Montag, 10 Februar 2020 11:29

Drug abuse in Germany

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Drug abuse in Germany
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Legal as well as illegal drugs are very common in Germany. A lot of people here are addicted to various drugs and most don´t even realise it or how bad the effects can be on their bodies and their lives in general. The most popular legal drugs are still alcohol and cigarettes.


The Country Drug Report of Germany in 2018 reports that especially young people smoke less and less. But for adults it is usually much harder to get away after years of tabacco consumption.

The main ingredient of the tobacco plant is nicotine: When inhaling the cigarette smoke of a normal cigarette, it enters the brain within seconds, where it has both stimulating and calming effects.

In addition, tobacco smoke contains about 4,800 substances, of which more than 90 are carcinogenic or mutagenic. Nearly every organ can be damaged, especially the lungs and the cardiovascular system are at risk. The most common consequence is lung cancer, but also Oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, ureters, bladder and kidneys may be affected. Even leukemia can be a result of smoking. Another shocking fact of consuming tabacco is that you may lose up to 10 years of your lifetime.

A new way to get rid of the bad habit of smoking cigarettes are so-called e-cigarettes.

The difference to classic cigarettes is that they do not contain tabacco and there is no combustion. Instead of smoke, e-cigarettes produce harmful aerosols, which are tiny, liquid particles released with each burst of air. In these aerosols researchers have been able to detect highly reactive free radicals, molecules that can destroy cells and cause cancer.

Besides nicotine, the steam contains also other substances which are cardiogenic, such as propylene glycol, diacetyl and many others whose exact effects are not known yet. However, first studies have shown that some of the substances contained in e-cigarettes may cause the same health damage as classic cigarettes. But in comparison, all these effects are not as bad as of cigarette smoke. Nevertheless, less harmful does not mean healthy!


Another big issue is alcohol. Every sixth person in Germany consumes alcohol at a risky quantity. Alcohol dependence is the most common reason for counseling and treatment in an addiction treatment facilities.

The effect of alcohol is often underestimated. Especially the liver is damaged, because it is responsible for the reduction of alcohol and is particularly affected by excessive alcohol consumption. Typical consequences of alcohol abuse are obesity and hardening of the liver, leading to cirrhosis in the terminal stage. However, the negative effect of alcohol is not only limited to the liver.

Your brain is also massively damaged by the consumption of too much alcohol. The transmission of information between brain cells is significantly disturbed with regular alcohol consumption, which results in a decrease of concentration and memory. The judgment and intelligence are massively impaired, even to irreversible amounts.

However, there are numerous other effects on the body: Increased probability to get cancer or a disease of the cardiovascular system, inflammation of the pancreas or the gastric mucosa, decreased potency, or mental behavioral disorders due to alcohol. Especially during a pregnancy alcohol is very harmful. The result can be a severe disability of the child, which affects the their life.


In addition to these legal drugs, however, numerous illegal drugs in Germany are also being consumed.

One of the most popular ones is Cannabis. The main ingredient is Cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol – short THC. The effect of this substance depends on many different factors, for example on the type of consumption, the amount of THC consumed, and also the mood and mental stability of the consumer. Cannabis usually has calming effects, but at high consumption it can also cause hallucinations, disorientation and paranoid symptoms.

Constant consumption damages the lungs and reduces cognitive performance, and it can have also social effects like social isolation.


Another very dangerous drug is Heroin, it´s an opioid and is obtained from the poppy plant. It has an analgesic effect that means it eases pain. However, already a few hours after the last consumption dependent persons may have withdrawal symptoms, e.g. sweating, shaking, feelings of weakness, body aches, stomach cramps and nausea over circulatory disturbances, temperature fluctuations up to life-threatening conditions with severe seizures and acute mental disorders.

Mental withdrawal symptoms are expressed in restlessness, anxiety up to depressed and suicidal thoughts. Frequent users can suffer from clogged veins, or coronary heart disease, abscesses, cellulitis, and liver disease. Because of regular use of heroin, insensibility develops. This means that the Heroin addict needs to use more Heroin to experience the same intensity or impact of the drug. If higher doses are taken over time, a physical dependence can develop. All these effects can also lead to death.

Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth) is a synthetic drug sold as a white powder or in the form of crystals ("ice"). Methamphetamine has a stimulating, euphoric, sexually stimulating effect and eliminates tiredness and hunger.

Known negative psychological effects are internal and motor restlessness, nervousness, aggressiveness and outbreaks of violence as well as panic attacks and concentration disorders. The long-term use of methamphetamine can lead to massive physical and psychological damage. Methamphetamine has a high physical and mental addiction potential. Also, the body quickly gets used to consumption, so that the consumption levels must be constantly increased to achieve the desired effects.

As you can see, drugs can destroy essential parts of the body and subconsciously become an important part in a person´s life. So it´s really important to search for help if you are addicted so that you can get out of the vicious cycle. In Germany there are also a lot of facilities where you easily can get help.