By: Amb Bashir Koroma
Substance use disorder or Drug Addiction is becoming alarming in Sierra Leone and it has led many youths of our age to be mentally disordered. The number of youths in drug abuse is swiftly increasing constantly. Does that means we are losing this generation to full-blown immorality..?
I am lucky I hailed from an Islamic background with the belief that what I took when I was a kid ( Lilam ) will affect me if I try any substance that is not godly. 😊
It might sound funny but it’s so true that I haven’t tried anything of such not even Alcohol that 90% of our youthful population is into.
Among peers, if you are not taking any substance as such you are considered jumping the youthful age which everyone must enjoy, and taking drugs and drinking alcohol should be part of.😆
After a series of engagements and dialogues, I realized that Drug Addiction in itself is a disease, a disease that affects the human brain and behavior because when addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.
Drug addiction isn’t about just Marijuana, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to Kush, Tramadol, Alcohol, and other legal substances.
At first, you may choose to take a drug because you like the way it makes you feel. You may think you can control how much and how often you use it. But over time, drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose control and can lead to damaging behaviors, empirically some take it to last long in bed which is an undeniable fact.
Drug misuse is when you use legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. You might take more than the regular dose of pills. You may misuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality.
Addiction is when you can’t stop. Not when it puts your health in danger. Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones. That urge to get and use drugs can fill up every minute of the day, even if you want to quit.
The drug has a huge effect on your Brain
Your brain is wired to make you want to repeat the experience that makes you feel good. So you’re motivated to do them again and again.
This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure. You keep taking the drug to chase that high.
Over time, your brain gets used to the extra. So you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling. And other things you enjoyed, like food may give you less pleasure.
People also react differently to drugs. Some love the feeling the first time they try it and want more. Others hate it and never try again.
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction.
Eight ( 8 ) signs have been identified If you are addicted to drugs or about to be addicted.
—You may have one or more of these warning signs:
- An urge to use the drug every day, or many times a day.
-Taking more drugs than you want to, and for longer than you thought you would.
-Always having the drug with you, and buying it even if you can’t afford it.
-Using drugs even if they cause you trouble at work or make you lash out at family and friends.
-Spending more time alone.
-Not taking care of yourself or caring how you look.
-Stealing, lying, or doing dangerous things, like driving while high or having unsafe sex.
-Spending most of your time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug.
-Feeling sick when you try to quit.
The best advice I do give to all and sundry is to quit because the feeling will not last long and the urge will keep coming no matter what.
Be disciplined and abstain.
Ministry Of Health
United Nations Headquarters