Stimulant is a kind of drug which when induced causes temporary improvements on the physical and mental performance of the person. It is also known as a psychoactive drugs because it attacks the central nervous system by altering the brain functions resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behavior(Ballas, 2009, p. 419-424). Examples of these changes are the enhanced alertness, wakefulness, awareness, endurance, locomotion, productivity, arousal, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and also diminished likeness of food or sleep(Ballas, 2009, p.419-424).
Also, stimulants can also improve mood and relieve anxiety. Since these drugs maybe used for self medication, one can purposefully alter his or her consciousness, physical state or mood for any purpose. May it be for enhancing the performance in the work field, augmenting the memory during studying or for medication, the cases of abusing the use of these drugs are not rare very rare. In fact, there are a lot of unaware and innocent minds regarding the harmful effects of these drugs that now developed physical dependence on these drugs.
The fact that there can be major effects on the individual who abuses such kind of substances raises the notion that there is a high potential case for abuse. Thus, social issues regarding the ethics of the use of these so called drugs arise and become a subject of a never ending philosophical debate. Narcotics on the other hand, are drugs that have effects depending on the dosage and on the manner of administering it. Also, it depends on the expectation and the level of exposure of the individual to whom the drug is being administered to. Narcotics are used as treatment for pain, cough and acute diarrhea.
Also, narcotics create a good feeling or elation on the user. It reduces tension, anxiety and aggression(Dietrich, 2009, pp. 217-219). It also creates a sense of pleasure from mild relaxation and freedom from irritation and worry. Increased dose of the drug intensifies the effects and results to a major loss of motor coordination of the body. The popularity of narcotics because of its therapeutic uses tends to point the people into developing drug dependency without knowing that these effects may not be readily experienced or may be not at all.
This ignorance of the public may lead them to the continuous intake of the drug until the desired effect can be felt. This leads to the high level of exposure of the user to the drug which can have very serious set backs or side effects. The use of narcotics may cause drowsiness, itching and sleeplessness. Apathy, inability to concentrate and a noticeable decrease of a person’s attention span, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty in urinating and respiratory depression are also signs of effects of the continuous use of narcotics.
Symptoms like the constriction of the pupil’s, dilation of the subcutaneous blood vessels causing flushing of the face and neck(Dietrich, 2009, pp. 217-219). The continuous use of narcotics and stimulants may cause infection apart from the addiction and drug dependence. Infections like hepatitis and HIV/AIDS pose as threats during non-sterile practices of injections(Carlson, 2006, pp. 387-399). Dependence on drugs develops from the repeated intake of the drugs and can be observed to start when the effects of the drugs are wearing off faster than expected.
Thus, when addiction starts, larger amounts are being taken in by the user and in more frequent intervals(Henrin, 2007, pp. 145-167). And when the lethal dose for that particular user was taken in to the body, it will cause instant respiratory failure. During the late stage of dependence, the interruption of the abuse is now difficult to interrupt. There is what we call drug rehabilitation programs which involve psychotherapy that aims to help individuals to break the cyclic abuse of these substances. Treating drug dependent persons involves pharmacological and psychosocial interventions. ( Schottenfeld, 1991, p. 713).
- Ballas, C. ,& Dinges, D. F. (2009). Stimulant and Wake-Promoting Substances. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience,419-424.
- Carlson, B. ,& Kennedy, J. (2nd Ed. ). (2006). The Treatment of Alcohol and Other Drug Withdrawal Syndromes in Persons Taken into Custody. Clinical Practice in Correctional Medicine, 387-399.
- Dietrich, A. (2009). Psychoactive Drugs and Alterations to Consciousness. Encyclopedia of Consciousness,217-229.
- Henrin, D. , Grabowski, J. (2007). Agonist treatment for stimulant abuse and dependence. Translation of Addictions Science Into Practice,145-167.
- Schottenfeld, RS. , Pakes, JR. , Oliveto, A. , Ziedonis, D. , Kosten, TR. (1991). Buprenorphine vs methadone maintenance treatment for concurrent opioid dependence and cocaine abuse. Archives of General Psychiatry,54(8),713.