Drug abuse and abuse of illicit or street drugs in particular, have become an increasingly common concern around the world in recently. Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, refers to an over usage of any kind of drug, be it a medical drug or an illicit drug, however, the term is more commonly associated with use of illicit drugs (National Institute of Mental Health, 2006). These drugs may include marijuana, cocaine, PCP, LSD, Cannabis and hash. Drug abuse is common in younger age groups, primarily teenagers and people in their twenties, but at times, people of older age are also found to be drug addicts. Usually, drug addicts from older age groups are those people who start using drugs in a younger age and are unable to quit the habit at an early age. As a result, their addiction is carried forward to old age.
The effects of drug addiction are varied and can be as extreme as death. However, the most common effect of drug abuse is schizophrenia. One point that must be noted here is that this does not mean that all schizophrenic patients are drug users, as there are various other reasons for why a person may be schizophrenic. Similarly, any person who is intoxicated with drugs, may not necessarily be schizophrenic. Drug abuse is just one of the many reasons that may lead to schizophrenia. In the same way, schizophrenia is one of the many effects of drug abuse. This confusion about relationship between schizophrenia and drug abuse is common because the symptoms of both are similar in many ways. For example, a drug user, who may not necessarily be schizophrenic, may also experience hallucinations just like schizophrenia patients do.
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