Drugs and Alcohol Abuse - Effects of Drug and Alcohol

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Notes

Effects of Drugs/ Alcohol Abuse:  

  • Reckless behaviour, vandalism and violence. 
  • Coma and death due to respiratory failure, heart failure or cerebral hemorrhage. 
  • Drugs or their intake along with alcohol generally results in overdosing and even deaths. 
  • The most common warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse among youth include drop in academic performance, unexplained absence from school/college, lack of interest in personal hygiene, withdrawal, isolation, depression, fatigue, aggressive and rebellious behaviour, deteriorating relationships with family and friends, loss of interest in hobbies, change in sleeping and eating habits, fluctuations in weight, appetite, etc.
  • If an abuser is unable to get money to buy drugs/alcohol he/she may turn to stealing. 
  • The adverse effects are just not restricted to the person who is using drugs or alcohol.  
  • At times, a drug/alcohol addict becomes the cause of mental and financial distress to his/her entire family and friends 
  • Those who take drugs intravenously (direct injection into the vein using a needle and syringe), are much more likely to acquire serious infections like AIDS and Hepatitis B. 
  • The viruses that cause these diseases are spread from person to person through the sharing of infected needles and syringes. 
  • AIDS and Hepatitis B are both chronic infections that are lethal in the end. Sexual contact or tainted blood can spread both diseases.
  • It could lead to heavy drinking in adulthood.  
  • The chronic use of drugs and alcohol damages the nervous system and liver (cirrhosis). 
  • The use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy is also known to adversely affect the foetus. 
  • Another example of drug abuse is what some athletes do to improve their performance. In sports, they (mis)use narcotic painkillers, anabolic steroids, diuretics, and some hormones to increase muscle strength and bulk, stimulate aggressiveness, and improve athletic performance.  
  • Masculinisation (male-like features), increased aggressiveness, mood swings, depression, abnormal menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth on the face and body, clitoris enlargement, and voice deepening are all side effects of anabolic steroids in females. 
  • In males, it includes acne, increased aggressiveness, mood swings, depression, reduction of the size of the testicles, decreased sperm production, potential for kidney and liver dysfunction, breast enlargement, premature baldness, enlargement of the prostate gland.  
  • These effects may be permanent with prolonged use. In the adolescent male or female, severe facial and body acne, and premature closure of the growth centres of the long bones may result in stunted growth.
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