Drugs: causes, consequences, effects, users
Mankind has been familiar with drugs since very early times. Drugs were first of all related to every day or religious customs and traditions in the areas where the narcotic plants grow.
Lithuania has no deep drug traditions. Poppies, cannabis were used as plants in culinary and the names of them can be found in Lithuanian folklore. Today we have nearly forgotten this and the first thought that comes to our minds after the names of the plants are mentioned is drugs. In recent years not only poppies or cannabis, but amphetamines, LSD, “ecstasy”, heroine and cocaine have also become popular in Lithuania.
Drug addict categories and drug taking motives
It is impossible to explain the drug phenomenon plainly, seeing that there exist a great variety of reasons, a wide assortment of drugs, different ways and rates of using them and other factors. Speaking of drug taking motives it is useful to distinguish certain groups. Drug addicts can be differentiated between “adults” (the average age is 24) and “teenagers”. According to the rate of drug consumption another two groups – “experimenters” and “permanent users” can be singled out.
The causes of drug taking have been investigated since the middle of the nineteenth century, but the general conception has not been formed yet. Literature presents a variety of motives for drug taking: the possibility to “push real problems aside” and experience a feeling of happiness, emotional discomfort, young people protests against existing norms, curiosity, unfavorable family conditions, disharmony, inability to bring one’s plans into being, high requirements, group influence, ignorance of drug taking consequences.
There are macro and micro causes of drug taking. Macro causes are new social economic conditions. . A considerable part of Lithuanian people has experienced failure, as they had not created a strategy suitable for new social-economic conditions. The process of social-economic change is always followed by various deviations.
Micro reasons depend on the category that a drug addict belongs to. The motivation of adults using drugs is a search for euphoria. Grown-up people use drugs to “run away from” their problems. Western people, in their turn, use drugs to escape unpleasant and difficult reality. The feeling brought about in this particular way is not taken into the context of the whole human experience and may become a pretext for new escapes from a difficult human experience.
Why do young people use drugs? There may be a lot of reasons for that: they have no occupation, they are bored; their friends use drugs; they like taking risks; they want to shock their friends and parents; they want to have style; they try to escape the present life and personal problems, they love “that” feeling. Young people often use drugs as a kind of protest against the adult world. No wonder most of the people experimenting with drugs belong to a 14-17 year-old age group as people particularly in teenage years want to be independent from parents, have their “own” views and values, drug taking is one of the ways to demonstrate this. Curiosity is one of the basic motives to use drugs. Uncritical thinking, the desire to experience pleasure “now and here”, authority denial, and curiosity, wish to become independent, finally, inability to foresee the real consequences of drug using is typical of teenagers. Friends play a considerable role at the very beginning of drug taking. Friends or friends’ friends most often offer drugs. Others usually initiate the first time. Drugs among teenagers are taken as help, because people of that age most often face conflicts at school, in the family or the life.
Drugs consequences and effectsDifferent drugs have different effects and consequences. Drugs have both micro (psychological and physical) and macro (social) consequences