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Drug Use and Abuse: Practice Assignment

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Question 1

Use the table to compare over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescription medications, and illegal drugs in terms of their use and abuse. Be sure your points are made clearly and include examples. (12 points)

Prescription medications

Illegal drugs uses

OTC medications can help with headache, arthritis pain, sprains, cold, and other minor joint or muscle problems. These medicines can be bought by anyone and don’t need the doctor’s approval to be bought unlike prescription medication. They are also legal drugs sold in pharmacies. One common OTC medicine is Dextromethorphan. DXM is a common medication in OTC cold and cough medicines. DXM helps stop the cough.

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A prescription medication are drugs that legally require a medical prescription or doctor’s note to be used and bought from a store’s pharmacy. On the other hand, OTC medications don’t need a doctor’s note to be bought. Prescription medicines can be illegal if a person is using it without having prescription note. A popular prescription drug is Adderall which is used to treat people with ADHD.

Illegal drugs are drugs which are banned for anyone to be used. The FDA regulates this and names drugs illegal which could be deemed as a threat to society. Several people smuggle illegal drugs like cocaine, weed, etc. to make themselves feel high or to pleasure themselves to take them out of depression when in reality it makes them more depressed when they aren’t able to use their drug on a daily basis due to their addiction.

Abuses

OTC medications are highly abused due to the fact that they are not illegal and can be purchased by anyone at any age. One popular abused OTC drug is Dextromethorphan or DXM or lean(street name). The drug once thought to be used to cure diseases has other uses as well. Large doses of DXM can get you high and cause hallucinations. It’s popular among teens, since cough syrup easy to find at home. High doses of DXM can cause vomiting, and faster heart rate than normal.

Prescription medications are highly abused due to the fact that they can be found in homes and be sold at schools by peers. Adderall is one example of prescription drugs that are abused. Adderall can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected. Short term effects of doing Adderall can make a person high and make them have pleasure, increased energy, increased blood pressure and heart rate. Long term effects can lead to heart problems and anger. There is a risk of HIV, and hepatitis due to shared needles when injecting Adderall with friends. Adderall abuse can be used to just become more energetic and stay awake for a longer time. Adderall has the ability to stop feeling intoxicated. People use that feeling to slow or stop their consumption. Due to the overuse of Adderall masking that feeling, people are likely to binge drink.

Illegal are highly abused due to the fact that they can bought by illicit drug dealers and peers at school. People use illegal drugs to fit in with a group of friends. Illegal drugs make people high and make them go out of reality for a while so that they feel like they are at the top of the world. Cocaine is an illegal drug which is abused by people of teens-middle ages. Cocaine increases to flow of dopamine to the body to make people more happy. Cocaine abuse is also associated with changes of how the brain functions. These changes are occur with the craving increasing for cocaine over the time of use. Cocaine abuse also leads to change in behaviour. These changes are unusual erratic behavior, psychotic symptoms and ADHD. Overuse of cocaine by snorting can lead to a blocked nostril which can lead to person suffocating due to not being able to breathe. Cocaine abuse can lead to people passing out and death due to too much cocaine being inhaled quickly at one go or in a couple minutes. Signs of cocaine abuse is runny nose, weight loss, mood swings, nosebleeds, overconfidence, loss of interest in things that brought joy, etc.

Question 2

Use the table to list some benefits of avoiding drug abuse and barriers to avoiding drug abuse. Include at least two examples in each section, and be sure to include enough detail to thoroughly explain them. (6 points)

Benefits of avoiding drugs

Barriers to avoiding drugs

No Money Issues- By not taking drugs you reduce the chances of being addicted to a drug. By not being addicted you don’t spend money on drugs every day therefore not leaving you bankrupt like most people who take drugs. Over time as people become more addicted to drugs, the more money they will spend as it will become necessary for them to live with drugs as a lifely basis. This will result to poor financial conditions. People who do not take drugs reduce the chances of being in a low financial position.

Avoiding Arrest- If you were to take illegal drugs or drive drunk the chances of being caught are marginally much higher than people who don’t take drugs. Taking drugs while driving can cause accidents and injuries, not only to yourself but to other people. People who don’t take drugs have no chance of being caught in possession with illicit drugs and being put in jail or being fined nor they have the chance of being drunk while driving and causing accidents while intoxicated. The bottomline is that if you don’t take drugs, you won’t be arrested, fined or be in trouble with the law.

Family-Family members who drink or smoke may encourage their children to do the same as them as they don’t see any error in taking drugs. This causes drug free children to start taking drugs due to family external influences and pressure.

Peers-Peers can encourage others to take drugs by peer pressure. They can intimidate others by saying “you won’t be as cool if you don’t smoke.” This causes the other person to start smoking in order to stay with the trend and stay within the friend group to remain relevant. Peers also bully others to take drugs so that they will be forced to take it.

Question 3

Analyze how each of the following influences supports or challenges your beliefs, practices, and behaviors with respect to drug abuse. Be sure to include whether each influence is positive or negative. (10 points)

Laws-Laws encourages me to not take drugs and supports my beliefs, practices and behaviours because I do not want to end up in jail while taking drugs as a minor or even as an adult. I see many people going to jail by abusing alcohol and driving as well as other drugs. I do not want to end up like them as it is wrong to abuse drugs regardless if it’s illegal or not. The influence is positive.

Peers- Peers encourage me not to take drugs as it will affect my grades and my high school sports career. I highly am against drug use, especially abuse. My peers tell me that if I take drugs, I will not be focused in school as much anymore and will have my grades start to drop. They also say that taking drugs will also affect my rowing because the drug’s addiction will not always allow me to properly be focused on rowing but on taking the drug as soon as possible. Another reason they said not to take drugs is because if I get caught, the chances of me getting a job or going to college are slim. My friends have not changed my beliefs, practices, and behaviours toward drug abuse. They support my views of not taking drugs or abusing at all. They are a positive influence.

Family- Family encourage me not to take drugs as it will affect my grades and my high school sports career as well as my future in college/job. I highly am against drug use, especially abuse. My parents tell me that if I take drugs, I will not be focused in school as much anymore and will have my grades start to drop. They also say that taking drugs will also affect my rowing because the drug’s addiction will not always allow me to properly be focused on rowing but on taking the drug as soon as possible. Another reason they said not to take drugs is because if I get caught, the chances of me getting a job or going to college are slim. My parents have not changed my beliefs, practices, and behaviours toward drug abuse. They support my views of not taking drugs or abusing at all. They are a positive influence. Also it is against my family’s rule to take drugs as well as in my culture.

Societal/Cultural norms- Cultural norms encourage me not to take drugs as it will affect my future. In my culture, it is wrong to take drugs but if you do, it is highly wrong to abuse them as it can be deadly. My cultural norms set the standards for my views of drugs/drug abusing. They set my beliefs, practices and behaviours toward drugs which is not to take drugs as they are harmful and will change my attitude towards other due to the craving of wanting to have it all the time. My culture has not changed my beliefs, practices, and behaviours toward drug abuse. They support my views of not taking drugs or abusing at all. They are a positive influence.

Positive role models- My positive role models are my parents/family. Family encourage me not to take drugs as it will affect my grades and my high school sports career as well as my future in college/job. I highly am against drug use, especially abuse. My parents tell me that if I take drugs, I will not be focused in school as much anymore and will have my grades start to drop. They also say that taking drugs will also affect my rowing because the drug’s addiction will not always allow me to properly be focused on rowing but on taking the drug as soon as possible. Another reason they said not to take drugs is because if I get caught, the chances of me getting a job or going to college are slim. My parents have not changed my beliefs, practices, and behaviours toward drug abuse. They support my views of not taking drugs or abusing at all. They are a positive influence. Also it is against my family’s rule to take drugs as well as in my culture.

Question 4

Media messages include any type of advertisement, including magazines, newspapers, television, billboards, posters, pamphlets, and web pages. Find three different examples of media messages, one for each of the following types of drug: medicine, alcoholic beverage, and tobacco.

For each piece of media you find:

Describe the media message, including its type, where you found it, and what it is showing and saying.

Identify any healthy or unhealthy stereotypes the message is promoting. Explain your reasoning.

Evaluate the effect you think the message would have on the average consumer. (12 points)

Medicine: The advertisement was about Advil. I found this advert on ispot.tv. The message it is saying is that if you have pain on your hamstrings or back while doing an activity like playing water polo or jumping onto a water inflatable the pain you had will not last for a long time as Advil goes into effect quickly. They said that Advil Liqui-Gel will work so quickly that the user will forget that he/she even had pain. The unhealthy stereotype it is promoting is that the pain will go away within seconds. This can lead to users being displeased as it is not as “effective” as advertised. The average consumer would think that the medicine will immediately remove all the pain as advertised.

Alcohol: The advertisement was about Corona. I found this advert on YouTube. The message is saying that by drinking Corona you feel like you are in a place you want to be in, for example an exotic beach paradise. The message it is trying to convey is that you will be in a new sort of reality. It is promoting an unhealthy stereotypes because many people will think that by drinking Corona they will be in a paradise whereas the truth is that they will be drunk and have no perception of reality thus putting their own life in danger. The effect to an average consumer will be that by drinking Corona you feel like you are in a place you want to be in, for example an exotic beach paradise.

Smoking: The advertisement was about Camel. I found this advert on Google. The message was to persuade people who knew smoking was bad by showing pictures of doctors themselves smoking Camel Cigs. This might have caused the same people to think that smoking was fine as doctors did it too. It had a healthy stereotype as people saw pictures of doctors smoking therefore causing them to smoke as well. They knew that whatever doctors did or said was the most healthy decision so whenever the consumer saw doctors smoking, they started to smoke as they thought it was the most healthful decision as doctors did it as well. An average consumer would smoke too because during that time whatever doctors did or said was the most healthy decision so whenever the consumer saw doctors smoking, they started to smoke as they thought it was the most healthful decision as doctors did it as well.

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