic sense, are chemicals that affect the brain's communication system and interfere with the way information is sent, received and processed (The Science behind Drug Abuse, 2013). When taking drugs, your brain is affected in many different ways. Many drugs affect the reward division of the brain; this is the part of the brain that responds to pleasurable experiences although it is unknown exactly where this pleasure area is located