Drugs vary greatly in the frequency and amount required to bring on dependence (addiction). It can take years to become dependant on alcohol, weeks on nicotine and seconds on cocaine or crack. According to the most recent psychological studies, the most common reason a person starts using drugs is modeling after peers or people "like" them. Drug use is a form of conformity (behaving in way that is accepted in a social group's norm) and a means of affiliation (a way to make friends). So, if you make friends with people who do drugs, chances are you'll end up doing drugs just so you will be liked and fit in. So, don't make friends with others who drink or use drugs and chances are, you won't have drugs in your face with your peers/friends tempting you to "just try" them. I hope you look over this whole magazine because there are tips and helpful bits of information all over it.
The number one message I am hoping to get across to young adults is that YOU DO NOT CONTROL ADDICTION. ADDICTION CONTROLS YOU AND IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DESTROY YOUR LIFE such as causing brain damage, personal injury and/or death. Please also keep in mind that injury and death do not "only" occur due to the drug itself. Often injury and death also occur due to lost inhibitions (disinterest in your own safety) one experiences on drugs, which leads to new found delusional interests such as trying other drugs, mixing drugs and alcohol, driving a car, jumping off a balcony, starting a fight, getting naked with a stranger, and so forth.
So, if you're going to try or use drugs, you "deserve" to know "exactly" what you're dealing with because you are risking the loss of your mind, life, goals and dreams.
What is Drug Abuse?
When a drug is used frequently or at high doses "even though" negative consequences are experienced (irritability from too much caffeine, hangover from alcohol or drug use).
What is Drug Dependence (Addiction)?
(Termed physical or physiological dependence to reflect the disturbance in bodily functioning.)
Dependence describes the inability to stop using a substance, such as alcohol or drugs, even though use is causing major problems for the drug user and those around them such as parents and family.
Three Key Features of Addiction
Tolerance: The user becomes less sensitive to the drug (one drink no longer creates a high so the user must have three, than five, and so on) after frequent or heavy use continues over time. The body adjusts to the drug (chemicals) and then expects the drug as part of the normal chemical balance of the body.
Withdrawal: When the user does not receive their usual dose at the usual time, their biological systems are disturbed and unpleasant emotional and physical symptoms occur because the body now wants the drug to bring the body back to it's "new, normal" chemical balance.
Preoccupation: Constant "uncontrolled" thoughts about the drug such as where and when the user will use again.
Note: Psychological Dependence is the belief that one needs a drug in order to merely function normally.