The Effects of Drug Abuse Essay

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Drug Addiction is defined as condition characterized by an overwhelming desire to continue taking a drug to which one has developed a habit through repeated consumption because it produces a particular effect . . . (Mosby’s Dictionary, 2006). According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are several commonly abused drugs. In this paper I will discuss three; marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Marijuana is the most used illicit drug in the United States. According to the NIDA, Marijuana is classified as a shredded mix of flowers, seeds, leaves, and stems of the Cannabis sativa hemp plant (www.nida.nih.gov). The 2010 world drug report suggests that the use of marijuana is more harmful then once believed. The use of Marijuana increases risk for motor vehicle accidents, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, and it weakens the immune system. Marijuana users smoke unfiltered material, inhale the smoke more deeply, and tend to hold the smoke longer than tobacco smokers. This results in substantially greater tar deposits in the lungs than tobacco smokers. Marijuana smoke contains high levels of tar as tobacco smoke and up to 50% more carcinogens. Exposure to cancer-causing agents from smoking one marijuana joint is the equivalent to smoking five tobacco cigarettes, therefore increasing the risk of developing cancer. Furthermore, studies suggest that when abused, smoking Marijuana can result in mental and emotional problems that affect learning and behavior as well as being addictive (www.unodc.org). According to a 2009 National survey on drug use, the number of past year marijuana smokers was approximately 28.5 million and the number of past month users was 16.7 million. Marijuana smoking remains the second most widely smoked substance in the United States (www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov). Most interventions used for the
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