Whenever Drug abuse is mentioned, what clicks in your mind are cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine (dry Ice). But many others include prescription drugs such as codeine, Toradol, ephedrine, and marijuana (Cannabis). However, the most devastating drug that is abused is alcohol. It is a toxic substance that affects most body organs, including the liver, kidney, heart, blood, brain, and intestinal tract.
What is a Drug of Abuse?
Excessive consumption of certain chemicals or substances that are habit-forming and cause pleasurable or euphoric effects and have the potential to increase their doses and cause withdrawal symptoms when discontinued.
Alcohol the most drug abuse?
Alcohol effects start as it is absorbed in the digestive system, where it promptly gets into the blood system and erratically speeds through the circulatory system to the brain and all body organs. The effects of alcohol are felt within one to two hours of its consumption. Reaching these organs triggers changes that result in hyperactivity in the person. Then comes its mental health effects, including depression, personality changes, emotional changes, euphoria, miscommunication, delirium, hostility, and lack of cooperation. The initial results of alcohol are euphoria and argumentative and uncooperative behaviours.
The initial symptoms of alcohol abuse are absenteeism, loss of interest, avoidance of eye contact, sleepiness, clumsiness, constant use of chewing gums to cover the smell of alcohol from the breath, and poor hygiene.
Excessive alcohol consumption is invariably a drug abuse habit that can start as early as twelve years of age when children begin to test drugs through peer pressure and through bingeing, which is the habit of eating, smoking, and taking medications to impress their peers.
The most dangerous consequences of alcohol and drug abuse are the effects on lives and property. Many lives and properties have been lost to drivers with impaired mental status. As a result, there are legislative laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol until one turns 21 years old. In addition, the rules have extended to the sellers by making them share in the cost of damages resulting from alcohol consumption.
Various humanitarian organizations offer counselling and drug abuse treatment to reduce the damages caused by drug abuse. Parents of children also need how to detect signs of alcohol and other drug abuse to enable them to start early enough to prevent the habit and its effects.
Law enforcement organizations, the police, and civil defence teams are tracking what would seem like reckless driving to track down those who have a high level of alcohol in their breath through a breathalyzer. The story of alcohol in the system or blood circulation is analyzed with the breathalyzer and used to determine the punishment for the offenders of alcohol abuse. However, most of the time, chronic offenders are sent to treatment programs.
It is crucial to understand clearly that alcohol is a primary drug abused by many people through habitual indulgence in alcohol drinking.
The general effect of alcohol
“Alcohol like a killer bee,” as mentioned earlier, has the following devastating mental health effects:
It is the most widely misused substance among teens and adults. Teens use alcohol to exert independence and shake off stress and boredom; many drink it without understanding its adverse effects. Alcohol, when taken, stimulates the nervous system and excites the feeling of hyperreactivity and fight or flight. Later comes the feeling of euphoria and, finally, depression and boredom. The depression progresses to anxiety and loneliness
- Euphoria :
This is a period of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal symptoms and an increased urge to drink more and to feel high and on top of the world.
This is a progressive stage where there is a feeling of uneasiness, doubt, and discomfort when with peers and parents, and prefers isolation and loneliness. In addition, there is a change in sleep patterns which leads to absenteeism.
This refers to lateness to jobs and appointments and, finally, loss of employment. Alcohol abuse is a severe illness that affects the entire human system mentally and physically and needs close attention and physical and psychological intervention.
Furthermore, having touched on many consequences of alcohol abuse as it pertains to mental health, It may be necessary to mention some physiological effects, namely gastrointestinal effects. It goes to the small intestine’s intestinal walls and the remaining ones in the large intestine. As it is broken down and the toxins are released, they bind to enzymes in the system to bring about changes affecting the body’s physiological functions.
Also, these actions and reactions affect the digestive system and reduce food absorption and disposal. The elasticity of the walls of the intestinal walls is reduced. Hence you see alcohol abusers with distended stomachs. The enzymes in the kidney and liver are also affected by the chemical toxins from alcohol. The kidney functions change and deteriorate with increased alcohol consumption. It is necessary to mention that drugs should never be taken together or at the same with it because of some unidentified or new chemical reactions that may alter the drugs’ effects or anticipated sound effects.
Other drugs of addiction and abuse will be talked about later. Still, it should be clear that drug addiction begins with alcohol abuse, and it is necessary to advise parents, friends, and guardians to watch out for the behaviour that signals drug abuse in children and young adults.
There is always help for those caught in the habit of drug abuse because of its effect on human lives and property. The fight against alcoholism and drug abuse is continuous and ongoing. The social implications of alcohol abuse have devasted families and caused permanent and irreplaceable damages, including death. Psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health professionals, and other related healthcare therapists should be encouraged in their fight against alcohol abuse. In addition, parents should pay close attention to their children and be able to detect when their children start taking it by observing changes in their behaviours, their peers, what they like to do, and what they say when they get together.