The Dangers of Drug Abuse

There are many reasons why people abuse substances like alcohol or illicit drugs, but it is clear that society as a whole pays a very high price because of it. The toll runs from the direct damage to physical health that is seen in hospital emergency rooms, to the direct damage that is done to t he personal health of the addict, and its link to physical trauma.

The nation's prison system is filled with people who are there because of behavior that is directly linked to substance abuse: from those who were dealers of a controlled substance to those who committed a crime to support an addiction, or whose behavior was so affected that they committed a crime they might not otherwise have committed.

Many substances will lead to withdrawal effects brought on by reduction or elimination of regular use. Withdrawal symptoms range from fair mild, such as anxiety, to more severe symptoms like hallucinations and seizures. And overdosing on a drug can lead to death.

The abuse of virtually all drugs can lead to tolerance, in which it takes greater amounts for the addict to get the desired level of intoxication. Commonly abused drugs include alcohol, cocaine and its variants such as crack, heroin, methamphetamine or "meth," tobacco, inhalants, and club drugs, a class of drugs that includes Ecstasy and Rohypnol, or "roofies."

Randy Haveson has been working in the addiction field since 1986. He is a recovering addict himself, who was so strung out on cocaine that he seriously considered ending his own life. Fortunately he got the help that he needed, and has since devoted his life to helping others, college students in particular, overcome their addictions and become contributing members of society.

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