Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is very prevalent in many countries. A drug is any substance that modifies the body’s normal functioning. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a drug as any substance or product that modifies the behavior of a person for the benefit of the recipient. Substance abuse, on the other hand, is the drug use other than for the intended purpose in a manner that damages the physical functioning of the body. This essay talks about substance abuse with regard to the types of drugs, drug use and government efforts to curb substance abuse.
There are several drugs that people use: hallucinogens are addictive and create feelings of insecurity and anxiety. Examples include Bhang and Hashish; sedatives or depressants calm down the central nervous system and may induce sleep, in this category are Barbiturates and Tranquilizers; stimulants majorly affect the central nervous system by activating it. They may treat mild depression and to some extent induce insomnia. The known ones are Caffeine and Cocaine; narcotics also produce a depressing effect, and produce feelings of superiority, pleasure and strength. Examples include Heroin and Morphine.
People experiment with drugs for several reasons. Some use it to improve their athletic performance; others to ease problems such as depression or stress while other use drugs simply because their friends are using the drugs. Use of drugs or the quantity consumed, however, does not automatically mean addiction but as long as it affects someone’s daily life-at home, school, work or relationship-there is a likelihood of drug addiction that eventually leads to an abuse of the same.
Governments in many countries have established ministries to tackle the issue of substance abuse. For instance, in India, there is the Ministry of Health that deals with the treatment of substance addicts, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that uses the government media for the advertisement of the cons of drug abuse. The government also plays a significant role in financially assisting non-governmental organizations and other voluntary organizations involved in the fight against drug abuse. Several acts of parliament have also been established to curb the menace posed by the misuse of drugs and appropriate punishment given to those involved.
In conclusion, although substance abuse has become a major problem in the society, concrete steps should be taken to weaken the hold on drugs. The effects of substance abuse are disastrous and cannot be ignored.
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