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Gateway drugs are drugs considered legal by society but have adverse effects on the individuals,family,and community. The term gateway drug considers two legal drugs.. Tobacco and Alcohol, as the the possible cause for people to try and experiment on more dangerous drugs. Others,however,state that other drugs should be included as gateway drugs.
These two drugs are also referred sometimes as lifestyle related drugs as habits are always connected with socialization and parties. Continues and persistent use of tobacco and alcohol leads to several health problems, most of which are called lifestyle diseases. These lifestyle diseases progress to more severe diseases which can lead to disability and death.
Teenagers are the most vulnerable to the negative health impact of smoking and alcohol use because they are curious,love to experiment,and are risk takers.
In the Philippines, 2 out of 5 teenagers started smoking between the age of 13 and 15 years old. Filipinos die annually due to tobacco related diseases. The Department of Health elaborates that continues use, prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke and gravitated alcoholic drinking by teenagers result to early vulnerability to heart related diseases,lung diseases,and camcers. Studies reveal that one reason why many teenagers smoke and drink is their easy access to the drugs.
Some of the reasons why teenagers have an easy and direct access to cigarettes and alcohol because of the cheap price in the market . Cigarettes are available in the market at a very reasonable price. Teenagers have been known to save their allowance and spend it on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. Many advocates of the "no to tobacco" and "no to alcohol" stress that the government should impose stiffer tax and price on these commodities.
Sometimes Family and Friends as negative role models. Parents,family members and friends who smoke and drink serve as negative role models for children and teenagers. A parent or family member who smoke and drink connotes a behavior and understanding to the child that the habit is good and accepted within the family.
Lax of implementation of the law about smoking and drinking state that minors are prohibited from buying,selling,and using cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. In the Philippines minors are defined as persons aged 17 years old and below. Despite these laws and policies,many stores,establishment and individuals violate and disregard these provisions. Likewise,authorities are somewhat lenient on these provisions stipulated in the law.
Media influence is also one reason. Media like television,films,commercials,print ads,and the Internet influence and condition people's mind and attitude towards cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol. Entertainment personalities who endorse cigarettes and alcoholic beverages and whose onscreen person are seen using alcohol and cigarettes are sending the wrong message to the youth.
Cigarettes come from a tall,leafy plant called tobacco. It used to be grown only in South and Central America but is now cultivated around the world. There are various species of tobacco but the widely known species preferred for producing cigarettes is NICOTIANA TABACUM thus it is sometimes called the "common tobacco"
Tobacco was first recorded to have been used by South and North American Indian around 600- 900 CE, (common era) as evidences carved on stones and rocks suggest. These early inhabitants smoked cigars during special religious occasions and for treating medical conditions. Nicotiana Tobacco was named after French ambassador to Portugal Jean Nicot de Villamain who ordered the shipment of tobacco leaves and seeds from Brazil to Paris in 1560 for medical purposes.
Since its introduction in the 16th 17th century,tobacco,aside from being smoked,was also used as a potent insecticide. After World War II, tobacco as a pesticide became popular worldwide. By 1980's , the popularity of tobacco as pesticide gradually died down as more chemicals were available at a cheaper price and less harmful to animals including man.
The World Health Organization, in its study of the different causes of mortality and morbidly ranks cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing as the second leading cause of death around the world. WHO further states that 1 in 10 adults worldwide die from smoking which reaches more than 5 million deaths annually. From this study, it is presumed that 10 million people will die each year until the year 2020.
Each time a smoker puffs a cigarette or chew tobacco leaves, more than 14,000 toxic chemicals come into contact or enter the person's body. Of these chemicals, 43 are known to be carcinogenic. Carcinogens are substances which cause cancers. Smokers are also predisposed to heart related diseases and lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sometimes called obstructive lung disease. It is a progressive disease among smokers which involve difficulty in breathing. Progressive means it can get worst.
Alcohol is a colorless and bitter substance which comes from plant sugar and fruits juices. The juice or sugar is broken down into simpler substances through the process of fermentation. The use of alcohol by man predates written history. Archeological findings suggest that early civilization have fermented wild berry juice into alcohol. The sweet juice is mixed with yeast, a type of fungi and stored in earthen jars to ferment. Discovered written records from ancient.
Alcohol is a depressant drug. A depressant acts completely the opposite of a stimulant. Depressants slow down body processes and functions especially the central nervous system.
Three types of alcoholic beverages are; Beer,Wine and Rum
Beer is an alcoholic beverage from grains and cereals like barley,oats rye,and wheat. It has 3℅ to 6℅ proof alcohol.
Wine comes from fermented fruit juices like grapes,strawberry 🍓. Red wine is extracted from grapes with pulp while white wine is from grapes with the pulp removed. It contains 12℅14℅[24-28proof) alcohol
Rum is an alcoholic drink made from fermented molasses. Molasses are thick,sticky,and dark syrup made from sugar cane. It is produced by boiling sugar cane until the juice becomes thick,sticky and dark. The tint of the syrup gives the rum its color. Rum containing 45℅[90proof] alcohol.
Excessive alcohol drinking is known to cause many health problems and trigger intentional and unintentional injuries. Drunk driving is known to cause mild to severe injuries, loss limb and worst death. Alcohol drinking can also promt risky sexual behaviours. Some of the common health problems linked with alcohol drinking is brain damage, dementia (mental deterioration) mental disorders,heart diseases,liver diseases digestive problems,and social problems.
Thats all. Please take care of yourself. As much as possible avoid or control yourself from deadly vices. Let us value ourselves.