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Why Do People Use Drugs?

Who doesn’t like to feel good? One way to feel good is to take drugs. Unfortunately, sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Take a relatively harmless drug like caffeine, for example. Many people can’t seem to function in the morning unless they have a cup or two of coffee. But, what happens when two cups becomes five cups? A couple of cups of coffee may feel good, but add a few more jolts of caffeine to the system, and all of a sudden the morning doesn’t feel good at all. Drugs are strange that way.

But feeling good isn’t the only reason why people take drugs, although it tops the list. There are many others.

• To feel good. Drugs produce pleasurable feelings. The effect, or pleasurable feeling, depends on the drug being abused. For instance, cocaine causes a high that makes a person feel powerful, self-confident and energized. The “high” caused by opiates, such as heroin, produces relaxed and satisfied feelings for the user.

• To feel better. Many people use drugs to self medicate. Often, people with social anxiety disorders, depression, or stress begin using drugs because they find the pleasurable feeling relieves their symptoms. Over time, however, people who use drugs to self medicate deplete certain chemicals in their brain which cause their condition to become worse than when they began using drugs. For example, a depressed person may drink to relieve depression and over time realize that drinking makes them more depressed. What was once a solution becomes an even more pressing problem.

• To do better. Sometimes, people use drugs to enhance their performance. Many people may find that using drugs initially helps them think better or run faster. However, in time, the drugs simply become a crutch that causes poorer and poorer performance. Their benefits last for only a short amount of time.

• Curiosity and peer pressure. Young people are especially prone to experiment with drugs in order to fit in with peer groups. Also, they are more likely to take risks, such as trying drugs in the first place when they are young and they do not have the responsibilities of adulthood. If they become addicted, their brains will suffer long into adulthood, because their brains are still developing.

Now that you have read the list, can you think of any other reasons why people take drugs? Let us know.

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