Substance abuse and its effects
Substance abuse among adolescents is a serious problem for modern society, although there is a perception that this phenomenon is much less dangerous than drug addiction. But because of its destructive effects on the body of children and adolescents, the availability of used toxic substances, the speed of development of mental dependence - this disease poses a serious threat.
Among narcologists, it is not customary to divide patients into substance abusers and drug addicts: both diseases develop according to similar principles and are subject to serious professional treatment. The only difference is in the drugs used - toxic addicts take non-narcotic chemicals.
Types of substance abuse
In case of substance abuse, a person uses chemical compounds with a hallucinogenic and intoxicating effect. The method of introducing them into the body is through the lungs, by inhaling vapors. Thus, a toxic compound directly affects the brain, poisoning it and causing the death of nerve cells - neurons, as a result of which intoxication occurs. With other methods of administration, this chemical compound is usually too toxic or does not give a hallucinogenic effect.
There are the following types of substance abuse, depending on the substances used.
- Household and industrial chemicals: solvents, paints, varnishes, gasoline, ether, glue containing toluene.
Substance abuse gas: propane, butane, isobutane. When inhaling the vapors of these substances, the hydrocarbons in their composition poison the central nervous system. They quickly destroy brain barriers, cause irreversible changes in the cerebral cortex and loss of intelligence. Some of them are also present in washing or detergents.
- Drug toxicomania: hypnotics and tranquilizers, stimulants of the central nervous system, antihistamines, anticholinergics. The harm in this case depends on the type of medication taken.
In general, when they talk about this problem, they imply the substance abuse of gasoline and other easily accessible means from the group of hydrocarbons: varnishes, paints, gases.
Harm of substance abuse
Toxic substances cause chronic poisoning of the body, develops mental and physical dependence. In terms of biological processes, substance abuse is no different from drug addiction. Substance abuse with gasoline, for example, is as dangerous as heroin addiction.
According to statistics, a significant proportion of addicts are adolescents aged 10 to 16 years. They begin to use toxic substances, striving for new sensations. As a rule, more senior addict with experience in these children’s activities. The focus of the disease on the younger generation is the main harm of substance abuse to society.
Physical danger is the irreversible destruction of the organic structures of the brain, disruption of the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys, the death of adolescents from overdose. Substance abuse and its consequences have a great social significance: the teenager's psyche is disturbed, he lags behind his peers in development, does not assimilate the school curriculum, and stops attending school. As a result, he closes on his addiction and completely drops out of society.
The addict cannot return to normal life even if he is cured - irreversible disturbances in the cerebral cortex make him an invalid.
How does substance abuse occur?
Externally, the state after drinking toxic substances like alcohol intoxication. Signs of substance abuse are also similar to behavioral disorders among drug addicts. There are symptoms that develop as a result of exposure to poison on the body as a whole. A few days after the first sessions, addicts have a runny nose, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eyes, and then bronchitis can develop. Also characteristic:
- mood swings;
- developmental lag;
- dependence on the substances used.
The social consequences of substance abuse are visible: the social circle changes, it includes the same substance abusers or children with delayed mental development. Developed unmotivated aggression, often drives to the police.
How addiction develops
When inhalation of a toxic substance, the first signs appear after 5 minutes - dizziness, tinnitus, fog in the head. After 7–10 minutes a coordination disorder develops. After another 3 minutes, there is euphoria, nervous excitement, unrestrained merriment. Then there are hallucinations for 10–15 minutes. Subjective time is stretched. Then there is a recession, and the addict inhales the substance once more, making up to 7–8 such cycles.
Psychic dependence in toxicomania can develop after 2-3 uses. Teenager seizes desire to experience euphoria and hallucinations again, without such sensations, discomfort arises. The toxicoman forgets the phase between inhalation and the appearance of hallucinations - he does not remember the discomfort, but he remembers euphoria. He begins to regularly inhale toxic substances, seeks funds for the realization of his mania, it becomes the meaning of his life.
Physical dependence develops more slowly, within 1–2 months. At first, it is enough for substance abusers to drink once every 3-4 days, then they quickly slide into daily use. As a result, the toxic substance is taken twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. Toxicomania is characterized by a rapid increase in dose - during the month it increases by 4–5 times, and the state of intoxication is shortened to 1–2 hours. At the same time, the reaction of the organism to the toxin weakens - less pronounced inflammation from the mucous membranes, palpitations and shortness of breath.
As a result of the cessation of use, violations occur on the part of the central and autonomic nervous system - withdrawal syndrome, or withdrawal syndrome. It is one of the consequences of substance abuse. Addicts call it fragile. It develops after cessation of inhalation of the substance and lasts until the next dose, in case of inaccessibility of the poisoning drug - for about 5 days.
Effects of substance abuse
The disease has serious consequences both for an individual and for society as a whole. As a result of the use of toxic substances, the need to experience euphoria quickly develops, and due to the body's addiction to the poisoning effect, even significant doses are no longer effective. Therefore, those of drug addicts who did not die from the effects of poison become drug addicts, that is, they switch to the use of narcotic drugs.
For physical health, the effects of substance abuse can be as follows:
- respiratory burns;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- lungs' cancer;
- lung abscess and its complications - pulmonary hemorrhage, degeneration of lung tissue, degeneration of the structure of internal organs;
- pathology of cardiac activity - heart attack, hypertension, heart defects;
- benign and malignant kidney tumors;
- inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines.
Even a one-time use of harmful substances can cause mental addiction and pulling a teenager into a vicious circle. The addict does not control his actions, divorced from reality. The physical effects of substance abuse are irreversible! Even in the case of complete recovery from addiction, the patient has persistent disruption of brain activity, and he becomes a mentally disabled person.