Top 10 Reasons Not to do Drugs and What to Do Instead
Many young people who are experimenting with drugs, as well as those who are struggling with addiction, find themselves wishing that they had never tried drugs. Drugs can, and most likely will, ruin the life of anyone who uses them for any extended period of time. What are the best reasons to avoid using drugs? Here are only a few:
1. Physical Addiction
Drugs are physically addictive. The easy way to understand this is to recognize that using drugs causes enormous disruption in the systems and biological processes of the body, especially in the chemistry of your brain. To cope with this, the body compensates by adjusting its chemistry in terms of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances. Taking drugs out of the equation at this point is like pulling one leg out from under a three-legged stool. The result is that the person experiences severely uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. A drug addict will, in fact, very often not even feel like himself or herself without using drugs.
2. Emotional Addiction
People normally start using drugs as a way to solve some type of problem, such as an unhappy home life, stress at work or social pressure. This doesn’t handle the problem, it only masks it. As time goes on, the person becomes more and more dependent on the drug as a coping mechanism and a way out. A person reaches a point where he or she has to get high to face an uncomfortable social situation, to perform at work or even merely to make it through the day.
3. Enormous Expense
Drugs are expensive even for casual use, but an addict needs to get high every week, every day or perhaps even several times per day. The costs of supporting such a habit can be astonishing. Other areas of life will suffer as most or all of the addict’s money goes to paying for the next fix, and he or she may start stealing from friends and family or fail to support loved ones. In other cases, the person is liable to resort to criminal activities to keep up the habit or might look for cheaper, and more dangerous, ways to get high.
4. Degrade Your Health
Most drugs can easily be recognized as being poisons, a fact that is reflected by the term, “intoxication,” used to refer to the state of being under the influence of drugs. When a person keeps using drugs over a long period, he or she will tend to have a weaker immune system, his or her internal organs and glands won’t work as well, and the person will likely be sick more often. Addicts typically also suffer health problems due to the fact that they don’t take as good care of themselves as they should, from neglecting to exercise to eating a diet heavy in junk food to staying up for long hours without proper rest.
A drug addict is far more likely to end up in a car crash or other type of accident that may result in serious or even fatal injuries. Spending so much time under the influence of drugs tends to dull the senses, increase reaction time and impair judgment, whether or not the person is high at the time of the accident. To put it simply, people who use drugs don’t see the world around them as brightly and clearly as they should, and for this reason, they are a serious liability to themselves and to the rest of us.
6. Arrest for Drug Possession
With the exception of Washington and Colorado, it is illegal to possess drugs in any state, and even in those states where marijuana has been legalized, it is still against the law to possess more than a small amount of the drug. An addict is at risk of being arrested for possession of drugs, and depending on the amount and type of drugs involved he or she may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Even if the person is able to avoid jail or prison, the arrest and possible conviction can carry consequences including heavy fines and court-ordered treatment, in addition to a lengthy period on probation and the prospect of having to live into the future with a criminal record.
7. Arrest for Other Drug-Related Crimes
Many drug addicts who manage to avoid an arrest for possession do still end up on the other side of the law for another reason. Very often, the person is arrested for theft, burglary or robbery when attempting to steal money or items that can be sold to raise money for drugs. In other cases, the person might be arrested for assault or another type of violent crime while acting under the influence of drugs. The addict might even be arrested for prostitution after resorting to this method of getting money to buy drugs
8. Squandered Potential
Even if the addict manages to avoid serious health complications and arrest, there is still the simple fact that drugs ruin lives. Getting high all the time tends to smother personal ambition so that the person doesn’t feel like doing anything or getting anywhere in life. Mistakes, carelessness or perhaps even showing up to work high or using drugs in the workplace can all contribute to destroying the person’s goals and causing outrageous hardship.
9. Destroyed Personal Relationships
Drugs change a person, and they do so in many ways. One of these has to do with the fact that the “new experiences” that the addict has been living through usually change the way that he or she looks at the world. The person changes so much that his or her friends and family may feel like they don’t know the person anymore. Drug addicts also tend to be secretive about their activities, where they have been and with whom. The loss of trust and of common ground upon which to meet very often means that the addict will become so greatly estranged from his or her family and friends that the relationship is, for all extents and purposes, over.
Finally, the last reason not to do drugs, there is the constant threat of overdose. Addicts routinely suffer an overdose, one that is often fatal, because they were “chasing the dragon” by constantly looking for a new way to get high, to reclaim the experiences they used to have when using drugs. This usually means using more and more of the drug, which predictably can result in an overdose. In other cases, they may have been trying a new drug and used more than what might have been even somewhat safe.
What Can I do to Avoid Using Drugs
With so many reasons to avoid drug addiction, one thing is clear: Drug use is not something you should ever get involved with. The best course of action is obvious, namely to avoid drugs in the first place and to get help if you are already addicted.
Many people get into drugs because they are lacking a real purpose in life. It’s important to set goals and work toward achieving them. Find activities you are interested and pursue them. If you’re associating with others who drink heavily or use drugs, this might be a good time to relook at who you are spending time with and find other people to associate with who engage in more positive interests and activities.
If you find that you aren’t able to stop using drugs regardless of how much you want to quit, it is time to give yourself the chance to get better by checking into rehab. By doing so, you can look forward to a fresh start on life and a productive, drug-free future.