Introduction: Drug abuse isdefined as the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, such as illicitdrugs (World Health Organization,2018). Anillicit drug such as cannabis cocaine and heroin is any drug which is illegalto sell, be in possession of, or to manufacture as in accordance with the Misuseof Drugs Act (WorldHealth Organization, 2018).

Throughout this assignment I will discuss thegeneral causes of drug abuse, the morbidity and mortality of drug abuse, thesymptoms of some related diseases and what strategies are currently in place inIreland to improve andreduce drug abuse in Ireland.   Causes:Social determinants of health can be defined as conditions in which people are born, grow, live, workand age. (Who.

int, 2018)Social determinants of health cause many inequalitiesbetween individuals within different cities and countries, these inequalities canbe social status, living conditions, job opportunities or even health status. The reason in which people may abuse drugs is veryrarely down to one point. Dahlgren and Whitehead developed ‘layers of influenceon health’, these of which can explain quite efficiently why drug use is notalways a black and white choice.On moving from the inner to the outer layers, eachindividual layer will have a substantial effect on an individual’s health. (Nwci.ie, 2018) Forexample, within the inner ring, ones’ individual life style can vary greatlyi.e if someone goes to private school, yet another goes to a vocational school,these are too different social and community settings, from here ones’education may vary and therefore, life path and choices may vary, thus leadingto drug or alcohol abuse or other negative lifestyle choices. Morbidity andMortality of Drug Use:In 2014 The HealthResearch Board (HRB) issued a report in which their collected data showedIreland to be one of the leadingcountries, within the European Union, in relation to rates of death due to drugrelated causes, with approximately two people dying from drug-related causes inIreland every day.

Figures within the report showed 697 people died due todrugs in 2014. The death toll in Ireland in association with drugs in 2014 trebled thenumbers killed in road traffic accidents (HRB). Of the 697 who died, half were39 years or younger and approximately 75% were men. Within 2014 approximately thirteenpeople died due to drug related causes per week, yet approximately three losttheir lives per week on the roads the same year. The figures released by the HRB show us thatthere has been a large increase over the last ten years; in 2004, when thefirst report was published, the number of drug associated deaths was 431. In2017 this has risen 62% higher. (Irishexaminer.

com, 2018) Harmful effects ofdrug use:Drug use can lead to numerous health problems such as aweakened immune system and increased susceptibility to infections and diseasessuch as: HIV/Aids, Meth mouth, Hepatitis, and Cardiovascular diseases. Drug useand poor oral health come hand in hand, there are many direct symptoms: Dry Mouth, periodontitis, tooth decay,meth mouth, oral cancer, teeth grinding and clenching. Yet indirect symptomscan occur also, such as injuries to the face and mouth such as fractured teethand tooth loss due to trauma.

(Drugabuse.gov, 2018)On looking into Meth mouth (caused due to the abuse ofmethamphetamines) we can particularly see many oral symptoms: Severe toothdecay, tooth fractures, acid erosion and sometimes tooth loss, all of which canbe caused by clenching and grinding of teeth, dry mouth (which occurs when theglands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly). (Mouthhealthy.org, 2018) Lifestylefactors can also be warped by the abuse of drugs (infrequent oral hygiene andneglecting regular oral cleanings and check ups).   

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