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MYTHS AND FACTS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ALCOHOL

The issues of substance abuse and alcohol though, have received wide attention world wide and studies are on-going into many aspects but it is still observed that there are erroneous beliefs or misconceptions that are still serving as hooks dragging especially the youths to substance abuse and alcohol.

Drug is any substance which interacts with a living organ and brings about noticeable changes in the way the body functions.

Drugs are substances which can be deliberately taken for their psychoactive effects particularly on the central nervous system. There are two categories of drugs under international control: licit drugs and illicit drugs.

Licit drugs are usually used to treat diseases while illicit drugs are those substances with limited or no therapeutic use and which are used illegally for their psychoactive effect e.g. cannabis, heroin, cocaine, LSDS.

What is substance abuse?

It is a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. The negative effects of substance abuse and alcohol spread across nations of the world, therefore concerned effort is required to educate individuals on the adverse effect and image for the future that it evolves.

There are lots of myths that go with substance abuse but the facts are not far-fetched.Myths: Substance empowers one sexually and brings out the good performance.

Fact: it is to be noted that most addicts end up losing their libido completely or be so deteriorated physically that the issue of sex does not arise.

Myths: Only weak individuals become addicts to substance.

Fact: The reverse is the case, drug addicts become weak individuals. No one abuses drugs to become addicts but invariably they do succumb to the devastating power of the substance of abuse. Drugs are seductive in that it provides that pleasure the abuser is seeking. The initial approach is experiment for the boost but they end up being hooked up.

Myth: All drug addicts should be killed or imprisoned.

Fact: The best approach put up by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency now is treatment i.e. detoxification treatment and rehabilitation so that individuals can return and function well in the society.

Myth: Recreational use of Drug is not harmful

Fact: All illicit drugs are dangerous and cause physical and psychological changes in the user. The health hazards of these drugs are very real, for the same reasons prescribed drugs should be well managed and used only as ordered by the physician where absolutely necessary.

Myth: Marijuana is no worse than using alcohol and tobacco.

Fact: Marijuana is very dangerous and potent unlike alcohol which is ejected from the within 24 hours because it is water soluble, marijuana is fat soluble which means that its psychoactive chemical attach itself to the fatly tissue of the body usually the brain, reproductive organ, renal fat etc and can be detected up to 30 days after the initial use. Marijuana has been studied widely with its adverse effect on short term memory, slow learning, hazardous heart function, impaired judgment, skill performance, etc.

Myth: The use of substance of abuse gives boldness.

Fact: Any one needing drug for boldness to perform or establish relationship is suffering from personality defect. The use of drug offers the initial contact but will acerbate the personality defect.

Myth: Everybody is doing drugs, why should I be different?

Fact: Not everybody is doing drugs. The catch is to gain acceptability by drug users as an excuse for their deviant habit. The ideal catch is “wise youths stay off drug”.

Myth: Drug abuse is a victimless crime, it only hurts the users.

Facts: While the health and chance of the productive life of an individual user is destroyed, the family and the society bear the brunt of this dangerous venture. The family members suffer the agony of witnessing the self destruction of a loved one. The society suffers the economic loss, violence, accidents and harassment by the drug abusers.

Myth: Why the big out-cry? Drugs are really not big problem.

Fact: Is that there are great problems associated with substance abuse. The reality is now apparent on our streets of urchins i.e. area boys and girls, armed robbers and hoodlums who make the environment unbearable. There is also wastage of production lives and innocent victims are being misled daily to join the fold of drug abusers. The problem of drug abuse portends grave situations for the future generation.

Myth: Peddling drugs is one way the poor can earn good money.

Fact: is that drug peddlers end up becoming addicts and the initial gain is wasted on drug and the addict is left devastated physically and psychologically. While maintaining the habit the family is neglected and ends up having family disharmony.

Myth: Drug use is a way of life in some countries. Why change it?

Fact: Substance abuse is not a way of life in any country; the countries that were permissive of drugs are now faced with the daunting task of controlling it and also to rehabilitate the victims. The economic loss to the country is great.

Myth: The problem of substance abuse is so vast that there may be no solution.

Fact: there is no problem without a solution. Studies are going on world-wide to improve on different ways of managing substance abuse and also to reduce demand for drugs. Progress is being made in all areas of the problem-abuse, supply, production, trafficking and treatment.

Myth: Drug problems should be treated by concerned countries.

Fact: Drug problem is of international concern. The drug network all over the world is an evil that will require collective commitment of all concerned to break.

Myth: But I am not hurt by drug peddlers or traffickers

Fact: Even people that have never used any substance of abuse have been hurt by the abuser. The issues of area boys’ harassment on the streets, arson, murder and in the ruined lives of individual family and community members are sorry reminders. Big money made from drugs is used in financing terrorism world wide.

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