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Chapter one outlines the reasons why individuals should be concerned about substance abuse at personal and national level. Another important area highlighted in this chapter is the substance use disorders (SUDs) and their unimagined influences to the society, the scope of the problem of substance use disorders, treating people with an SUD and society’s response to drug abuse. Doweiko (2011) indicates that substance abuse has been a major issue in the society for a long period of time. Several substances have gained a widespread acceptance in the society. At the same time, the chapter highlights that alcohol and nicotine hold a significant position in the entire process. The direct and indirect costs of drug abuse and addiction in United States account for 15 % of the average state’s budget, which is devoted to the costs of substance use disorders (Doweiko, 2011).
Things that are Unclear
Over the years, governments have put programmes in place to ban the use of these substances. Nevertheless, it is not clear why they continue to be used in spite of legal efforts to eradicate them (Doweiko, 2011). There is a relationship between substance use disorders and violent behavior depicted constantly over the years. It is not certain why the scale of the difficulties associated with substance use disorders continue to extort a horrible toll on individuals, families and the society, in which that person lives. It is uncertain why drug use is alleged to be an American way of life, yet in USA alone, with 5 % of the world’s population, 60 % of the illicit drugs produced in the world are consumed (Doweiko, 2011).
Questions yet to be Answered
One of the most important questions yet to be answered is why those people who are aware about the side effects of illegal substances are still at risk of being addicted and continue to consume them. Secondly, why alcohol is perceived as a leisure beverage yet an estimated 8 to 16 million people in the United States become physically reliant on it while 5.6 million abuse it recurrently (Doweiko, 2011). These numbers stress the risk of alcohol use and abuse despite its legal status as a publicly tolerable leisure compound for adults. Globally, the cost of chemical abuse and addiction is very high. Another question is why substance use disorder is the sixth leading cause of diseases in adults yet governments have not taken enough measures to compact this trend. Society’s response to the issues related to substance use disorders is questionable.
The reading has influenced me positively because it provides realistic information about the means by which the different drugs and the threats associated with their use work. The information provided in this chapter allows readers to make an informed decision concerning substance abuse based on the current available information. In this chapter, it is evident that alcohol and nicotine have remained stable within the society regardless of their physical, social and financial toll they cause to the society.
Chapter two highlights the nature of substance abuse. The main points include the reason why people prefer to use drugs, alcohol and chemical substances. The destructive nature of chemical abuse is clearly outlined in this chapter and reasons why people abuse them. In this chapter, Doweko explains the meaning of the word addiction to chemicals and different substances that individuals encounter as a result of substance abuse. The chapter helps us to gain knowledge on why people choose to abuse drugs. To some people drugs promote social bonding and provide a means of upheaval by a subgroup. Doweiko (2011) also says that drugs help such individuals to look for other realities be around them.
Doweiko (2011) says that it is not clear why the legal system functions on the premise that substance use is a result of a choice and, therefore, an individual should be held accountable. An individual may meet the ascertained diagnostic standard for alcohol use at the age of 20 and might not, for example, rally the diagnostic for any form of alcohol use disorder at the age of 30. The society should investigate the fact that if drug abuse is so destructive, then why people abuse them. Doweiko (2011) says that the reward potential of a chemical should be weighed in terms of long term effects and the route of its administration.
It is uncertain why drugs are perceived as a social learning component. This implies that social learning should not teach individuals that a certain compound is acceptable but rather highlight the effects of the compound. It is uncertain whether individual expectations after abusing a substance begin to show up in childhood or early adolescence and evolve over time as a result of other influences (Doweiko, 2011). It is also not clear whether individual’s substance use decisions are made based on their cultural context and the context of the social groups. In this context, Doweiko (2011) says that drug abusers come up with a distorted way of looking at the world so that it supports their continued use of these compounds.
People who abuse substance do so out of curiosity about the effects of that drug. In this chapter, serious questions have not been answered in the area of drug addiction. It should be investigated whether individuals who look for cure are the same as those who do not seek treatment as a result of drug abuse. There are no answers whether men and women who have substance use disorders are the same. Doweiko (2011) indicated that it is not clear whether substance abusers who hold full time employment are similar to those who hold part-time employment. Another important question yet to be answered is if individuals addicted to alcohol only are the same as those addicted to other drugs like heroin. It is hard to come up with conclusive answers to these questions because of the assumptions made in clinical research. In addition, these questions have not found concise answers because much of what people know about substance abuse disorders are based on assumptions guesses and limited data (Doweiko, 2011).
This chapter influenced me. From the above chapter, it is evident that many people either use alcohol socially or abstain from it completely. The chapter helped me to gain an insight of why individuals abuse drugs and why every famous society promotes it, and if not enthusiastically, supports the use of some chemicals to adjust the individual’s perception of the truth. It also explains how the society promotes at least sporadic use of substances which have become so pervasive in our culture that every one of us must make an aware choice every day to use or not to use leisure substance.
Chapter three introduces the readers to the science of pharmacology and the misconceptions associated with it. The chapter outlines the prime effects and side effects of chemicals and the various methods by which a compound is administered to the body. Important concepts of pharmacology are discussed in this chapter such as bioavailability, the drug half life, effective dose and lethal dose, and therapeutic index. In this chapter readers are introduced to concepts such as site of action, process of neurotransmission, receptor site, potency and the blood brain barrier. In this chapter, the impacts that various drugs of abuse have on the individual’s body are discussed and the pharmacological beliefs, by which these side effects occur, are outlined.
Things that are Unclear
It is not clear why people talk about drugs of abuse as if they are a special class of compounds that is exceptional. The major misconception is that drugs of abuse work in the same way as other pharmaceuticals. Doweiko (2011) says that it is impossible to come up with mind changing drug without undesired side effects. There should be a clear difference between the prime and side effects of substance abuse. Researchers, however, say that so as to experience the prime effects of a substance the user must tolerate the side effects of that drug.
It is also uncertain whether or not the intensity of the drug’s primary and side effects are dependent on the method in which it is administered (Doweiko, 2011). The form in which a drug is introduced to the body determines the speed with which the substance starts to have a consequence on the body. Many drugs of abuse are administered either by enteral or the parenteral route (Doweiko, 2011). Drugs administered by enteral route enter the body thorough gastrointestinal tract while parenteral mode of drug administration generally takes into account the injection of substance directly into the body (Doweiko, 2011). It is, therefore, certain that drug abusers prefer parenteral administration because it produces rapid effect.
Questions yet to be Answered
There are no clear conclusions on the process of distribution. The process seems relatively straightforward, but there are no conclusive answers as why there are inter-individual differences in the distribution of the same drug. Receiving multiple medications presents genuine danger of these substances interacting in ways not expected by the user. Researchers should provide answers why severe drug relations result in an estimated 7000 deaths in the USA alone. Why pharmacologists approximate that it will take five half-life phases before all of a single dose of a chemical is removed from an individual’s body. It should be explained why it takes only two elimination of half-life stages to get rid of a drug from the body (Doweiko, 2011).
This chapter influenced me positively because some fundamental concepts are analyzed, which helps readers to better understand how substances of abuse exert their effects. The chapter helps me to know how drugs are introduced to the body, absorbed, transported and, finally, eliminated from the body (Doweiko, 2011). The fundamental concepts in this chapter provide the basis on which students may start to construct their understanding of the substances of abuse and the methods by which they work.