When it comes to illicit or recreational drugs, knowledge is power. Sometimes it is all the power that stands between yourself and a lifetime of regret.
Do you expect the standard warning shots: Bad! Bad! No, no, no! Let’s back away from that at the moment. Instead, let’s discuss what you should know about drugs, because you would want to know as much as you can to make an informed decision regarding taking any chemical substance into your body. But let’s also discuss what you should know about yourself before taking drugs. After all, you are part of the equation, too.
Just judging by alcohol alone, it is estimated that about a third of the country’s adults have a problem with alcohol, while a third do not and drink alcoholic beverages on occasion. The other third are those who drink no alcohol at all.
That means one-third of all adults are addiction-prone. There are many studies that show a genetic predisposition that lends itself to various addictions, but there is also a pronounced environmental factor. In so many words, that means that anyone in the right environment – in an environment in which taking drugs or drinking is prevalent – can become addicted, no matter whether their genes carry a predisposition or not.
In addition, many people suffer from major depression at one time or another in their lives and studies show 51 percent of those also suffer from lifetime anxiety problems.
While not everyone suffers from major depression or anxiety, the Anxiety And Depression Association of America reports that 18 percent of the adult population or 40 million Americans are seeking treatment for depression at any given time. In a write-up about phobias, HelpGuide.org says, “almost everyone has an irrational fear or two.” The National Institure of Mental Health says, quite simply, “mental illnesses are common in the United States.
Add all that together with the children of adults with drinking problems – that would be approximately one third of children growing up in households were at least one parent is alcohol dependent – and what you have is a long list of very dangerous reasons to start drinking alcohol or start taking recreational drugs.
It is often said in hindsight that people with an alcohol or drug problem is “self medicating,” and it could be assumed that anyone drinking to excess repeatedly or taking drugs repeatedly is doing exactly that. They are drinking or taking drugs for reasons they are only dimly aware until they have gone by far and are forced to confront what is often years of self-abuse.
Almost any drug, even aspirin, has negative health effects if taken over a long period of time. There are no addictive substances that are not also harmful, of not lethal, over the long term. Some of the harm is direct: Alcohol hurts almost every body organ and function you have – and not later: At the first drink. Smoking can cause cancer. These are direct effects. Addictions often trigger or fuel major depression and anxiety, meaning a relatively anxious person who takes drugs for many years is, by then, often a very, very anxious person.
The secondary or indirect effects of addictions is just as insidious. People stop maturing, when addictions take hold. They read less, pay attention less, learn less. After years of drinking or taking drugs, a persons economic and social standing is often far below what it may have been. Humans need to continue learning. People are given promotions and raises later in life because they keep going to seminars and night school. Not because they stop at a bar on the way home.
Do you know yourself well enough to drink alcohol or take drugs for recreation and get away with it? The odds of that being true are fairly slim, when you think about it.
Do you think you know enough about yourself and the dangers of drugs or alcohol before you start taking them or drinking? The odds are pretty good that you do have that kind of confidence. Our own egos are fairly strong powers in our lives. So, there’s a knowledge gap between what you believe you know about yourself and what you actually know about yourself.
The late New York psychiatrist and author Albert Ellis used to say that human beings are simply addiction-prone. Human beings get addicted to all kinds of nonsense: Compulsive behaviors, work, sex, computers, opiates, jogging, alcohol, methamphetamine, food, gambling … you name it. Do you think you really know yourself well enough to state in advance that you can take drugs or drink just for the enjoyment and be one of those who don’t end up in rehab years from now with a laundry list of regrets and broken dreams to point to?
Help for this article came from DualDiagnosis.org at http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/drug-addiction/the-origins-of-drugs/ and from the National Institute of Mental Health at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml.
Additional insight came from WebMD at http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness and HelpGuide.org at http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/phobias-and-fears.htm.
Article Submitted By Derrick Manning( Community Writer)