Why Do People Use Drugs

Why Do People Use Drugs - • Addiction refers to a...

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Why Do People Use Drugs? • There are a number of reasons that people use drugs: 1) Recreation - certain drugs (e.g., beer and wine) taste good and make the user feel better 2) Therapy - some drugs offer medical benefits such as controlling seizures or depression 3) Escape – many people whose lives are troubled turn to alcohol or other drugs (especially in large doses) in order to free themselves of undesirable situations 4) Spirituality – some people use drugs to alter their consciousness for the purpose of religious rituals (e.g. the use of peyote in Native American societies) 5) Social Conformity – people use drugs to “fit in” (e.g., peer pressure may lead young people to start smoking cigarettes or to try an illegal drug) Addiction
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Unformatted text preview: • Addiction refers to a physical or psychological physical craving for a drug. When doctors first began using this term in the nineteenth century, they considered people addicted if they manifested physical symptoms (or withdrawal symptoms ) when they stopped using the drug (e.g., the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine and opium include chills, fever, diarrhea, twitching, nausea, vomiting, cramps, aches, and pains). • Today, addiction is seen as a complex state that depends on the drug, the dosage, the length of time the drug has been used, as well as the physical and mental health of the user. In general, addiction involves tolerance , a state in which a person’s body has adjusted to regular use of a drug....
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