Addiction To Drugs And Alcohol Essay

2081 words - 8 pages

There are many affects that drugs and alcohol can have on the body, and on the life of a person. Thousands of jobs, homes, and families are lost annually through the addictions of drugs and alcohol. Children grow up without parents, spouses are forced to raise their children as single parents, and grandparents become legal guardians for a second time, due to the effects of substance abuse and dependence. Exactly how addiction is defined and diagnosed is an on-going issue and one that will be discussed in this paper. While there are eleven different categories that substances are arranged, this paper will be focusing specifically on alcohol and cannabis.
An estimated 126 million Americans over the age of 12 reported being ongoing alcohol drinkers in 2005 (Smith & Stevens, 2009). According to the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), over 42 thousand homeless adults over the age of 50 were admitted to substance abuse treatment in 2008, and sixty five percent were being treated for alcohol abuse (TEDS, 2010). Excessive alcohol consumption may have been accepted in the beginning of the twentieth century, but currently, a male who consumes more than 14 drinks in a week or more than four drinks day, and a woman who has more than 13 drinks a week 3 drinks on a day, is considered “at risk” of being an alcoholic (Burge & Schneider, 1999).
Cannabis, better known as marijuana, is the most abused illegal drug in America (Smith & Stevens, 2009). It also had the highest level of abuse and dependence in 2005 with over 4.1 million people affected (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2006). Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette, known also as a joint or blunt, and is also used in a pipe or bong. There is a more potent and unpollinated version of the drug that Californian growers have started, known as sinsemilla (Smith & Stevens, 2009). This has made the drug much more potent and easy to grow. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 17 million people in America had used marijuana in 1992 (as quoted in Smith & Stevens, 2009, p.64). The affects that drugs and alcohol can have on the human body, as well as the addictions they create, have been discussed in presidential debates, the topic of many scholarly journals and books, and continue to affect the lives of millions of people worldwide.
Meldelson & Mello (1985) wrote that the most conclusive way to define addiction is that it prevails when drug or alcohol use is directly affiliated with “impairment of health and social functioning is a useful general thesis” (as cited in Smith & Stevens, 2009, p. 138). Addiction can also be defined as “the lack of choice the user has over the drug use” Once the individual needs the alcohol or drug to feel normal, and not as a way to feel pleasure, they can be considered dependant on that particular substance (Smith & Stevens, 2009).
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and...

Find Another Essay On Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol Essay

1678 words - 7 pages . Also, it is important to understand marijuana consumption is less susceptible to overuse than alcohol or other drugs (Marijuana 10:477). Despite this, critics often argue that marijuana is a gateway to other more potent and harmful drugs. According to Dr. Halbach of the World Health Organization there is no pharmacological link between cannabis and opiates (Marijuana 10:477). This demonstrates the physiological unlikelihood of marijuana being a

Drugs, Alcohol, Adults, and Kids Essay

4135 words - 17 pages prom nights in 1999, as many as 62% of the traffic fatalities were alcohol-related deaths. A new federal report says that adolescents who are first-time marijuana users are at risk for becoming addicted to drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. While the report indicated a decline from previous years in the number of adolescents who are first-time marijuana consumers also found that marijuana users are at risk for long-term drug addiction

Effect of Drugs and Alcohol on Teenagers

1245 words - 5 pages that our parents never had to face. Pre-marital sex and pregnancy, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction have always been around but they have never been more available to adolescents than they are now. Adolescents are more on their own to take care of themselves with more and more single parent households. The problem of drug and alcohol is a major one. Teenagers feel a need to drink and do drugs to fit in to peer groups. The problem is widespread

Drugs and Alcohol in the Adolescent Years

1675 words - 7 pages Drugs and Alcohol in the Adolescent Years The years of adolescence are a very important time for both young girls and boys to make decisions that will essentially have the power to shape their lives. In life there are conflicts to be overcome from both the “evil” social world and also a young girl’s vulnerability can cause problems. Both have a huge impact on decisions she will make. Drugs and alcohol are both issues that almost

Drugs and Alcohol on College Campuses

2810 words - 11 pages Colleges across the globe all deal with the problem of drug and alcohol use among college students. We always hear of stories relating to college students and tragedies that happen as a result of drug and alcohol use. Colleges and universities have taken precautions to try and limit the amount of drug and alcohol use as well as the disasters that occur after drugs and alcohol have been consumed. While many do not believe that drugs and alcohol

Marijuana the argument, 'marijuana is a safe drug and it's use will not cause harm or lead to addiction to harder drugs'

1174 words - 5 pages 'Marijuana is a safe drug and its use will not cause harm or lead to addiction to harder drugs'i disagree, my essay labels clearly the medically proven effects of marijuana use, and although there is no proof that marijuana leads to addiction of harder drugs, many heroin and cocaine users say their first experience with drugs was marijuana.I disagree with this statement and to back up my argument I have collected a range of information from

The Power of Addiction and the Addiction to Power

1758 words - 7 pages After watching and analyzing Dr. Gabor Maté’s speech about power and addiction, it is extremely evident and clear to see how vague the word “addiction” is and how the global community today has related such a topic to a limited discourse that pertains simply to substance use and abuse. Dr. Maté talks about the various addictions to drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and others throughout his video, however where I agree most with

Lung Cancer: Addiction to Cigarettes and Nicotine

1689 words - 7 pages away. There are many reasons as to why the habit of smoking cigarettes is taken up. According to Mathew Cunningham, the top three reasons people smoke is for self-medication, because of media influences, and number one, for stress relief ( There are also many occasions when tobacco and drugs or alcohol are abused in an effort to suppress undesired feelings. Abusers use the substance to escape reality and make themselves

Sin and Addiction: Steps to Christ by Ellen White

1769 words - 7 pages assumed that sin as a whole could have been classified as an addiction, but I realized that it is an addiction, but it is classified differently. Instead of it being called an addiction to sin, it is packaged as addiction to gambling, drugs, alcohol, etc. They are all types of sin that are addictive in nature. And thus sin isn’t blatantly called by its name, we address sin by activity and often times eluding from the fact that sin is sin, despite any

Adolescence and Alcohol: To Drink or Not To Drink

1318 words - 5 pages the volume of alcohol is important. This is because the number of episodes of intoxication and age can predict possible misuse of alcohol in adulthood(Ward, Snow, & Aroni, 2010). In the United States, the majority of adolescence under the age of 12 have reported tasting alcohol. Evidence does indicate that an adolescences knowledge about alcohol consumption is related to the alcohol use of parents (Ward, Snow, & Aroni, 2010). In Steinberg's book

Addictions to sex and drugs, video games and computers (internet)

535 words - 2 pages concentration.Marie Winn says "Not unlike drugs and alcohol, the television experience allows the participant to blot out the real world and enter into a pleasurable and passive mental state." Winn is saying that television and computer addictions are controlled when the person who is addicted is satisfying their cravings. The addiction is seen as a means of control, yet the addiction needs to be controlled and need not control the person with the

Similar Essays

Drugs And Addiction Essay

2621 words - 10 pages ever before in recorded surveys. In 2007, forty-five percent of high school students nationwide drank alcohol and nineteen percent smoked pot during a one-month period (The Truth About Drugs). The percent has drastically gone up since then. In countries where alcohol and marijuana are legal and available at younger ages, teens are moving on to much harder drugs at earlier ages. Things like this are leading to higher addiction rates to drugs around

Drugs And Alcohol Essay

2885 words - 12 pages One of the biggest problems people cope with today is the addiction of drugs and alcohol. The effects of taking these drugs are dangerous: domestic violence, crimes, accidents, sexual assault or becoming infected with HIV/AIDS. Different studies of domestic violence show a big involvement of high quantities of alcohol and other drugs. These increase the level of aggression. Alcoholism and child abuse, including incest, seem tightly intertwined

Drugs And Alcohol Essay

1086 words - 4 pages Drugs and Alcohol For nearly 85 years, the government has prohibited pscychoactive drugs. American leaders attempted to do the same to alcohol with Prohibition in the 1920?s. In any society, drug use plays a part in the people?s culture. Whether it be a native taking hallucinogens for a religious ceremony, a destitute alcoholic drinking on a city street, or a group of teenagers smoking marijuana, drugs and alcohol have the same effects in any

Drugs And Alcohol Essay

1043 words - 4 pages Drugs and AlcoholFor nearly 85 years, the government has prohibited pscychoactive drugs. American leaders attempted to do the same to alcohol with Prohibition in the 1920?s. In any society, drug use plays a part in the people?s culture. Whether it be a native taking hallucinogens for a religious ceremony, a destitute alcoholic drinking on a city street, or a group of teenagers smoking marijuana, drugs and alcohol have the same effects in any