I need help writing an essay on the symptoms, causes, effects and cures of nicotine, alcohol, heroin and other drugs.
Individual notes on each and perhaps the similarities and differences of each addiction would be interesting to incorporate in the essay.
The links below will get you started on finding references for your essay. For all the addictive substances you mention, there are issues of both physical and psychological addiction, often linked to genetic predispositions. In all cases, there are similar addictive behaviours including withdrawal symptoms, and psychological behaviours, including denial.
Nicotine: This is a legal addictive substance which does not cause immediate impairment (e.g. you can drive safely after having a cigarette) but long term diseases. Many organizations and wellness programs offer smoking cessation therapies.
Alcohol: Although legal, this is one of the most common addictions in North America, and has serious long term and short term effects. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the more successful organizations to address it.
Illegal Drugs: In addition to health problems, illegality itself adds another layer to the harm these do to addicts. Law enforcement agencies sponsor and deal with this.