There are many challenges that face economies all over the world, but very few can compare to the issue of drug abuse. Countless of organizations have been formed but hundreds of conferences later there still seems to be no particular solution for this vice thus efforts to criminalize the abuse of given drugs has yielded little if any fruits and only served to entrench the captives even deeper. A lot has been said and written about drug abuse, but very few people even understand what it is, especially those who haven't been as lucky as to come across this read. If you have been asking yourself lots of questions on drug abuse, then roll back your sleeves and imbibe from this fountain of knowledge.
Before anything else, it is important to put away the definition of this vice. Drug abuse is a medical disorder characterized by some destructive pattern of using a substance that only leads to distress and other significant health problems. Many people usually mistake drug abuse and drug addiction, when clearly the former precedes the latter. Addiction is a disease characterized by some destructive pattern of drug abuse, leading to significant problems brought about by tolerance to or withdrawal to the substance. Unfortunately, these two vices are very prevalent in the world we live in, affecting over 7% of the global population. Even if you aren't into the abuse, you might have had to put up with a drunkard of a father, or lost a close friend to addiction.
Causes of Drug Abuse
It will be unfair to say that very little effort has been invested in dealing with drug and substance abuse. Unfortunately, these efforts were not enough to save Amy Whinehouse, Whitney Houston and countless other promising lives that were sold out to drugs. This is perhaps because people have failed to tackle this issue from the roots. Understanding the causes of drug abuse could do a lot to better the remedies that have been put in place:
- Biological factors: The debate on whether traits such as drug abuse can be inherited isn't about to come to a close. However, scientists agree that biological factors such as genetics and other psychiatric disorders increase some people predisposition to drug abuse.
- Environmental factors: Perhaps the most pronounced causes of drug abuse are the environmental ones. Peer pressure among your people has been known to lead many into the practice. Stress and history of abuse are other causes that people across all ages struggle with.
- Developmental factors: Albeit to a comparatively small extent, developmental factors such as timing of a drug's exposure could also lead to abuse.
It is hard to come up with a comprehensive list of what causes drug abuse but that should be just about it. Why some people can start and stop abuse at will while other have tried quitting to no avail still remains a mystery. Some users have confessed that reasons to the tune of compulsion or mere curiosity also play a big part.
Symptoms of Drug Abuse
It is clear that the cause of drug abuse could remain a mystery even to the victim himself. However, the reality is that you can never conceal the abuse of a drug for too long. This is because the symptoms will soon be all out for everyone to see. If you have been suspecting someone you care about of drug abuse, reading through these symptoms will help you know whether to confirm or get rid of your fears. The symptoms will vary depending on the drug being abused, but the general physical ones include:
- Huge changes in eating habits, which could be loss of or increase in appetite. Unexplained weight gain or weight loss could also be a pointer.
- Poor physical coordination that could cause slower or staggering walk.
- Irregular sleeping patterns such as staying awake too late.
- Red and watery eyes with larger or smaller pupils. Drug abusers also find themselves staring blankly at nothing.
- Shaking hands that are often cold and sweaty.
- Smell of the substance in question in their breath, clothes or body.
- Extreme hyperactivity such as excessive talkativeness. Other users however tend to become withdrawn.
- Needle marks on the lower arm, feet or leg.
If you can't afford to track any physical signs, be on the lookout for behavioral symptoms such as:
- Change of personality or attitude without any explanatory cause.
- Sudden change of friends, hang-outs or even hobbies.
- Notable drop in performance at school or work.
- Difficulty in concentrating on one things and sheer forgetfulness.
- A general absence of motivation or even self esteem.
- Irritability, moodiness and nervousness.
The list could go on and on but you must note that more specific symptoms are drug-specific.
Drug Abuse Home Remedies
At the end of the day, learning about the symptoms and causes of drug abuse and doing nothing about it doesn't add any value whatsoever. By learning the remedies of drug abuse, you will not only reduce personal risk but you could also save a life. The worst thing you can do is conclude that some situations can't be remedied. Here are some of the approaches that can be used to tackle drug abuse: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Educate– Dissemination of information: The “I never knew” excuse could have been overexploited but the reality still remains that many people abuse drugs because they do not know the effects. Many of the young people who abuse drugs thinking it is a pass-time will think twice the moment they discover the dangers they are putting themselves into. This is why investing in sensitization programs would be a wise move by any institution keen on dealing with the disorder.
- Stay Active- Many people abusing drugs this day will confess that they started because they had no better use for their time. With the amount of energy young people have, you can't afford to have them idle. Coming up with programs such as competitive sports, social work and charity schemes could make young people invest their time in more productive ventures. This way, they will do their best to remain sober so as to effect their new responsibilities.
- Keep triggers away- The need to abuse a drug is often brought up by some factor, mostly environmental. This means that you can tackle drug abuse by keeping such triggers in check. Some people only get the urge to drink or smoke when they hang out in a pub. This means that avoiding such places could go a long way in helping them quit the vice. You might also need to take a break from your former drug buddies who will always discourage you from quitting.
- Affirmations- in the recent years, affirmations have proven to have a great effect when it comes to handling human behavior. If you are trying to quit drug abuse, then you need to believe you can do it and concentrate on the positives. Write your affirmations against drug abuse and pin them up in your room then read them to yourself as often as you can. Reading a simple statement like “I will not touch a cigar today” every morning could actually help you quit.
- Homeopathic Opium– You can go for the homeopathic opium, which is an effective herb that is used to treat or prevent minor hangouts or sudden spells of dizziness or floating.
- Passion Flower– Passion flower is another herb that you should go for. This herb can be taken as a tea or in a tincture and acts as a great depressant for drug abusers.
- Ginger– Ginger is a great stimulating herb that you can also use. You can get it in form of root, capsule, tincture or powders and you can take the herb and reduce drug cravings.
- Skull Cap– SkullCap is another effective herbal remedy for drug abuse that you can use. It is a herbal concoction that can be consumed as tea and it is mainly used to calm the nerves and to cure nervous headaches
- Valerian Root– You can also try Valerian an effective herb that acts as a sedative as it calms the nerves whilst the detoxification process is taking place.
- St. John’s Wort– Hypericum perforatum or St. John’s Wort is another effective herbal remedy for drug abuse. This herb has been used for many centuries to balance mood and also to give the drug abuser a cam and great mental balance.
- Siberian Ginseng– Siberian Ginseng is another great herbal cure for addition. If helps mainly those with great addition to cocaine and opiate.
- Kudzu– The other herbal remedy to go for is kudzu and it has mainly been used to treat alcoholism.
- Pelargonium reniforme– Lastly, to prevent or reduce the symptoms of drug abuse, you can also take Pelargonium reniforme. This is a widely known herb that has been used by the Khoi/San descendants and the Xhosa traditional healers. It is mainly used to help one maintain balance between various body systems. It also supports liver functioning and also acts as a great digestive tonic
Remedies to drug abuse all revolve around a physical and behavioral approach. Combining these two will bring you results but you need to remember that things won't change overnight.
Diet for Drug Abuse
Like any other health disorder, drug abuse can be handled from a dietary perspective. When recovering from drug abuse, it is very important to take the healthiest of meals so the body can find energy to rebuild. Alcoholism for instance, the leading cause of nutritional deficiency in the U.S, deprives the body of:
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Folic acid
Pregnant women who engage in drug abuse also put their kids in a high risk of nutritional deficiency.
Prevention of Drug Abuse
Every parent within and beyond the United States is worries about how they can ensure their kids do not end up addicted to drugs. Here are some of the measures you can take to avoid falling into this trap:
- Sensitizing them about the health and societal effects of drug abuse. Deal with any myths such as stimulants helping to improve one's performance or work rate.
- Ensure young people especially take up hobbies or other meaningful activities such as keeping a pet. This will ensure they do not end up idling and thus start using drugs.
- Use people who have overcome drug addiction to advice others on the dangers of abusing drugs.
- Enacting the stringiest of laws against drug peddling.
With these measures in place from family level, drug abuse will soon be put on check.
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