Addiction refers to the state of depending on something particularly a substance or an activity that alters the normal function of the brain to the point that it cannot function without. In Australia, many people are abusing drugs particularly; alcohol, marijuana and tobacco. The following is a review of substance abuse videos illustrating the history of the drug and how it leads into addiction.
Intervention Nichole, Alcohol (Documentary)
History and popularity of alcohol
In Australia today, alcohol has become an important element of culture. Its consumption dates back to 1830 when the consumption capacity per individual in the country was 5.8 liters annually. After WWII, the county’s per capita alcohol consumption increased to a level high of 13.1 liters. According to Bachtell (2015), heavy consumption of alcohol culture in Australia was as a result of colonization. The two drinking practices are, ‘work and bust,’ Refers to the practice of prolonged drinking after a period of prolonged hard work. ‘Shouting is another drinking practice where one member of the group shouts ordering some drinks for all members. In the recent past, ‘work and bust’ has gained momentum. It is experienced on mad Monday at the end of a football league.
How it is taken
Alcohol is universally taken by drinking. In other parts of the world, people take alcohol through inhaling. The common practice in Australia though is drinking. Immediately after alcohol is sipped, it is absorbed into the body. It has immediate side effect due to its fast absorption and the stimulant characteristic it possesses.
Short term and medium term effects
The most notable side effects are; nausea and vomiting, poor bodily coordination, “she was staggering as if there is no one behind them,” intervention Nicole, alcohol2 impaired motor skills and personal judgment, depression and slurred speech. Prolonged consumption of alcohol poses a harmful life-long risk.
Long term effects
The lifelong risks that are as a result of alcohol consumption include; malnutrition and dietary deficiency, liver cirrhosis, brain damage, stomach ulcers, suicidal behavior, memory problems and the possibility of weight gain and obesity, (Compton et al. 2007). According to the video, people who consume alcohol more frequently for a considerable length of time are bound to experience the above harm.
Effects on social life
Alcohol consumption highly affects one's work performance in the following ways; absenteeism, as illustrated in the video, it is known that alcohol-dependent employees are always on the sick leave or tender in absenteeism frequently, (Fry et al. 2015). This will take a toll on the relationship between spouses and between parents and children. Economically, alcohol drains families and people finances as they have to buy it. Other financial problems can be unemployment, missed employment opportunities, (Kankaanpää et al. 2016).
Withdrawal effect of alcohol
Withdrawals due to alcohol consumption occur in two forms, mild and serious. Mild withdrawal is where a person narrows his company to a few people who mostly are the drinking mates. Serious withdrawal arrives when one retreats to solitude. Both states of withdrawal can be environmentally addressed. The mechanisms used are supportive society, quiet place and being in contact with the loved ones.
Mental effect of alcohol
Consumption of alcohol leads to reduction in the levels of serotonin in the brain. This is a chemical that regulate mood swings.
Contribution of the environment to alcohol drinking
Elaborations from the video, (intervention Nicole) show that environment plays a major part in the way people consume alcohol. People from a community in which people drink a lot tend to start drinking at some point in their lives, (Bachtell et al. 2015). Addiction to alcohol is as a result of continued intake of alcohol making the brain not being able to function well without it. Nicole is addicted to alcohol, “give me another drink,” nicole1. This means that she had been drinking earlier.
Nicole has resolved to use counseling as away to help her overcome alcoholism. She has joined a group of people with the same problem as hers and are determined to overcome it.
Marijuana: A Second Class Addiction
History and popularity of marijuana
Britain colonized Australia majorly for the purpose of growing marijuana in the 1770s. This cannabis was majorly used for medical purposes. The perfect climatic condition in Australia makes it perfect to grow cannabis. Aussies are in the top ten list in consumption of marijuana. Lately, the government has legalized marijuana to be used for medical purposes. In the early years, cannabis was highly popularized by its use in the manufacture of hemp. It was a strategic material for every established empire in maritime expeditions. Its manufacture made the growing of cannabis a necessity. In the recent past, marijuana has become very popular in Australia due to its medicinal value. In 2016, the government legalized marijuana to be used as medicine
Marijuana is among the commonly used illegal drug in Australia. It is mostly used by the youths and a few adults. Legalization of marijuana as a medicine and to be used by adults as a recreational substance will have some effects on the current decrease in the number users of it. It poses some potential risk to the user though. If taken in high doses, marijuana may lead to psychosis and delusions in short term. In the long term, marijuana may affect brain development.
How it is taken
Marijuana is commonly used in a form of hand-rolled cigarette or can be used in water pipes.. Another way people who do not want to smoke is by inhaling it by using vaporizers. The vaporizers collect the active THC and ingredient vapor to be inhaled. Marijuana can also be taken by mixing it with edibles. Cookies, tea, and brownies are commonly used. The most popular way though is smoking and eating the food containing THC, (Davies et al. 2015).
Short and medium term effects
Intake of marijuana causes short term, medium term, and long-term effect. Some of the possible short term and medium term effects include; impaired vision, altered senses (this includes such senses as seeing brighter colors). Marijuana can also cause mood swings among the users. The medium-term effect includes thinking and problem-solving problems, (McHugh et al. 2015).
Long term effects
In the long term, marijuana affects brain development. When teens start using marijuana, it impairs his/her thinking and the normal brain learning property. It majorly affects the coordination of the brain parts that enable this function. Another long-term effect is reduction in the IQ level and the person's general ability and verbal ability, (Collins and Lapsley, 2008).
Effects on social life
Marijuana addicts are affected in their daily life in the following ways; mental health. Mental health of a person becomes poorer the more the person takes it. Lots of finances are used for psychiatric improvement hence eating into the finances of the family. The general physical health of an individual is also highly affected. Due to loss of appetite associated with it and the addiction got, a person will stop attending to his/her physical life leading to it deteriorating, “…..i was so devastated, I had to go to a place, I went to outpatient treatment,” Marijuana: A Second Class Addiction1
Mental effect of marijuana
Marijuana is an addictive and psychoactive drug. It leads to anxiety, hallucinations and bouts irrational fears.
Environmental contribution to use of marijuana
The environment has enabled marijuana to be easily available to those who need it. This has led to many people continue using it. Whichever form a person uses to obtain THC from marijuana; all ways are addictive and are a threat to a person’s life, (Collins and Lapsley, 2002).
QED Australia- Documentary on Smoking
History and popularity of smoking
Tobacco was first introduced to Australia by Indonesian fishermen to the indigenous communities living in the north in 1700. The boom of tobacco use occurred eight decades later when the British transferred their pattern of smoking to Australia during colonization in 1788. The smoking behavior was adapted to the culture of the indigenous people. People from lower a lower class of life, prostitutes, prisoners and farmers adopted smoking from the British and quickly popularized it throughout the country, (Roxburgh et al. 2015). Today, the leading group of tobacco smokers in Australia is the youths. Party going youths smoke as a means of recreation.
Smoking tobacco poses greater risks to the smoker. The potential risks posed include the problem of blood vessels; nicotine found in tobacco leads to the blood clot and highly weakens the walls of blood vessels. Male smokers will also get erectile dysfunction. This is due to the decrease in the level f blood flowing to the reproductive parts.
How it is taken
Tobacco as a stimulant can be taken in many forms. The most common way is smoking in form of a cigarette. Other ways include; chewing, sniffing, inhaling and some eat mixed with other edibles. The immediate effect of smoking is increased stress. Opposite to the common belief, the use of tobacco products does not reduce stress. Over the time, studies have indicated that person smoking tends to get stressed up. Smoking alters the reactions in the brain. The level of dopamine receptor in the brain greatly reduces due to smoking, (Tscharke et al. 2016).
Short and medium term effects
Nicotine is highly addictive, in the short run, smoking makes one become dependent on it for them to have a normal body function. Foul smell in clothes and the breath. Tobacco smoke is very smelly. A person smoking is bound to have smelly clothes and breathe in the short run.
Long term effects
In the long term, tobacco can lead to heart disease. Blood clot and the weakening of blood vessels enabled the general free flow of blood. Shorter lifespan, smoking reduces the lifespan of a smoker by nearly twenty years, (Evans-Whipp et al. 2015). Causes cancer, continue tobacco smoking leads to someone contract lung, stomach, mouth, kidney and throat cancer. It also causes emphysema which is a fatal disease.
Effects on social life
Obtaining cigarettes requires money. This will cut the finances present for personal use other than smoking. The health complications realized from smoking, such as lung cancer, will be a financial burden whenever treatment of it is sort after.
Environmental contribution to smoking
Environment plays a major role in encouraging smoking. Most people who started smoking as teens attribute to curiosity being the main influence for them to start smoking. If someone is also exposed to the environment that most people smoke, there is a high likelihood that they too will begin to smoke. A school in an environmental set up has acted as a shield of teens from the smoking world. Students spend more time reading and doing assignments that they would rather have used to smoke, (Çiftçi Demirci et al. 2015).
Effect on mental health
Continued intake of nicotine leads to depression. People who experience depression as a result of smoking has difficulty in stopping smoking hence they end up plunging into severe withdrawal.
In the documentary, addiction was gained from continuous smoking of tobacco with friends. Those who have not reached into severe withdrawal can find it easy to stop. Medical intervention is required for those who are in the depression stage.
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Çiftçi Demirci, A., Erdo?an, A., Yalç?n, Ö., Y?ld?zhan, E., Koyuncu, Z., Esero?lu, T., ... & Evren, C. (2015). Sociodemographic characteristics and drug abuse patterns of adolescents admitted for substance use disorder treatment in Istanbul. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 41(3), 212-219.
Collins, D., & Lapsley, H. M. (2008). The costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug abuse to Australian society in 2004/05(pp. 41-47). Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing.
Collins, D. J., & Lapsley, H. M. (2002). Counting the cost: estimates of the social costs of drug abuse in Australia in 1998-9. Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
Compton, W. M., Thomas, Y. F., Stinson, F. S., & Grant, B. F. (2007). Prevalence, correlates, disability, and comorbidity of DSM-IV drug abuse and dependence in the United States: results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. Archives of general psychiatry, 64(5), 566-576.
Davies, H., Gilbert, R., Johnson, K., Petersen, I., Nazareth, I., O'Donnell, M., ... & Gonzalez-Izquierdo, A. (2015). Neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome: cross-country comparison using hospital administrative data in England, the USA, Western Australia and Ontario, Canada. Archives of Disease in Childhood-Fetal and Neonatal Edition, fetalneonatal-2015.
Evans-Whipp, T. J., Plenty, S. M., Catalano, R. F., Herrenkohl, T. I., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2015). Longitudinal effects of school drug policies on student marijuana use in Washington State and Victoria, Australia. American journal of public health, 105(5), 994-1000.
Fry, R. A., Fry, L. E., & Castanelli, D. J. (2015). A retrospective survey of substance abuse in anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand from 2004 to 2013. Anaesthesia and intensive care, 43(1), 111.
Intervention Nichole, Alcohol (Documentary). Retrieved from, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fxEJQy3vQc YouTube on Sep 01,2018.
Kankaanpää, A., Ariniemi, K., Heinonen, M., Kuoppasalmi, K., & Gunnar, T. (2016). Current trends in Finnish drug abuse: Wastewater based epidemiology combined with other national indicators. Science of the Total Environment, 568, 864-874.
Marijuana: A Second Class Addiction. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F__wc9AtH10 You Tube on Sep 01, 2018
McHugh, R. K., Nielsen, S., & Weiss, R. D. (2015). Prescription drug abuse: from epidemiology to public policy. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 48(1), 1-7.
QED Australia- Documentary on Smoking. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqRqXrm_eJQ You Tube on Sep )1, 2018
Roxburgh, A., Hall, W. D., Burns, L., Pilgrim, J., Saar, E., Nielsen, S., & Degenhardt, L. (2015). Trends and characteristics of accidental and intentional codeine overdose deaths in Australia. The Medical journal of Australia, 203(7), 299.
Tscharke, B. J., Chen, C., Gerber, J. P., & White, J. M. (2016). Temporal trends in drug use in Adelaide, South Australia by wastewater analysis. Science of the total environment, 565, 384-391.