WHY DO PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS?

People take drugs because they want to change something about their lives.

Here are some of the reasons young people have given for taking drugs:

  • To fit in
  • To escape or relax
  • To relieve boredom
  • To seem grown up
  • To rebel
  • To experiment

They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs become the problem.

Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem one is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.

How Do Drugs Work?

Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect.

A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill.

This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.

But many drugs have another liability: they directly affect the mind. They can distort the user’s perception of what is happening around him or her. As a result, the person’s actions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.

Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short-term help in the relief of pain, they also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.

Medicines are drugs that are intended to speed up or slow down or change something about the way your body is working, to try to make it work better. Sometimes they are necessary. But they are still drugs: they act as stimulants or sedatives, and too much can kill you. So if you do not use medicines as they are supposed to be used, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs.

Drugs Affect the Mind

Photo credit: Alamy

Normally, when a person remembers something, the mind is very fast and information comes to him quickly. But drugs blur memory, causing blank spots. When a person tries to get information through this cloudy mess, he can’t do it. Drugs make a person feel slow or stupid and cause him to have failures in life. And as he has more failures and life gets harder, he wants more drugs to help him deal with the problem.

Drugs Destroy Creativity

One lie told about drugs is that they help a person become more creative. The truth is quite different.

Someone who is sad might use drugs to get a feeling of happiness, but it does not work. Drugs can lift a person into a fake kind of cheerfulness, but when the drug wears off, he or she crashes even lower than before. And each time, the emotional plunge is lower and lower. Eventually, drugs will completely destroy all the creativity a person has.

During the whole time I was on drugs I thought I had control over my life and that I had it great. But I destroyed everything I had built up and fought for in my life. I cut ties to all my drug-free friends and my family, so I hadn’t any friends but my drug mates. Every day revolved around one thing: my plan for getting the money I needed for drugs. I would do everything possible to get my amphetamine—it was the only thing in my life.” —Pat

I felt that I was more fun when I was drunk. Soon after [I started drinking] I was introduced to marijuana . . . . Later, I was hanging out at a friend’s house smoking marijuana when someone pulled out a bag of cocaine. Snorting cocaine quickly became a daily habit. I was stealing money from my parents’ business and from my grandparents on a daily basis to support my alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and LSD habits. Then I was introduced to OxyContin and began using it on a regular basis. By the time I realized I was addicted, snorting OxyContin was part of my daily routine. I needed something stronger—and was introduced to heroin. I would stop at nothing to get high. My addiction was winning. And every time I tried to kick it, the physical craving would send me back for more.” —Edith