Drug substance abuse is when you take drugs that are not legally prescribed or approved for use. Additionally, substance abuse is also medically drug abuse. It is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in unchecked and harmful ratios. Particularly to themselves or others, and is a form of the substance-related disorder.
Drug substance abuse also relates to when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal substances too much or in the wrong way. Drug and substance abuse literally differs from any active addiction.
Even though, many people with substance abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means you can’t stop using even when your condition causes you harm.
Drug substance abuse-related Research
An estimated 4.1 million Kenyans aged 12 and over report that they currently use illicit drugs. Which means 10 percent of the Kenyan population admits using illegal drugs, which fall into ten categories.
Including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants. Likewise, there is abuse in the prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives used for non-medical purposes.
Substance abuse affects every part of your life. It can hurt you and the people around you. It can ruin relationships and your financial health.
Signs of Drug Substance Abuse
When you first start taking a substance, you may think you can control how much you use. But over time, you may need more of the drug to get the same feeling or effect. For some people, that can lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that you may have a problem with substance abuse include if you:
- Lack of interest in things you used to love
- Change your friends a lot
- Stop taking care of yourself
- Spend more time alone than you used to
- Eat more or less than normal
- Sleep at odd hours
- Have problems at work or with family
- Switch quickly from feeling good and bad
How to Get Help
Substance abuse affects every part of your life. It can hurt you and the people around you. It can ruin relationships and your financial health. Abusing drugs can also lead to addiction and cause serious health problems and even death.
To stop, you may need counseling, medicine, or both. If you have a substance abuse problem and want to quit, a doctor can help figure out the best treatment options for you.
In particular, from various research and SEO-automated-link-building-1 articles, marijuana has a new name online as “medical marijuana.” Both legal and illegal drugs have chemicals that can change how your body and mind work.
They can give you a pleasurable “high,” ease your stress or help you avoid problems in your life. Of the 27.1 million illicit drug users reported by NSDUH, 12.2 million of them note past 30-day use of marijuana, making it the most widely used drug in Kenya.
The drug substance abuse in Marijuana
The legalization of marijuana for medical purposes and recreational use in some states has influenced a rapid increase in the number of people who use the drug.
While marijuana use is slowly becoming more accepted, it’s important to keep in mind the possible mental and physical consequences of frequent, heavy use.
Effects of drug substance abuse in Marijuana
While conventional forms of marijuana are hazardous and potentially addictive, a new and particularly dangerous form of the drug has recently entered into common circulation — edibles.
From gummy bears to brownies, these seemingly innocuous concoctions pose a broad range of risks that smokable varieties don’t.
While the high from smoking marijuana lasts about two hours, a high from edibles may last anywhere from six to 10 hours. When taken in large doses, edibles can cause;
- Anxiety attacks
- Respiratory insufficiency, especially in young children
By learning more about the mental and physical health effects of the most commonly abused drugs, Kenyans can begin to fight back against addiction.
Khat or miraa as commonly referred to by Kenyans is a flowering plant that is found natively from the Meru and Wajir Counties. Even though it also has its origins from the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa.
Chewing the leaves has been a practice among people living in that area for years because the leaves contain a stimulant. Cathinones like MDMA are derived, originally, from khat. Khat and the chemical compounds derived from it – cathinone and cathine – are controlled under Schedule I and IV, respectively, per the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
It is also controlled or restricted in other nations around the world and through the World Health Organization.
Continued drug substance abuse through Chewing Khat
As a medicine, khat leaf is used for depression, fatigue, obesity, stomach ulcers, and male infertility. It is also used to lower the need for food and sleep, decrease sexual desires, and increase aggression.
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists that as a drug that creates “dependence” in people, meaning it produces a continuing desire to keep using it. In Somalia, civilian and military use of khat has been blamed for fueling a civil war, draining the nation’s economy, and undermining international relief efforts.
Sunrise Study Research on Miraa abuse
Although ingesting khat leaves directly – through chewing, brewing into tea, or smoking, most commonly – provides 10 times less CNS stimulation than cathinone, the drug can still be very addictive and cause many short-term and long-term side effects.
The main populations around the world who abuse khat are Yemeni, Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian populations. Although the drug received short-term popularity among native-born Americans in the US because it was briefly legal. It is also easy to acquire online, despite being now illegal in the US and some other countries. In particular through dark websites like Silk Road Channels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists that as a drug that creates “dependence” in people, meaning it produces a continuing desire to keep using it.
When it comes to substance use in Kenya, alcohol is by and large the worst offender. With around 8.3 million heavy alcohol users recorded in 2016 alone. Three out of every 4 cases of substance use disorders in Kenya involve alcohol.
The drug substance abuse in Alcohol
Because alcohol is a legal — and socially acceptable — substance, many people feel a false sense of security when using it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that alcohol is extremely addictive, and irresponsible consumption comes with physical and mental health consequences.
Drug substance abuse effects on Alcohol use
These side effects don’t just impact the people consuming alcohol — they can also put other lives in danger, especially if users drive while under the influence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk-driving crashes accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States in 2015. Some of the short-term, negative effects of alcohol use include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Impaired judgment
Because alcohol is a legal — and socially acceptable — substance, many people feel a false sense of security when using it.
In Kenya as of 2016, an estimated 1 million individuals over the age of 12 were current users of cocaine. Additionally, it has become one of the most addictive drugs in the world to the modern century.
Usually available as a white powder or solidified, rock-like substance, cocaine can be snorted, smoked and injected. Particularly, cocaine is commonly a source of solace to the people living around the Coast Line in Lamu and Mombasa.
Drug substance abuse effects on Cocaine users
Once ingested, this substance stimulates the user’s brain, causing them to experience a rush of euphoria and energy. These feelings may also be accompanied by elevated mood and an inflated, grandiose sense of self-esteem. Once the high subsidies, users may experience an unpleasant crash, often accompanied by the following side effects:
- Increased heart rate
- Raised blood pressure
- Raised body temperature
In most cases, the cocaine addict will attend outpatient therapy after completing residential cocaine addiction treatment for continued support.
Drug substance abuse in Cocaine
Cocaine is an illicit or illegal commonly abused drug. Cocaine abuse can lead to addiction, severe health problems, and death. Many cocaine abusers report being trapped in a vicious cycle of increased cocaine abuse in failed attempts to recreate the pleasurable sensations of their first exposure to cocaine.
Due to the intense cravings and high relapse rate associated with cocaine addiction, recovery in a supportive environment, such as residential treatment centers, provide the recovering addict much more support than private or outpatient therapy.
In most cases, the cocaine addict will attend outpatient therapy after completing residential cocaine addiction treatment for continued support. In conjunction with outpatient therapy, most addicts are urged to attend 12 step support groups to augment their commitment to recovery.
Although illegal and very addicting, heroin use, unfortunately, has made something of a comeback as a “chic” drug among today’s young people who snort or smoke it instead of injecting it. About 329,000 people currently use heroin in the United States. In recent years, heroin has seen an increase in use, which has been blamed on the crackdown on prescription pain-pill abuse.
Continuous effects on drug substance abuse through heroin
As pain medication became more expensive and more difficult to obtain, those abusing the pills who lived in urban areas began to turn to cheaper. More available heroin, officials believe now, even in poor, rural areas of the country.
Such as Appalachia, where drugs like oxycontin are referred to as “hillbilly heroin.” An increase in actual heroin use has been reported in recent years by health and law enforcement officials.
Substance abuse is when you take drugs that are not legal. It’s also when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal substances too much or in the wrong way. Substance abuse differs from addiction.
While prescription tranquilizers are helpful for some, they can cause a great deal of mental and physical problems when taken over long periods of time, including addiction. Currently, 1.9 million people in the United States abuse prescription tranquilizers. Prolonged use of prescription tranquilizers can cause:
- Memory loss
- Loss of balance
- Cognitive decline
While prolonged use is ill-advised, many people choose to use prescription tranquilizers daily for sleep or anxiety problems. When these drugs are used regularly, a person may knowingly or unintentionally take them with alcohol or other substance. This puts dramatically heightens the risk of overdose, permanent damage, or death.
Unfortunately, what often starts as the safe, responsible use of prescription medication can quickly turn into a full-fledged addiction.
Opioids are a family of drugs that produce sedative, pain-relieving effects. While street varieties like heroin, fentanyl, and gray death are becoming more common, prescription counterparts like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are more widely abused.
Opioids drug substance and Prescription Effects
Unfortunately, what often starts as the safe, responsible use of prescription medication can quickly turn into a full-fledged addiction. Moreover, if a person takes more medication than prescribed over an extended period of time.
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 3.8 million people in the United States abuse prescription pain relievers. Ohio is at the center of the country’s opioid epidemic, likely due to high rates of prescription drug use in the state. In 2016 alone, 631 million opioid pills were prescribed in Ohio. While these drugs may be a useful way for some to deal with pain in the short-term, long-term abuse and dependence can lead to:
- Chronic nausea
- Liver damage
- Permanent brain damage
(OTC) Over-the-Counter Medicine
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional. This is as opposed to prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription.
These can be just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs.
You can abuse over the counter medicine if you:
- You take medicine prescribed for someone else
- Have extra doses or use a drug other than the way it’s supposed to be taken
- Take the drug for a non-medical reason
Prescription Drugs most often Abused
- Opioid pain relievers
- Medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Anxiety medicine
The most commonly abused OTC drugs are; cough syrups, headache painkillers and cold medicine that have dextromethorphan. Which in high doses can make you feel drunk or intoxicated.