|DRUG ABUSE AND
history people have taken drugs for their mind-altering effects.
But any drug-whether it is cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, or
alcohol-eventually leads to dependence in people who take it.
There are tow forms of dependence: psychological and physical.
You are psychologically dependent on a drug if you experience a
profound craving and severe emotional distress when the drug is
not available. In physical dependence this emotional feeling of
need is accompanied by physical symptoms such as cramps and
sweating which are caused by withdrawal of the drug.
Most drugs of
abuse have such powerful effects on the brain that a person who
is dependent on them is not able to function, think and
coordinate normally. He or she cannot safely work, drive a car,
or care for a family,9Similar problems my occur in people who
abuse prescription drugs such as sleeping pills or
People who use illegal
drugs may also rationalize that using these drugs offers little
threat to health when it takes the form of occasionally smoking
marijuana or using cocaine. All such use of drugs, however,
definitely damages health. For example, studies show that
marijuana is just as harmful to the lungs as tobacco.
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