- 1 Problems of Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Abuse in Adolescents
- 1.1 A. Drug Addiction
- 1.2 Symptoms of Drug Addiction
- 1.3 Reasons for the Development of Drug Addiction
- 1.4 Symptoms in Drug Addicted Persons on Drug Withdrawal
- 1.5 Some Drugs, Sources, and Effects
- 1.6 Control of Drug Addiction
- 1.7 B. Alcohol and Alcoholism
- 1.8 Nature of Alcohol and Properties
- 1.9 Classification of Alcoholism
- 1.10 Effects of Alcoholism
One of the most fascinating Biology Topics is the study of genetics and how traits are passed down through generations.
Problems of Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Abuse in Adolescents
Adolescence is the period of rapid growth alongwith physical, mental, and behavioral development demonstrating the departure from childhood and the arrival of adulthood (12-18 years period). It is characterized by the onset of puberty to complete sexual maturity. Adolescence is marked by the physical growth, development of reproductive organs, and changes in the functioning of the neuroendocrine system. Sometimes exuberance, inquisitiveness, and desire for experimentation motivate adolescent boys and girls towards drug and alcohol use. They want to establish a mark amongst friends and different forms of media, peer pressure, depression, uncertain future, and frustration all these factors aggregate together to promote drug and alcohol abuse.
A. Drug Addiction
The World Health Organization has given a definition of a drug. As per this definition, a drug is a substance that when taken into a living organism may modify one or more of its functions. Drug in general term is known as narcotic when instead of the treatment of a disease, the drug is taken in excessive doses and in repeated frequency. It is known as drug abuse. From drug abuse addiction to drugs develops and then a man cannot give up drugs. Not only that in many cases, if the drug is not taken, a man faces many difficulties. On this background, there is a definition of drug addiction. Drug addiction or drug dependence refers to a situation that develops due to regular or continuous intake of drugs, when a mental and physical relation of man is developed with the drug and without taking the substance a man faces various difficulties. Several important drugs which are very much associated with addiction include Morphine and related products, pethidine, Heroin, alcohol, barbiturate, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, Benzodiazepine, Bruphenophine, dextropropoxyphene, and amphetamine. Among these Heroin is more dangerous.
Classification of Drugs
The drugs having an influence on the mind may be classified as
- Sedative: barbiturate.
- Tranquilizer: wine, valium.
- Stimulant: Amphetamines, Cocaine.
- Opiate: Heroin, Morphine, pethidine, Methadone.
- Hallucinogen: LSD, Bhang, Ganja, marijuana.
Several Drugs and Their Common Effects:
|Name of Vaccine||Disease||Age and No. of Doses|
|1. Sedative and Tranquillizer||Valium, Barbiturates||Decreases activity of the brain, the mind becomes calm and quiet, develops drowsiness, and tranquilizes|
|2. Opiate Narcotics||Opium, morphine, Heroin, Pethidine||Removes pain, blocks brain function|
|3. Stimulant||Caffeine, cocaine, Amphetamine||Stimulates nerve increases activity and excitement|
|4. Hallucinogen||LSD, Bhang, marijuana, Charas||Develops drowsiness, distort thinking|
Ways of Development of Drug Addiction
- Curiosity: Sometimes due to sheer curiosity an individual may take the drug for tasting and this may lead to drug addiction.
- Company: If one person mixes up with individuals of a bad company such as drug addicts, he may develop an addiction to drugs.
- Depression: Sometimes from depression drug addiction develops and that removes mental pressure and anxiety. Individuals may take drugs and eventually, that becomes their companion. Among school and college-going children, drug addiction develops in this way.
- Stimulation: Sometimes a man who makes himself more active, takes a stimulatory drug and eventually a dependence on such drugs is developed.
- Pain Reliever: Sometimes to get relief from pain in the body, narcotic drugs are taken (Morphine).
Symptoms of Drug Addiction
Consecutive intake of such drugs may develop an addiction. Due to family history, if the parents are drug addicts, the children may develop an addiction. Drug addict individuals differ from normal men in many behavioural aspects and the following notable symptoms may be expressed. Some symptoms of drug addiction:
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Non-serious with loss of personality
- Swelling and redness of eyes
- Opaque vision
- Disorganized talk
- Reluctant to everything
- Lethargic and inactive
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of memory and loss of attention
- Liking solitude
Reasons for the Development of Drug Addiction
Though drug addiction develops primarily from the desire of an individual secondarily an attraction to drugs may also be developed due to social reasons and environmental causes. Several such causes may be indicated below:
Several Causes of Drug Addiction
- Living in a distant place from home.
- Emigration to an urban place.
- Loss of control from parents.
- Isolation from family.
- Taking drugs at a tender age.
- Drop out of school at an early age.
- Flourishing the business of drugs in the surroundings.
- Single guardian family or distorted environment in the family.
- Occupational reason.
- Increased incidence of crime in an area.
- A region with a group of drug addicts.
- Influence from the surroundings
- The daring attitude of children and foolishness
- Ignorance of the bad effects of drugs
- Easy Availability
- Non-careless to the Children
Symptoms in Drug Addicted Persons on Drug Withdrawal
Individuals who are drug addicted may show abnormal symptoms within 6-8 hrs of drug withdrawal and these symptoms may persist for about 10 days. The symptoms may vary depending on the nature of the drug and its dose. However, the general symptoms are as follows:
- Uneasy feelings
- Rapid respiration and respiratory trouble
- Dropping down of tears
- Dilation of Pupil
- Reluctant to everything
- Decreased appetite
- Increased blood pressure
- Liking solitude
Treatment for Drug-Addicted Persons
If the drug-addicted individual is treated properly, he may be saved from the bad effects of the drug. The drug addicted persons usually should be treated with sympathy.
Initially, the drug-addicted man is to be isolated from ad¬dicted friends. Then it is to be observed that the man should not get drugs and this is followed by mental treatment. He should be engaged in some work that may keep him away from drugs. For recovery of health, he should be provided with nutritious food, and any physical; inconvenience is also treated for cure. The drug to which addiction developed should not be stopped abruptly rather its dose is to be reduced gradually. This may reduce the symptoms of drug withdrawal. If sleep is disturbed or anxiety is increased, some sedatives or tranquilizing agents may be applied.
Some Drugs, Sources, and Effects
These are the anti-depressants that suppress the activity of CNS. With the application of such a drug, drowsiness in the body and relaxation of nerves may be achieved. In high doses such drugs may induce sleep, e.g., Valium, Barbiturate.
These are medicines that can reduce tension and anxiety while inducing sleep. They can slow down the activity of the brain to release worries and this type of drug also does affect working efficiency e.g., alcohol.
These drugs reduce the activity of the brain and they are used for reducing pain.
The juice of poppy fruit is dried to have opium. From the unripe fruit sheath, white juice comes out. When it is dried, white-coloured opium is obtained. Opium is dried latex of unripe fruits of Papaver somniferum (Poppy plant). The nascent opium is soft and bitter in taste. But after exposure to air, it turns brownish-black in colour. In crude opium, there are about 25 types of alkaloids, of which more important components are morphine and codeine. All these substances are narcotic in nature. They act on CNS, initially, they may stimulate nerves but afterward, act as depressants. In the extreme case of the influence of the component, a man may be paralyzed. 2 gm of opium is considered a lethal dose. On the other hand, 0.2 gm morphine and 0.5 gm codeine, are considered lethal doses. Excessive intake of opium may lead to coma.
This is also known as brown sugar, chemically it is known as diacetylmorphine. By acetylation, heroin is produced from morphine. Among all the types of drugs heroin addiction is the most dangerous, within short time period addiction to heroin may be developed and the quantity of its intake also increases gradually. It has been found that initially, the dose at which it is taken later on that may increase by hundred times. In comparison to opium and morphine, heroin is more effective. Heroin may be taken in three different ways, smoke by burning, through injection, or by nasal inhalation. Heroin develops euphoria in the mind and it lasts for a considerable time period (3-6 hrs).
It is also obtained from opium. It has a good potency to remove pain. Addiction to it is also developed as opium. Functionally it is also equivalent to opium.
Cocaine is obtained from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca. These plants are available in South America, Java, and India. Cocaine is a colourless and odorless, granular material. It is bitter in taste and used in local anesthesia. It may also act as a nerve stimulant. Intake of cocaine may develop an addiction. Initially though it may act as a stimulant but ultimately it acts as a depressant. Excessive intake of cocaine for long days may develop indigestion. Some other symptoms of its bad effects are loss of appetite, sleeplessness, increased heart rate, etc.
Caffeine is a kind of stimulant, extracted from 60 different types of plants. Common sources of Caffeine are obtained from the seeds of coffee plants and leaves of the tea plant. It is used as a mild stimulating substance. From the intake of tea or coffee, caffeine enters the body. Excessive intake of it may develop an addiction. It increases the metabolism of neurons and as a result, it acts as a stimulant.
There are some types of agents that when taken, develop illusions. These substances include LSD, Bhang, Charas, marijuana, etc.
LSD may be obtained from ergot extract of a fungus. Chemically it is known as Lysergic acid diethylamide. This is famous as a good hallucinogen. The fungus from which ergot is obtained is known as Claviceps purpurea. In 1938, Hoffmann discovered LSD. Its potential influence on the mind could be detected first in 1943. During intake of LSD normal feelings are destroyed. Afterward, the consumer cannot realize the actual picture of the environment. As a result of its effect substantial damage to the brain occurs. However, addiction to it usually does not develop.
The dried leaves of Cannabis sativa are known as Bhang. The sticky secretion from the Cannabis plant is known as Charas. The inflorescence and green leaves are known as Ganja. Every part of the Cannabis plant has a hallucinogenic effect. As a result of intake, a dreamy atmosphere is developed. Nerves become relaxed and pleasure as in euphoria may be developed. Many times the intaker of Bhang laughs without any cause. Repeated consumption of Bhang may develop an addiction.
Control of Drug Addiction
Addiction to drugs is very difficult to control, sometimes a man having known the bad effects of drugs can not give up the drug. To treat drug addiction as we may take the help of physicians, it may also be treated by individual effort. The only need is that the drug addict person should come forward for treatment of addiction. In medical treatment the initial step is detoxification and for this, the individual should be admitted to the hospital. However, in most cases, drug transactions and consumption occur in a confidential manner. In this process, the traders of drugs have significant contributions. Besides this intake of drugs does not get social recognition, and both the drug addicts and traders try to maintain confidentiality in this matter. Because of this, the control of drugs in social life has become a great problem.
Drug addiction not only develops individual problems, it also tolls upon the family life with the loss of the economy and this is antagonistic to the development of the society as well as the country. The unscrupulous drug traders achieve gain through drug selling, while the life of a man becomes miserable. This may affect the education of school-going children and also results ultimately death, increasing social crime and economic loss. Considering all these, the intake of drugs and its business should come under immediate control. Whatever may be the effort successful prevention of this unholy business may be achieved at the social level through intervention at the Govt, level.
(a) Social Efforts:
- To find out the drug addict person and provoke their detoxification.
- To look after the detoxified person after treatment and give them the necessary advice.
- To make arrangements for rehabilitation and to make an arrangement for the change of environment of the drug addicts.
(b) Control by Govt.:
- To prohibit the intake of drugs by implementing laws.
- To formulate laws to control drug production and its supply.
- To educate people about the bad effects of drug addiction through advertisements in different media.
It is to be mentioned here that there is a stringent law for the control of drugs in India. If these laws are implemented properly, the people as well as the country may be rescued from the ill effects of drugs.
B. Alcohol and Alcoholism
In some countries, though alcohol taking is not taken as a good habit, in many countries, this is a common practice, and even in some countries, it has become a social custom. Taking a small amount of alcohol is not very harmful but excessive consumption of alcohol creates a harmful influence on the body. From such harmful effects, a man may die at an early age.
Different Types of Wine and Their Sources:
|Name of Wine||Sources||Quantity of Alcohol %|
|1. Light Beer||Barley, Maize, Wheat||3 – 4%|
|2. Medium Beer||Barley, Maize, Wheat||5 – 7%|
|3. Stray Beer||Barley, Maize, Wheat||7.5 – 9.4%|
|4. Light Wine||Grape Juice||10.6 – 12.7%|
|5. Medium Wine||Grape Juice||13.8 – 15.5%|
|6. Stray Wine||Grape Juice||16 – 17%|
|7. Gin, Vodka & Whisky||Food Grain or Fruit||40%|
Nature of Alcohol and Properties
Alcohol is colourless and tasteless liquid produced from sugar or other carbohydrate materials 5 through fermentation by yeast or other micro-organisms. Chemically it is known as ethyl alcohol. Diluted ethyl alcohol in different concentrations is marketed as wine. Several wine varieties are beer, whisky, brandy, vodka, and gin. A list of wines containing different concentrations of alcohol is given.
According to pharmacological terms, alcohol is a type of drug and the amount of alcohol taken may give a specific term to it. Such as sedative, nerve-relaxing components, and tranquilizing material. After intake of wine, it is absorbed in the body and within 2-3 minutes its presence is observed in the blood. However, if other food remains within the stomach, it may be absorbed late. The situation developed due to alcohol drinking, is known as alcoholism.
Classification of Alcoholism
The nature of alcohol drinking may vary from man to man and alcoholism may be classified into 5 types :
1. α Alcoholism:
- In this case, to remove mental or physical strain, alcohol is taken.
- Such alcohol intake does not cause an imbalance in the individual.
2. β Alcoholism:
- In this case, alcohol is taken excessively.
- Such type of alcohol consumption occurs as per social custom.
- This usually leads to cirrhosis of the liver, gastritis, and neuritis.
- No addiction to alcohol is f developed in this alcoholism.
3. γ Alcoholism:
- In this case, a gradual increase in addiction to alcohol develops and the amount of consumption also increases gradually.
- If alcohol intake is given up that may develop an uneasy feeling.
- Addiction to alcohol develops by mental level and there remains no control over taking alcohol.
4. δ Alcoholism:
- In this case, control is very much present in alcohol consumption.
- However, the individual cannot give up alcohol consumption.
- Non-intake of alcohol results in uneasy conditions.
5. ε Alcoholism:
- In this case, dipsomania is observed and alcohol consumption becomes obligatory.
- Alcoholism in this case leads to frenetic behaviour.
- In most cases, alcoholism comes under either gamma or delta type of alcoholism.
Effects of Alcoholism
Alcoholism has a special influence on the central nervous system. Previously it was thought that alcohol is a type of stimulant but it has now been realized that this results in depression instead of stimulation. In the first stage intake of alcohol may remain within a limit but gradually addiction develops to more, amount of alcohol. Ultimately a physical dependence on alcohol is developed. Presently alcoholism is considered a disease and alcohol is considered a health-deteriorating component. Severe alcohol addiction appears as the effect of the drug and in extreme cases, this develops Liver cirrhosis, Psychosis, Gastritis, pancreatitis, Cardiomyopathy, neuropathy, etc. It is presumed that alcohol has a relationship with cancers in the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and oesophagus. Different inconvenient conditions may be developed due to alcohol consumption, which may be given in the following manner:
Several Complicacies Due to Alcoholism
- Digestive system-related inconveniences
- liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, hepatitis, fatty liver, and liver inefficiency.
- stomach inflammation, peptic ulcer, cancer in the stomach and oesophagus, inflammation of oesophagus.
- Pancreatic inflammation.
- Central nervous system-related inconveniences
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Ramfit symptoms like epilepsy
- Loss of memory
- Brain damage
- Instability of marriage life.
- Economic poverty.
- Dependence on medicine.
- Occupational disturbance and inefficiency of work.
- Hypoglycemia and ketoacidosis.
- Malnutrition, pellagra, and heart beriberi.
- Sexual impotence, immunity disorder.
- Anaemia, thrombocytopenia, etc.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
The individual who takes alcohol every day develops an addiction to alcohol. A sudden cessation of alcohol intake results in alcohol syndrome. A man exhibits irritating mood, sleeplessness, anxiety, weakness, vomiting tendency etc. To remove these symptoms a physician may be consulted. Treatment of such symptoms with medicine is known as detoxification. Following these, some mental and behavioural treatments may give good results.