Peer pressure and the pressure to fit in is an addiction that is increasingly closing in on us.
By Dr. Tochukwu Macfoy
For many, addiction is what happens to other people and then you begin to realize “other people” are increasingly your neighbors, your friends, your siblings and then maybe your future self, the world has become so fast-paced, intense and interconnected that we do not realize maybe the most addictive thing we face now is the addiction called PEER pressure.
Humans are social beings. We all want to belong, to be part of a tribe. Without this wiring, the human race may not be as prosperous as it is today.
Fitting in is fine as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of our identity. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to see when the pressure hits all our five senses at once, social media talk about fun, partying and the fast life, but does not show the back end and the numerous consequences. The worries of substance abuse go well beyond alcohol and the drugs we most often hear about. Club drugs, or party drugs, are an equally big concern. These are drugs used by the millennials at nightclubs, concerts or anywhere there’s a party. If the word “rave” is involved, pay attention.
Let us a take a look at each of these drugs and see their side effect
GHB: Known as a “date-rape drug,” this liquid or powder can be combined with alcohol. It causes drowsiness, euphoria, memory loss, hallucinations, confusion, seizures, vomiting, and slowed heart rate and breathing.
Ketamine: The hallucinogen can “cause the user to feel detached from reality,” can come in liquid or powder form. It can cause attention and memory problems, hallucinations, increased blood pressure and slowed breathing. Long-term issues include ulcers and problems with the bladder, stomach, and kidneys.
LSD: The hallucinogen can come in capsules, liquid or paper that has absorbed the liquid form, which is then absorbed into the mouth. Effects include emotional swings, distortion of reality, raised heart rate and blood pressure, long-term issues include “frightening” flashbacks known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder.
MDMA/Ecstasy/Molly: The synthetic drug is similar to amphetamines and mescaline, It can come in colorful tablets, or in powder or liquid. Effects include lowered inhibitions, confusion, anxiety, nausea, increased heart rate, and heart failure. Long-term issues include “long-lasting” confusion, memory and sleep problems, aggression and depression.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is “extremely addictive,” It comes in powder or a pill, and in crystal form, it can look like glass shards or rocks. Effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat. Long-term issues include anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, violence and the rotting of teeth (known as “meth mouth”).
Rohypnol: Like GHB, this is also known as a “date-rape drug.” It’s a benzodiazepine similar to powerful sedatives, which can “sedate and incapacitate unsuspecting victims,” It can come in a pill or powder, which can be snorted or dissolved into a drink. It causes drowsiness, sleep, amnesia, blackouts, aggression, impaired mental functioning, and motor coordination.
With these drugs also come issues with STD’s and prolonged damage to the brain. It is a fact, most people take drugs to feel good, to feel better, to do better but mostly from Peer Pressure. It is important to find your worth in being independent, and upholding your own values.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.
Tochukwu Macfoy understands the interplay between health, media and social living. He is a medical doctor, a media consultant and producer. He is a content development and entertainment project management professional, with seven-plus years’ experience in television, advertising, marketing consulting, international cable networks and the digital economy. His background as a trained medical doctor gives me unique cross-functional competence. He believes in enduring positive contributions and enjoys working with visionary individuals and companies.