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Showing posts from May 10, 2009

Anxiety and Drug Abuse

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Some students start using drugs when they experience anxiety. They need to understand that anxiety is a normal and natural physiological response to a threatening situation. The situation could be actual or perceived. In either case it triggers the Fight or Flight response. The Fight or Flight Response is your body's automatic, inborn response that protects your survival. It prepares the body to "fight" or "flee" from any real or perceived threat to your survival. When the fight or flight response occurs, it stimulates an area of your brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus prepares your body for fighting or running. It does this by flooding your brain with chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. This process creates physical reactions.
If you lead a very stressful life, your sympathetic nervous system may be sending you “false alarms” much of the time. For example, your fight or flight response may be activated when your t…

When and how does drug abuse start and progress?

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Studies such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate that some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13, which likely means that some begin even earlier. Early abuse often includes such substances as tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medicines. If drug abuse persists into later adolescence, abusers typically become more heavily involved with marijuana and then advance to other drugs, while continuing their abuse of tobacco and alcohol. Studies have also shown that abuse of drugs in late childhood and early adolescence is associated with greater drug involvement. It is important to note that most youth, however, do not progress to abusing other drugs.
Scientists have proposed various explanations of why some individuals become involved with drugs and then escalate to abuse. One explanation points to a biologic…