Chapter 3 Drugs Impression

For the chapter three drug post I decided to look at option two. Which was wether abstinence or harm reduction was a better form to eliminate or reduce drug use. I have some experience with people I have know using drugs so I thought it would be a good idea to cover this subject.

First the topic of abstinence, this method is when you completely stop using said drug. This is defiantly the most common or most know. Like mentioned in our prompt the AA group uses this method a lot for recovering alcoholics.

The next model was the harm reduction which in basic still allows drug users to use drugs just less or safer ways. Some examples given were designated drivers or testing of drugs to make sure they don’t cary any harmful or deadly chemicals. The real purpose is to reduce the issues that come with the drug use or “side affects”.

If I had to chose one of these models for someone close to me or a loved one I would probably go with the abstinence. This way I know they aren’t using the drug at all and it seems less likely of using the drug again. With harm reduction its not really teaching people to live without the drug its just making them a little safer. The person is still using the drug so there still going to b addicted and can still cause harm. So again I would prefer my loved ones to go through abstinence than harm reduction because I would like to see them off the drug and living better and healthier lives.

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5 Comments

  1. David,
    I also chose to do this same prompt for my first impression post, and much like you, I had said that I would want my loved one to opt for the Abstinence treatment. Although, after today’s lecture, I feel as if I have a whole new insight into addiction.
    This week, we have looked at the effects of psychoactive drugs, which are substances that alter mood, perception, or thought. These substances have a broad range: from coffee all the way to cocaine. Next, we studied the effects of depressants such as benzos, sleeping pills, GHB, and alcohol. Depressants slow down the central nervous system, meaning they reduce tension, lower inhibitions, and interfere with judgment. In high doses, these substances can shut down major body systems, like the liver.
    If we take a closer look at the long-term effects of alcohol, it is clear that severe alcoholics often need serious intervention. For example, alcoholism over a long period of time can dimish people’s ability to form memories, impair abstract thinking, and it can also reduce people’s ability to perceive emotions.
    We then looked at the use of stimulates, (such as coffee, nicotine, cocaine, speed, and meth) which unlike depressants, speed up the central nervous system. A high dose of these substances can cause seizures or even death. Lastly, we looked at hallucinogens, which are also known as “psychedelic drugs.” Drugs like ecstasy, LSD, and Molly fit into this category, and they are known for altering the senses and affecting serotonin levels. Using hallucinogens are risky because even for experienced users, they tend to be very unpredictable. Many people think that these drugs give you a “trip” that is colorful and fun, but the reality is, people often experience horrifying hallucinations.
    Addiction is the repetitive, compulsive use of a substance despite negative consequences to the user. After listening to today’s lecture, it finally occurred to me how hard it is to cope with addiction. If someone is severely addicted to drugs or alcohol, one mustn’t try and quit on their own. In order to safely stop using, they must seek our medical professionals. The brain begins to rely on the outside neurotransmitters, either the drugs or alcohol, because it reduces the amount of dopamine it is producing. If an individual decided to stop using cold, then the body does not have the dopamine it needs and withdrawal begins to kick in. The brain can also experience reward-deficiency syndrome, which is when someone cannot feel happy unless they get their drugs.
    I once thought that in order for addicts to stop using, they must just simply abstain. I never stopped to consider how difficult it must be for them. Therefore, I think that people should seek out professionals so they can recover safely.

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  2. Both methods could be useful in different circumstances and I agree that with abstinence you don’t have to worry about the side effects when taking the drug but there could be much more harmful side effects when it comes to abstinence. For example, if the individual is biologically addicted to the drug and they just stopped using it completely they would suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The reason people get these symptoms is because their brain stops to naturally make the neurotransmitter the drug is giving them. A neurotransmitter would be a chemical in the brain that sends messages throughout the body, and without it, the message it is trying to send will never be sent. So is someone is addicted to a drug it usually gives them a lot of dopamine which would make them happy. Once the brain stops naturally making large amounts of dopamine the individual has to rely on drugs to get it. If that individual would stop taking the drugs completely, it would be very hard for them because they would literally not feel happy about anything and would be miserable. I know it would be hard for anyone to go through it and if I had to see my loved ones suffer, I would rather them just be happy but do it safely. It all depends on the situation, but it is important to weigh out the pros and cons of every situation.

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  3. David,
    I understand your reasoning for supporting the abstinence model to prevent drug use and addiction. When answering this prompt in my first impression post I chose the harm reduction model as my preferred method. I enjoyed reading from a different point of view in your reasoning for why you chose the model you did.

    Initially, I chose the harm reduction model because the mindset of the addict must be right to begin the abstinence model. Providing someone with safe alternatives or safer methods keeps the person safe until they feel ready internally to stop as a whole. My preference stayed the same when, on Friday, we learned about the harms of withdrawal. The idea of stopping immediately in the abstinence model is extremely dangerous. It is a major component in withdrawal. Once in a state of a withdrawal, the person can easily relapse, but also can even die. The abstinence model acts as a great plan until the idea of withdrawal takes over.

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  4. David,
    If we were discussing this a week ago, I would 100% agree with your stance that abstinence is the best policy to help recovering addicts. I enjoyed that you used your personal experiences and thought processes when explaining your response, and that you gave a brief but thorough overview of both methods of rehabilitation.

    After our class on Friday, however I think there are many different and better ways to go through addiction treatment to limit the damage done to the brain and body of the addict. Severe addiction and tolerance to drugs pushes the user’s body to the point of not being able to feel good or happy without the help of the drug that they are so dependent on. I never considered addiction being more than a physical or mental craving, and that the addict simply had to be strong enough to stay away from the drug. But after learning how dangerous and lethal addiction and withdrawal can be, as well as the host of other mental issues that can crop up after detoxing from the drug, I would say that the harm reduction model would be the most successful and least dangerous. Within this model, addicts are given a chance to change and adjust their habits so that their use no longer hurts them or their family in the same way. This also could give the addict the opportunity to slowly wean or diminish the amount of drug they are using, to lower their tolerance and craving without destroying their happiness and sanity.

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  5. David,
    If I would have read this before learning about the different ways to recover from drugs, then I fully would agree with having the person stop taking the drug completely. After learning about the many ways to help them stop, I don’t think the abstinence way is the best option for the general population.

    For some people using the abstinence method could work. Those people would be able to quit cold turkey and have little to no side effects from their drug. They can function fine and keep going on without using the drug they gave up. On the other hand the rest of the population will need to use the harm reduction method.

    The harm reduction method seems the best for people to recover from drug use. These people would need to slowly extinguish the use of their drug so the after effects aren’t as drastic if they chose the abstinence method. When you slowly reduce the amount you’re using it’ll slowly work it’s way out of the system and before long the person will have no need to use said drug again.

    Both methods could work, but depending on the person they have the option to choose they method. I recommend the harm reduction method the most, but others will have more success with the abstinence method.

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