Human Development and Drug Addiction

Human Development and Drug Addiction

People’s response to drugs varies as some may have the advantage of using drugs without any side effects while others become addicted after the first intake. The impacts of substance abuse are different depending on the person using them. If the use is continued for a long time, addiction will be inevitable. Addiction and substance abuse are bound to turn one’s life upside down in a short time. In course of addiction, one’s mental and physical abilities will highly rely on the drug and they will need the drug as a basic need. The intensity with which the drug will dictate the person depends on many aspects. These aspects include genes of the person, environment, physical health, and mental health. Drug addiction has its consequences; users may be eventually addicted making it hard for them to stop the use (Abramson & Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2008).

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The body can be under the spell of the drug and the drug might disguise the mind. Why are the changes brought by drugs occurring in the form they do in the brain? Why do the effects of drugs vary? This article is meant to answer such questions. New researches are being done every day and scientists are seeking to find out how the brain takes effect to the various drugs. More than a thousand nerve cells with four pounds administer movement, sensation, emotion, and thoughts. Different varieties of neurons, regulations agents, and spinal cord are affected, as well. The front lobe is where the drug causes many effects (Newcomb & Bentler, 2008). The front lobe is part of the brain of those vertebrates and from all the cerebral corners. These frontal lobes have their position right in front of the parietal lobes. They perform a very critical task in spontaneity, socialization, sexual behavior, problem solving, motor function, memory, language, and judgment and impulse control. They also act an important role in execution, coordination, and planning. Cognitive maturity of the elders is identified by the aging of the cerebral fibers existing in the frontal lobes between late years of teenager and the early years of adulthood. This is the reason as to why when teenagers abuse substance; it may lead to alter the frontal lobe from maturing. This part of the brain is mostly attacked because this is the same storage place for the dopamine (Bernstein, 2007).

Impacts of drugs on body and brain

Various drugs will have their different effects to the body they meet into contact with, but all these drugs interfere with as they were expected to be different also. The impacts of the drugs are dependent on the level of the drug in the brain. One’s perception is affected by the use of drug considering that it is the brain that controls perception. All the senses of a normal person depend on the brain for interpretation. The body and the brain perform their duties in frequencies and the frequency changes in case the person does not take the drug. The moment the chemicals go into the brain, it interferes with the messengers in the brain, which causes the brain to send different signals than the ones it is supposed to. The chemicals that get into the brain may result in someone seeing their own things, saying and even acting in their own way (Galicia & Maisto, 2010). They write,

“… their drinking patterns, and 15% of those who were 21 to 25 years old reported that they abstained from alcohol, whereas 6% of them said that they consumed more than 60 drinks a month…. Age and sex also differentiated frequency of alcohol-related negative social consequences.” (p.4).

Long-term and short-term effects

Alcohol is considered to a drug. When one consumes alcohol, they are bound to have an effect in their normal function in the system. These effects take course exactly when the alcohol joins the bloodstream. The duration taken for the alcohol to enter into the bloodstream varies with different brands of alcohol. Food is also a factor. The amount of food one has taken also has an effect on the rate at which alcohol takes to get into the bloodstream. Many of those who are addicted became so because they felt good experiencing the effects of alcohol in their bodies. The reactions that alcohol causes, may lead someone into addiction (Bernstein, 2007).

When one consumes alcohol and it enters into the bloodstream, their rate of breathing and slow down the heart beat. The person experiences drowsiness and mental confusion. If a person drinks more and more alcohol, they are set to reach the intoxication level within ten minutes of the alcohol intake. Those who only drink a little will not be exposed to such conditions but if they drink continuously, they are bound to get to the same level. The aftermath of this is the person falling asleep or engaging in unusual behaviors. Hanson, Venturelli, and Fleckenstein, (2012) wrote

“Even strong psychological dependence on some psychoactive substances does not necessarily result in injury or social harm…. Typical dosages of mild stimulants….effects on CNS are barely detectable…” (p.156).

The person is craving for alcohol will increase and they may try to drink more alcohol. When the alcohol starts to go away, the individual will automatically have feelings of nausea, being easily irritated and often shaky. Those who drink a lot of alcohol may experience feelings of vomiting even if they did not eat while drinking (Newcomb & Bentler, 2008).

Large amounts of alcohol are bound to cause a disease in the body leading to poor health. The feeling of vomiting will persist and the individual is likely to develop fever or a rush. The person is very likely to feel headache and the body of the individual remains sore until the individual wears off the alcohol. The long-term use of alcohol is accompanied with psychological, emotional and relationship effects. Many of those victims of alcohol addiction have traumatic effects related to alcohol (Hill & Hill, 2009).

Impacts of Drug Abuse on social development

Any analysis of the social consequences of dependence, as they relate to public safety, health and welfare depend on both the degree of dependence and the characteristics of the drug, rather than on the fact of dependence itself. Apart from the physical effects, drug abuse also has social effects. Use of drugs may lead one to living a decertified life that is an automatic cause for depression. Alcohol abuse is a disaster to relationship with loved ones who include children and parents. Abuse of the substance may result in some individuals missing work without relevant reasons. Drug addicts are also very aggressive and this makes it impossible for them to make new friends or maintain the old ones. Those who are addicted to drugs are never in a position to make the objectives and goals in their lives (Hales, 2006). The following effects may also come as an outcome of continued drug abuse:

I. Experimental desire with other drugs

II. Emotional instability

III. Not willing to resolve personal issues and worsening them further

IV. Drastic changes in habits of eating and sleeping

V. Being angry and resentful towards others

Altered Perceptions

Perception is the process in which man is able to gain information on the environment via sensory apparatus that include visual and audio. Drugs can cause an effect to these sensory systems and interfering with the normal functioning of perception (Galizio & Maisto, 2010). The changes in perception that are due to substance abuse may create long-term complications for the development of adolescents. This is the case because the perceptive abilities of adolescents are not mature. For instance, studies from MRI shows that adults usually use the method of solving problems logically or frontal lobes, for determining the facial expressions but adolescents use their amygdala. This is the area responsible for processing emotions for example worry and fear. It has been researched that while adults use areas of problem solving in their brain to have a perception of the world, adolescents use their most vulnerable areas i.e. areas of self-preservation and emotions. For this reason, the perception of an adult is believed to be more accurate (Bernstein, 2007).

Bhang just like any other drug alters with perception. It also motivates perceptions that are in most cases inaccurate, defensive, emotional, and fearful. Although the potential of short-term addiction for bhang might be very little compared to the others, its effect of long-term use may be very deep. Being in full knowledge of the motives and feelings of others is very essential to act as an adult in the society. If bhang can persistently cause obstruction of perceptual maturation, adolescent users will have poor understanding in relationships, work, and school. This drives them to use the drug repeatedly (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2012).

Relationships of time and space are good examples of the perceptions that face the wrath of drug addiction. Hallucinogens, alcohol, bhang and other drugs have been seen to increase the estimate of distance and time that has elapsed. Using an example from a research a driver who was dosed with moderate marijuana perceived to be driving at a higher speed than the actual speed. Another issue is that the perceptions of enhanced sex under marijuana are believed only exist in temporary distortions (Galizio & Maisto, 2010).

Drugs may be the facilitating factor behind altered individual perceptions. On the other hand, the occurrence of hallucinations and illusions is not likely to be influenced than changes on other perceptions by other factors that are not related to drugs. Hallucinations including LSD promote the visual threshold in individuals arousing the central nervous system, which prompts hyper-excitation of auditory and visual events. Sounds are likely to appear louder while colors are likely to appear more saturated. Likewise, the use of alcohol results into a delirious condition, involving special temporary distortions and visual hallucinations. Drugs are likely to produce significant changes in atomic parts of the sensory organs. For instance, various sedative impacts are likely to generate pigmentary degeneration in the retina. Similarly, there are possibilities of occasional blindness. Other drugs including anti-depressants have produced glaucoma in susceptible persons (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2012).

People using drugs are likely to experience interferences in their perceptions towards their abilities. Accumulating studies reveal that students using amphetamine tend to overrate their individual capacity in making sound judgments and solving mathematical problems. Similarly, soldiers using amphetamine have reported to overestimate their job performance in specific monotonous routine tasks. This important implication of using drugs is that it alters individual behaviors from the anticipated to the unexpected unless users compensate for the impacts as sophisticated addicts of alcohol and marijuana. The degree of altered perception and behavior relates to the type of addiction affecting the changes. This can range from late appointments to undertaking hazardous tasks in a foolish manner (Melton, 2007).


Without question, dependence on alcohol is the most serious drug addiction problem in the world today. Alcohol users have outnumbered users of other drugs globally. Potential reinforcement of alcohol and its possibility of disrupting behavior are high. Drug use is a pervasive behavior across the overall population, moreover, it is ever readily available thus facilitating the development of enormous dependence levels among vulnerable generations. Studies rate that the prevalence of alcohol dependence has hit roughly 12% and half of the alcohol using population has reported notable decrement in their social functioning (Newcomb & Bentler, 2008).

While the number of non-dependants and abstainers continue to increase, the use of alcohol has indicated to generate significant social costs. Researchers have accentuated the risk associated with alcohol use by the pervasive sentiment that appears to exclude the use of alcohol from the category of drugs. Therefore, it has been eliminated from the idea of drug abuse, as well as the social problems associated with the concept of drug abuse. A recent national survey on alcohol shows that only 40% of the adults and 60% of the youth population consider alcohol as a drug. According to the survey, an individual who uses alcohol twice in a day are considered are drug abusers. Similarly, the findings of the survey reveal that only 8% of the public thinks that alcoholism is a crucial social problem compared to other drugs (Hill & Hill, 2009).


Heroin is categorized as a reinforcer in its current context demonstrating selective high risks, vulnerable segments, and populations with minimal better lifestyles. The risks associated with compulsive administration of heroin have been exacerbated by the rate of intravenous use accompanied by the rapid tolerance development. Continued dependence on heroin through different phases is rapid. Although the rate of adults using the drug is lower than with other drugs, the dependence prevalence in populations exposed appears to be high. Surveys indicate that 50% of persons who make first attempt at using heroin end up being dependents (Abramson & Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2008).

Dependence on heroin is disproportionately high across most vulnerable populations: male youths from urban centers of the nation. Because dependence is likely to take shape if in the early phases of adulthood, economic and social integration is inhibited at the most critical period, to the detriment of social groups and the larger society. Unfortunately, the current social policies appear to exacerbate this cost even worse. Because enormous pressures have characterized the current legal and social medical responses, a disproportionate level of behavioral disruption and disorganization accompanies the dependence on heroin (Hales, 2006).


When amphetamines are administered intravenously, they potentially lead to high reinforcement. Consequently, it can lead to strong psychological dependence among individuals, in spite the fact that the drug does not produce physical dependence. The use of amphetamines has a potential social cost; continued dependence on this drug precipitates to unbearable and unpleasant hyper-excitability embedded in psychotic manifestations. This is the underlying reason for rarely sustained compulsive chronic usage (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2012). However, this should not be a suggestion that the compulsive amphetamine use cannot produce significant problems. Surveys show that thousands of adolescent, to be precise, the youth are turning to the readily available amphetamines. This has created enormous problems in the reconstruction of the society. The increased dependence and use of amphetamines calls for the establishment of stringent legal control measures and psychiatric institutions. Fortunately, measures to address this problem have been facilitated by the national purpose and cultural homogeneity (Wilson & Kolander, 2011).

In the U.S., compulsive amphetamine use has never occurred among the highly vulnerable populations of youth in the middle century. This phenomenon has only exaggerated over time. On the contrary, mushrooming evidence shows that a huge percentage of adults from the middle class, especially women, are developing chronic patterns of administering low doses of stimulants. Although advanced prescription practices have changed this phenomenon, most dependants on these drugs are under the context of systems of medical distribution. Contrary to other drugs, medical indications associated with the use of amphetamines, is highly limited (Melton, 2007).


Among all the existing psychoactive substances, cocaine were found to be the leading reinforced by evidence from researches carried out in the laboratory. Although both dependence and physical do not develop, the possible social cost of cocaine is higher as compared to amphetamines. The prevalence and use of chronic is still at a lower level although it is increasing. The normal mechanisms used for identifying the location of the substance are very much useful. Cocaine is also very attractive to populations that seem helpless to heroin. The planning of prudent policy mandates that the behavior of using cocaine should be under strict evaluation and an improvement to be made in the behavioral concomitants and insufficient database (Hill & Hill, 2009).


The behavior of substance abuse come fully packed with many complications to the behavior of man whether directly or indirectly. Drugs can affect the system governing perception and therefore man might change his view on the environment. They also have an impact on memory and they make one not aware of the consequences of the drugs. Drugs also, can interfere with one’s state of mind and therefore cause them not to see problems in the environment and correcting them. Drugs interfere with the system of psychomotor, which leads to man’s poor ability to look after the environment (Galicia & Maisto, 2010).


If vulnerable populations are able to detect addiction in its early stages and seek treatment, it is a significant step in struggling with its development. With the level of adolescent understanding, we may not expect them to have knowledge of the vast impact of the disease. We should take all possible measures to prevent the disease and if need be, to cure it while there is still potential for recovery.


Abramson, M.A., & Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences (U.S.). (2008). The funding of social knowledge production and application: A survey of Federal agencies. Washington: National Academy of Sciences.

Bernstein, D.A. (2007). Psychology. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin.

Galizio, M., & Maisto, S.A. (2010). Determinants of substance abuse: Biological, psychological, and environmental factors. New York: Plenum Press.

Hales, D.R. (2006). Invitation to wellness: Making healthy choices. Australia: Thomson Wadsworth.

Hanson, G., Venturelli, P.J., & Fleckenstein, A.E. (2012). Drugs and society. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Hill, G., & Hill, G. (2009). A Level psychology through diagrams. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Melton, G.B. (2007). Psychological evaluations for the courts: A Handbook For Mental Health Professionals And. New York: Guilford.

Newcomb, M.D., & Bentler, P.M. (2008). Consequences of adolescent drug use: Impact on the lives of young adults. Newbury Park u.a: Sage Publ.

Wilson, R.W., & Kolander, C.A. (2011). Drug abuse prevention: A school and community partnership. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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