At the end of my Project Claudia post, I promised I'd address this one.
What do you think are the most popular drugs in the world?
By some definitions, it is marijuana but there are two others that are legal and so commonly used that people don't think of them as drugs at all.
Before I tell you what they are, I want to define two terms. Emphasis mine:
“a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” (Source: Google “drug definition”)
“any article, other than food, intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans or other animals.” (Source: dictionary.com)
“something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness” (Source: Merriam-Webster)
“compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal” (Source: Merriam-Webster)
“the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” (Source: dictionary.com)
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons, including:
- to feel good
- to feel better
- to do better – improve performance
- curiosity and peer pressure
According to The American Psychiatric Association (APA), symptoms of addiction – or “substance use disorder” are grouped into four categories:
– Impaired control: a craving or strong urge to use the substance; desire or failed attempts to cut down or control substance use
– Social problems: significant problems at home, school, or work, including relationship problems; you stop doing activities you usually enjoy in order to use the substance (or perform the activity, as would be the case with addictions to gambling or internet or porn – to name a few).
– Risky use: you place yourself in settings or situations that could be or are dangerous just so you can continue to use.
– Drug effects: tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. (See M-W definition above.)
Can you think of any everyday, common substances that fit these definitions and characteristics of drugs and addiction?
The two I'm thinking of are both white powders: One bitter, one sweet.
Remember, I'm talking legal drugs here, so no, it's not cocaine.
Common additive substance #1
This is one of them:
Its molecules are made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen atoms.
You likely have the means of making it at home. You likely consume it daily, or often.
It's available in grocery stores and specialty shops.
Two writers in The Atlantic referred to it as, “The World’s Most Popular Drug”.