The Effects of Drug Use Essay

The Effects of Drug Use Essay

Definition of Drugs

The World Health Organization (WHO) panel of experts has tried to define drugs through various means to ensure the reference fits well within various research fields. Pharmacology, on the other hand, has also contributed greatly to the definition of drugs and referred to the primary components of the drug and the mode of consumption. Therefore, based on the various analyses, drugs are chemical and natural substances that alter the working of the body and brain. The effects of drugs vary from one individual to another, and some could be long-lasting health complications. Depending on the level of addiction within the drug user, some health consequences could be permanent even after overcoming addiction. Additionally, drug substances can be consumed differently, ranging from injection, inhalation, and ingestion. This consequently will affect the mode of anticipated brain and body changes since injected drugs immediately impact the bloodstream while ingestion has a delayed effect.

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Scope of Drug Abuse

According to medical practitioners and health researchers, all misused drugs alter the brain’s normal functioning. These effects range from increased levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s motivation, emotions, and pleasure levels. It then follows that the continued use of drugs will eventually affect the user’s brain power and interfere with their decision-making process. Over time, drug users will experience unwavering cravings leading to compulsive drug usage, and these behaviours could eventually end up in drug addiction and other substance dependence (Ahmed et al., 21). Across the world, over seven million people are currently suffering from drug and substance abuse. There has also been a record high of deaths, diseases, and mobility-related issues arising from drug abuse compared to other preventable health conditions. Moreover, individuals suffering from drug and substance abuse are more prone to accidents and injuries due to their inhibited brain power to make rational decisions and a higher likelihood of being involved in domestic violence.


Drug Abuse on Health

Drug use can be defined as the continued consumption of addictive substances that eventually lead to drug abuse and addiction. The drugs could vary from alcohol, cannabis, hallucinogens, and opioids, leading to a condition known as substance use disorder, meaning that the user is continuously craving for these drugs to achieve some desired satisfaction. The effects of drug use could lead to short and long-term health effects depending on the level of consumption and the drug in question. Generally, the health implication caused by drugs can be far-reaching and alter critical body organs’ general functioning. Within most drug users, there is a generally reduced immunity defence system leading to increased exposure to infections and diseases. Drug users also tend to experience changes in their appetite and consequently experience weight loss (Teoh et al., 218). Drug users also have issues with their brain and memory, which greatly affects their attention levels and rational decision-making strategies. There could also be varied effects on the lungs, liver, and other critical body organs that could lead to chronic illnesses.


Drug Abuse on the Brain

Most commonly abused drugs from nicotine, cocaine, and cannabis, Sativa greatly impact the neurotransmission processing system. The limbic system is greatly affected, which alters the reward circuit of the brain and consequently alters the drug user’s emotions, mood, and instincts. The main target of these brain sections is the presence of dopamine with regulated emotions and feeling within the brain; hence, the increased flow of dopamine will mean the drug user will slowly progress to drug addiction. With most drug users involuntarily moving into drug and substance abuse, the anticipated drug abuse will alter the brain’s working processes (Hollingsworth et al., 540). This will mean that the individual’s capacity and ability to make rational decisions will be greatly affected, eventually leading to intense cravings and addiction. Moreover, other expected short and long-term effects of drug use are disrupted brain communication systems, which can be revealed through changes in moods and behaviors due to altered cognitive function. In the worst-case scenarios, brain damage could occur through drug-infused nutrition deficiencies, while in pregnant women, the brain development of the unborn child could be greatly inhibited.


Drug Abuse Behavioral Changes

There are also numerous anticipated changes in the behavioral responses of drug users since their brain capacity is greatly inhibited from making rational decisions. Behavioral deficiencies evident among drug users often translate to a deviation away from the normal working type of the human body system, resulting from their drug and substance dependence. Drug users’ most notable behavioral problems include aggressiveness, hallucinations, paranoia, impaired judgment, and impulsiveness. Most drug users tend to be more predisposed to the loss of self-control and therefore indulge in compromising activities and satisfying their mental cravings. These effects on behavioral issues vary within different age groups (Glei et al., 26). For instance, among school-going students, there will be expected absenteeism within school and aggressiveness leading to school fights. Within the working class, there is anticipated absenteeism from the workplace and irregular work output patterns leading to disciplinary and dismissal cases. Across the US, there has been a record high of jail time offences arising from drug use, increased cases of domestic violence, damage of property, and road accidents arising from intoxicated driving.

Drug use continues to be a menace within society and is destroying the lives of young adults and the elderly. However, the major question again would be what are the triggering factors leading to uncontrolled drug use being witnessed across the region. Drug use could be arising due to the ease in accessibility of the drugs meaning that government systems are not putting in the much-needed effort in regulation and rules surrounding drugs. Social pressures could also trigger drug use, with most of them arising from dysfunctional family units to workplace-related issues. Thus, counselling services need to be increased, as well as government and other institutions striving to offer a conducive environment for work and family units (Brown et al., 183). Drug use, however, needs to be monitored to control using the most appropriate measures since some of the policy motivations in place are politically instigated rather than rationally motivated. Drug use should be a national and societal concern in this day and age since there has been an increased uptake in drug and substance usage.

Works Cited

Ahmed, Serge H., et al. “Non-pharmacological factors that determine drug use and addiction.” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 110 (2020): 3-27.

Brown, R. A., et al. “Predictors of drug use during pregnancy: the relative effects of socioeconomic, demographic, and mental health risk factors.” Journal of neonatal-perinatal medicine 12.2 (2019): 179-187.

Glei, Dana A., and Samuel H. Preston. “Estimating the impact of drug use on US mortality, 1999-2016.” PloS one 15.1 (2020): e0226732.

Hollingsworth, Alex, Coady Wing, and Ashley C. Bradford. “Comparative effects of recreational and medical marijuana laws on drug use among adults and adolescents.” The Journal of Law and Economics 65.3 (2022): 515-554.

Teoh, L., G. Moses, and M. J. McCullough. “Oral manifestations of illicit drug use.” Australian Dental Journal 64.3 (2019): 213-222.


Minimum of 5 Scholarly academic sources from which you will directly quote and/or paraphrase.

With in-text and works cited page( MLA 8 or 9)

Now that we have worked with three writing patterns (modes) illustration, definition, and process, we will begin working on our culminating project for the semester, the research paper, but before you panic, please remember that the word research simply means that you will be relying on sources other than yourself to complete the writing assignment.

Although you had the option of using sources on the illustration (Diagnostic) and process essay, you will be required to use sources on our last writing assignment: The Cause/Effect research paper.

Since you will be working with outside sources, your familiarity with the MLA citation system will become increasingly important, and you will need to cite your sources both in-text and on a works cited page.  Purdue’s OWL MLA Guide (Web Link 6) will prove to be a valuable source of information about documentation.  I will also ask you to listen to an audio lecture on plagiarism as a part of the process.

Note that beginning Fall 2016, the English courses at College of the Mainland began using the Eighth edition of MLA (you will hear me refer to this version as MLA 2016 or MLA 8).  I assume most of the databases have caught up with the times, but just to be safe, always be sure that you select either MLA 8 or MLA 9 when given a choice of citation systems from which to choose. 9 is the most recent, but it is virtually the same as 8/

To begin this week’s assignment, as always I would like for you to read about the type of writing we will be completing.  To that end, you will need to read the following:

“Cause-Effect” found in The Longman Writer. . . on pp. 313-348.

Cause-Effect writing is very similar to Argumentation/Persuasion writing, which I assume you worked with in English 1301 and, perhaps, your high school English curriculum.  With Argumentation/Persuasion, you chose a controversial topic that had multiple sides, and then chose one of those sides and created an effective support using evidence from reliable and (hopefully) scholarly sources.

With Cause/Effect, which like persuasion is also an argument, the writer takes an issue, condition, or event and traces EITHER the causes of that phenomenon OR its effects.

******Please pay special attention to this next statement:*****

In other words, even though it is called cause-effect writing, you will NOT be addressing BOTH the causes AND the effects of the phenomenon, you will be addressing EITHER the causes OR the effects, having started from either one end of the issue or the other: If you start with a cause, you determine the effects, and if you start with an effect, you determine the causes.

All right, most people who know me know that math is not my area of expertise. I took algebra in both high school and college, but I was much more comfortable with writing, literature, history, science, and music.

Now, get ready because this next part is a shocker. I actually explain cause and effect using mathematics, which may sound odd, but it works.

Say for instance that you were taking an algebra class, and the instructor put this problem on the board:

6 + x= 13.

He or she then says, “Solve for x.”

You would then look at the problem and realize that part of it is missing. In the aforementioned problem, one of the numbers on the left side of the equals sign is missing.

Let’s say then, for the next problem, the instructor puts the following equation on the board:


He or she then says, “Solve for x.”

You would then look at the problem and realize that part of it is missing. In the second problem, the solution, which is on the right side of the equals sign, is missing.


Now, let’s apply this logic to Cause/Effect writing.

The first problem is like a cause essay. You know what the solution—the answer—is, but you are missing part of the causes that lead to that solution.

The second problem is like an effect essay. You know what the causes are, but you do not know what will happen as a result of those causes.

When you compose an EFFECT essay, you are starting with a cause and deciding what the effects will be, and when you write a CAUSE essay, you are starting with an effect and determining what the causes are.  Here is an example:

If I were going to use the topic of pollution for this assignment, I could EITHER determine the causes OR the effects of pollution.

If I were to do “The Causes of Pollution” as my topic, then pollution is the effect, and my essay will determine what its causes are.

If I were to do “The Effects of Pollution” for the assignment, then pollution is the cause (or to be more precise, the causal agent), and my essay will determine what the effects of pollution would be.

Note that some general topics lend themselves better to one or the other.

Smoking cigarettes comes to mind. It would be much easier to write an essay on the effects of smoking cigarettes than it would be to write an essay on the causes of cigarette smoking.

Keep that in mind when choosing a topic and deciding whether to address its causes or effects.

Ask yourself the following question:  Would it be easier to research the causes or the effects of this subject?

Now, you will need to retrieve Handout 20: Cause or Effect Research Paper. located in the Unit V Course Module

When I used to use Cause-Effect as one of the patterns in English 1301, students had a really hard time with it—probably because it is a very analytical type of writing, much more so than illustration and definition.

When the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board revamped the English 1302 curriculum into a true Composition II course, I decided to move Cause-Effect to English 1302 so that the argumentation-persuasion writing in English 1301 would be an effective introduction to the cause-effect writing in English 1302; plus, you now have worked with illustration, definition, and process in this course, which will be an excellent introduction to that various patterns that you can employ when writing a cause-effect essay.

Remember that all writing, by its very nature, is argumentative; in cause-effect writing, the writer is arguing that what he or she is presenting in the essay is truly a cause or an effect of the phenomenon being discussed.

Here is a good resource that you might want to review before beginning this project. It provides additional information about the cause/effect writing mode:

For this essay, you will need to use a MINIMUM of five scholarly, academic sources from which you will directly quote and/or paraphrase. 

I would suggest using the Internet as a last-resort, relying instead on the college’s many databases for your sources. Although there is good information on the World Wide Web, much of the information is not scholarly.  When using the Internet, rely on web sites whose URLs end with either .edu, .org, .gov, or .mil. These tend to be more reliable.  If you are not sure what the URL extensions mean, you can review them here:

As always, you need to stay away from unreliable, unscholarly sites such as Wikipedia for a formal, college-level research paper, but these sites are fine when you need a fast piece of information. The site I am using for the URL extensions is an example. It is not a great site, but it serves my purpose here.

I would suggest reviewing the following handout, located on the California State University/Chico web site:

This handout discusses the CRAAP test for evaluating sources. Yes, it is a play on words as it is designed to instruct you how to avoid poor, non-scholarly sources in your essays.

The cause-effect research paper needs to be a minimum of four (full) double-spaced pages in length, and it should be no more than six double-spaced pages in length plus the works cited page

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