Imagine a woman stops you on the street today and asks, “Do you want your life to be miserable when you get older?” Hopefully, you’d look at her like she was crazy and say, “No! Why would you ask me that?” 1
She responds quickly. And says something you didn’t expect. “I’m asking you, because I’m miserable… and I never wanted to be.” This response stops you, and you look back at her — but in a different way. You see tears starting in the corners of her eyes, and her question that seemed so crazy a second ago, suddenly makes sense. “I don’t know” you say. And you go on your way — because that’s all you know to do.
Walk through the major cities of India and look into the eyes of the drug addicts. See the alcoholic’s hopelessness. Sense the sorrow of a cocaine addict. And try to understand the ecstasy user’s loneliness. They are all miserable… but they never wanted to be. No one ever has. Why does this happen?
Drug Use and the Law of Cause and Effect
I took a shower this morning. As an effect, I don’t smell as bad as I did when I woke up. I ate a breakfast of eggs and a bagel this morning. As an effect, I’m not hungry anymore. Each of the above statements demonstrates a simple law: The Law of Cause and Effect.
No one can avoid the truth behind this law. Every day each of us deals with the consequences of his choices. Today, thousands of people will choose to misuse drugs or alcohol for the first time. This is what they are choosing:
Just a few effects of Alcohol misuse: 2
- Liver disease: the liver can only break down alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour.
- Heart or respiratory failure: This is serious, and can result in death.
- Weight gain: alcohol is full of “empty” calories, and provides little nutrients.
Just a few effects of Drug use:
- Cocaine can cause serious long term problems: tremors, seizures, and heart failure.
- Charas can cause intense hunger, bloodshot eyes, and psychedelic problems.
- Brown sugar can cause loss of appetite, insomnia, irritability, and depression.
- Marijuana can cause heart, lung, and brain problems.
Psychological Effects of Addiction
If experimentation and misuse of drugs or alcohol leads to an addiction, more than your health is at risk. Your lifestyle is at risk.
Addiction is often accompanied by compulsive drug and alcohol use. And beyond the physical effects, these substances can alter the way your brain functions and looks. 3
For example, taking recreational drugs causes a sudden increase in dopamine levels in your brain, causing a “rush” of pleasure. After taking the drug, your brain instinctively wants more. The chemical dopamine is responsible for reward-driven learning; so when you take drugs, you are “teaching” your brain to want more.
When addictions persist, the substances become a means of survival. In the same way we need food and water, addicts need their substance of choice. This type of a lifestyle can have a serious effect on nearly anything, From family and friends, to your ability to talk with people, to your overall happiness — addictions can ruin you.
This is no way to live.
Yet, someone will probably read this article and still experiment with drugs or alcohol. I tend to be a very logistical thinker, and this doesn’t make any sense to me. So I’ll ask the question again: WHY?
Why do People Start Using Drugs or Alcohol?
We’ll answer that question in our next post, but for now, we want to know what you think.
What causes people to use drugs or alcohol for the first time? Tell us what you think below.