My first health issue that is happening every day is Drug addiction. Many do not realize how harmful some substances can be towards their health and overall on how they look. People judge others based on those habits and also by the person first impression, in which they claim that people who have a drug addictions lack moral principles and do not have self-control and that they have the ability to stop using substances at any time (NIDA). Although this is believed by most people, drug addiction is a severe and chronic disease that despite the harmful effects it is difficult to restraint from. Drugs affect various parts of the body, but mainly the brain, making it difficult to resist.
Most drugs affect the brain’s ‘reward circuit’ by spreading the chemical messenger dopamine into the brain (NIDA). This system controls the body’s ability to feel pleasure and motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed for success. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable ‘high’ that can lead people to take a drug consistently (NIHA).
The brain adjusts to the overdose of dopamine by creating less of it or decreasing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to react to it. (NIHA) This lowers the feeling of being high that the person feels compared to the feeling they felt when first taking the drug. They might take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high. It can also cause them to get less pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food or social activities and hobbies/sports.
The long-term use of drugs is the real problem for anyone especially in the future. This can affect almost everything in your body causing it to shut down slowly. The consumption of drugs for a long time can affect other parts of the brain that can affect judgment, the ability to learn, decision-making, stress, memory, and over all behavior. Drugs take over the person body completely; drugs rot the body inside little by little.
While many people get addicted to drugs, others do not. Some factors that influence the risks of having a drug addiction are biology, the environment as well a person’s development. A person’s genes accounts for about half of the risks for addiction. Gender, ethnicity or presence of mental illnesses can trigger addiction. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of drug addiction. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. The earlier a person starts the harder it gets for them to overcome their addiction because there are already accustomed to it. This is mostly teens whose brain that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing. As most chronic illnesses, treatment for drug addiction is not necessarily a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop. Relapse indicates the need for more attention or different treatment.
Alcohol is another addiction. Alcoholism is very common; there are more than 3 million cases in the United States each year. This is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol. Alcohol is a legal, controlled substance that lowers anxiety and inhibitions. It also has a broad range of side effects, from loss of coordination to slurred speech. Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, but anyone whose life is negatively affected by alcohol on a consistent basis is considered to have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is commonly consumed as a drink in various forms, including beer, wine and hard liquors like whisky.
Beer is an alcoholic drink typically made from water, barley, hops and yeast. Compared to wine or hard liquor, beer usually has the lowest alcohol content by volume (ABV). Beer’s ABV ranges from about 2 to 12%.
Craft beer has been rising in the United States making beer consumption more fashionable, with microbreweries and home brewers and introducing new flavors and tastes can. One unfortunate side effect of the craft beer revolution is that they may have significantly higher amounts of alcohol than the average domestic draft beer with 11 to 12% ABV. People who drink these craft beers are prone to an alcohol addiction. Signs of a problem may include continuing to drink when everyone else has stopped or feeling the need to drink during uncomfortable or boring situations. Wine is made from fermented grapes or other fruits, such as pomegranates or berries. It is most commonly sold as white or red with a variety of flavor profiles. Compared to beer, wine has a more concentrated amount of alcohol. An average pour of wine (5 oz.) is equivalent in alcohol content to 12 oz. of beer. Its status as a “classy” drink can make it harder to spot when someone has a problem. Women are more prone to obtaining a wine addiction, making up 59% of wine drinkers in the United States.
Liquor has a much higher ABV than beer or wine and is often mixed with sodas, juices or water. When not mixed into drinks, liquor is consumed as a shot. Carbonation speeds up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, so drinking liquor mixed with soda can cause quicker intoxication. The lower liquid content of shots makes them easier to consume, leading to a higher risk of abuse and subsequent drunkenness. Signs that a person may have an alcohol problem include, Decreased involvement in extracurricular activities, loss of interest in going to work or school, depression, lack of interest in interacting with friends and family, preoccupation with drinking, restlessness, inability to control drinking, erratic and violent behaviors.
Some short-term effects include vomiting, nausea, headaches, slurred speech and impaired judgement. Some long-term effects include blackouts, memory loss, liver disease and Thiamine deficiency. Alcohol addiction also has risks of certain cancers, brain damage, and immune system destruction.
Sex is the last addiction I will be talking about. Sex Addiction, also known as hypersexual disorder, is characterized by persistent and escalating sexual thoughts and acts that have a negative impact on an individual’s life. Sex addicts struggle to control or postpone sexual feelings and actions. Most sex addicts do not know how to achieve genuine intimacy, forming little or no attachment to their sexual partners. Eventually, the pursuit of sex becomes more important than family, career, and even personal health and safety. As sexual preoccupation increases in terms of energy and time, the sex addict follows a routine or ritual leading to acting out on desires, which is then followed by feelings of denial then shame, despair and confusion. A wide range of behaviors can be symptoms of sex addiction, including compulsive masturbation, multiple affairs, anonymous sex, obsessive dating, compulsive use of pornography, risky or unsafe sex, cybersex, exhibitionism, voyeurism and prostitution or use of prostitutes.
Sex addicts have varying patterns which can result in very different ways of acting out. Some general warning signs of sex addiction are secretive or dangerous behaviors including lying about or hiding sexual activities or having sex regardless of the consequences, inappropriate sexual behaviors such as having sex in inappropriate places with inappropriate people, using sex to deal with or escape from life’s problems, uncontrollable, compulsive sexual thoughts including inability to concentrate on other areas of like because of thoughts or feelings about sex, feelings of shame or self-hatred about sexual behaviors, self-worth of happiness tied to sex like feeling life would have no meaning without sex.
In conclusion, it should be noted that all the types of addiction described earlier are a significant social problem in American society and require the application of the right actions to combat them.