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Alcohol and Drug Abuse

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Topic: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse.

Physiological Effects * Physiological effects of drug abuse vary by the type of drug. Stimulants, such as amphetamines, can delay sleep and elevate a person's mood, but high amounts can cause nervousness and anxiety in the user. Depressants, by contrast, impair mental and physical functions, and slow neural activity in the brain.
With some drugs, especially narcotics such as opium or heroin, the body can build a tolerance in which it adjusts to the drug's presence. Over time, the body requires higher doses to maintain the same effect. When an abuser stops taking the drug, the body experiences withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling weak or sick. Withdrawal symptoms are the body's reaction to the absence of the drug to which it had become adjusted.

Social Effects * The social effects of drug abuse begin with abusers and their families. Substance abuse has been a factor in divorce, family violence and related problems. The social effects extend into the larger society, as well, such as through crimes committed by drug abusers to get money needed to feed drug habits. Further, the lucrative nature of drug trafficking fuels crime as rival drug gangs fight for control of the traffic. The U.S. government, for example, noted increased drug-related violence on the U.S.-Mexico border and cited drug gangs in these areas as the nation's leading organized crime threat
Economic Effects * Reports by UNDCP have pointed out that the economic effects of drug abuse can be measured in two forms. One is the cost of government drug enforcement policies. Nations around the world spend billions yearly on law enforcement and other efforts aimed at drug interdiction. Because a central principle in economics is that resources are scarce and require decisions about how to allocate them, it follows…...

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