In my old school, I had a classmate who was very problematic. He had always been a naughty child, but ever since he started smoking he transformed into someone else. My friends and I often saw him in the morning smoking with his friends. He wasn't the only one who smoked in the class for sure but it seemed that he was abusing way more than the others.
He often said that this had become a habit for him and he had to smoke at least one cigarette per hour. He constantly complained that he was tired and often had stomach aches. We all knew about his situation, but there was nothing we could do to help him. When he started to be accompanied with kids of an older age, we were certain that he had experimented with other drugs.
Drug addiction is an increasing problem in our society. Drugs are a major obstacle for accomplishing goals in life. They can cause many harms to our body and our brain, and drugs can destroy our life completely.
Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. People think that those who take drugs don't stop because they simply choose not to, or because the addiction has become too strong. For most people, the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, but repeated drug use can lead to drug addiction. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than strong will. Drugs affect the brain and quitting is very difficult. When a drug is taken for the first time, it stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. It is for sake of pleasure that most users first get accustomed to it. Drug users take drugs to forget pain, insult, and to escape from reality.
There are many types of drugs. Some are taken through injection, some are smoked and some are chewed and swallowed. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.
Addiction can happen at any age, as shown in Figure 1, youth and teenagers are more susceptible to become victims. If an adolescent’s behaviour rapidly changes, like suddenly being frequently tired or depressed, it might be a sign that he or she is developing a drug-related problem. These symptoms can be: trouble in school or with the law, changes in eating or sleep patterns, loss of interest in activities etc.
Helping someone who struggles with these addictions into recovery is not an easy task. If you know someone who is experimenting with drugs talk to the person and offer him or her your help. Don't leave them to hit the bottom but instead you can support and encourage them to talk to a professional and get to rehabilitation.