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Drug Addiction

Essay Topic:

W hat is addiction? * Addiction has been defined as physical and psychological dependence on psychoactive substances (for example alcohol, tobacco, heroin and other drugs) which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain. * Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviours that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.

What is Drug addiction? * Drug addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). Drug addiction is also called as substance dependence. According to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), substance dependence is defined as: When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed.

Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.

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D rug addiction is a pathological or abnormal condition which arises due to frequent drug use. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behaviour, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. Drug habituation is a condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug.

Its characteristics include (i) a desire (but not a compulsion) to continue taking the drug for the sense of improved well-being which it engenders; (ii) little or no tendency to increase the dose; (iii) some degree of psychic dependence on the effect of the drug, but absence of physical dependence and hence of an abstinence syndrome [withdrawal], and (iv) detrimental effects, if any, primarily on the individual. Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.

It is characterized by behaviours that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. A definition of addiction proposed by Professor Nils Bejerot: An emotional fixation (sentiment) acquired through learning, which intermittently or continually expresses itself in purposeful, stereotyped behaviour with the character and force of a natural drive, aiming at a specific pleasure or the avoidance of a specific discomfort. P eer Pressure & the Desire to Fit In

Of course peer pressure seems to be one of the reasons children may decide to use drugs. While you may have had a great conversation with your child and they know it is wrong to do drugs, they may use them anyway if they are running with the wrong group of kids. The status quo is important with children, especially teenagers. They need to feel like they fit in. This is one of the reasons that they begin to use drugs, most of their schoolmates or social friends are using drugs, and they want to fit in. Using Drugs to Fight Boredom

Boredom is another common reason why children resort to using drugs. In the absence of an active social life that gives them a variety of different things to do such as sports, exercise, or other hobbies, children become bored. Remember, TV and video games are not necessarily a way to keep a child’s mind active and in fact, can be detrimental to their overall development. Make sure your child has plenty of school activities and activities outside of school as this often gives them an opportunity to meet ew friends that are also staying busy. Hormones & Drugs Emotionally teenagers are extremely susceptible to a variety of very strong hormonal influences. As their emotions rise and fall rather rapidly, often, they can become involved in drugs due to emotional disturbances. Depression, fear, frustration and often a feeling of being overwhelmed can bring a child to drug use. Curiosity about Drugs If you speak to children or teenagers who have tried drugs and ask them why, one of the most frequent responses is curiosity.

Teenagers especially are out to explore the world and find out how they feel about it. It is important that they understand that curiosity is normal but good decisions need to be made concerning that curiosity. Make sure that your child has as much educational material concerning drugs as possible, and hopefully, they won’t let their curiosity get the better of them. “My Parents Use Drugs” Unfortunately, another reason children try drugs is that their parents use them or someone else influential in their life uses them.

This is probably one of the saddest reasons a child begins to use drugs, trying to copy a role model. Make sure that you are being a good role model. And make sure that your child has good role models around them instead of those that are giving them the impression that doing drugs is okay. There are many reasons children begin to use drugs. Having a discussion of drug use as to why other kids begin using drugs, what happens to them as their drug addictions increase, and other types of educational materials can allow your child to make good decisions.

Remember, teenagers have a rough road ahead of them and growing up is not easy, but it can be easier if they have someone to look up to. They are legal Some of the drugs that have the most users are completely legal. Nicotine and alcohol are not illegal and yet they are highly addictive. They are prescribed There are many different medications, which are prescribed for a specific purpose, but because of the reaction of the brain to these medications, people easily become addicted. Some examples of these are pain medications, anti-anxiety meds, muscle relaxers and more.

Rebellion Chances are many who are now adults did the same thing, but teenagers often begin using drugs as an act of rebellion or peer pressure. They experiment with drugs and alcohol. Some become addicted, some do not. Self Medication People live with varying degrees of stressors in their lives. There are times when instead of seeking the advice of a doctor, they begin to medicate themselves with marijuana, street drugs, or even perhaps alcohol. It Feels Good If addictive drugs made people deathly ill every time they tried it, people probably would not become addicted.

However, this is not what happens. Cocaine, Meth, Marijuana, and many other drugs make a person feel very, very good when they begin using them. This leads to drug addiction even though the good feelings get harder and harder to experience with time. Curiosity The power of curiosity should never be underestimated. Many people, young and old try drugs simply to see what will happen. They are curious as to the effects of the drug and start using for no other reason than to find out what it feels like. Availability

Prescription drugs and street drugs are extremely accessible to anyone who wants to find them. They can be purchased on the street, through doctors, on-line pharmacies, and even through black market websites. Enhancement Drug use and abuse very often starts with people drinking alcohol. When the effects of the alcohol aren’t enough, they branch out into using other drugs as well to enhance the effects of the alcohol. Of course, there are many other reasons why people may begin using drugs but the long and short of it is they like the way the drug makes them feel.

The short-term effects for most drugs are extremely pleasant and that is what keeps the person going back for more. Marijuana Marijuana plants Marijuana buds What is marijuana? Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. In 1988, it was discovered that the membranes of certain nerve cells contain protein receptors that bind THC. Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana.

The short term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem-solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. Scientists have found that whether an individual has positive or negative sensations after smoking marijuana can be influenced by heredity. A recent study demonstrated that identical male twins were more likely than nonidentical male twins to report similar responses to marijuana use, indicating a genetic basis for their sensations.

Identical twins share all of their genes, and fraternal twins share about half. Environmental factors such as the availability of marijuana, expectations about how the drug would affect them, the influence of friends and social contacts, and other factors that would be different even for identical twins also were found to have an important effect; however, it also was discovered that the twins’ shared or family environment before age 18 had no detectable influence on their response to marijuana. Marijuana Plants / Cannabis Why is marijuana used? Cannabis products are usually smoked.

Their effects are felt within minutes, reach their peak in 10 to 30 minutes, and may linger for two or three hours. The effects experienced often depend upon the experience and expectations of the individual user as well as the activity of the drug itself. Low doses tend to induce a sense of well-being and a dreamy state of relaxation, which may be accompanied by a more vivid sense of sight, smell, taste, and hearing as well as by subtle alterations in thought formation and expression. This state of intoxication may not be noticeable to an observer.

However, driving, occupational or household accidents may result from a distortion of time and space relationships and impaired coordination. Stronger doses intensify reactions. The individual may experience shifting sensory imagery, rapidly fluctuating emotions, a flight of fragmentary thoughts with disturbed associations, an altered sense of self-identity, impaired memory, and a dulling of attention despite an illusion of heightened insight. High doses may result in image distortion, a loss of personal identity, and fantasies and hallucinations. Health Hazards of Marijuana

Marijuana contains known toxins and cancer-causing chemicals which are stored in fat cells for as long as several months. Marijuana users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. Some of the effects of marijuana use also include: an increased heart rate, dryness of the mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, and frequent hunger and an increased desire for sweets. Extended use increases risk to the lungs and reproductive system, as well as suppression of the immune system.

Occasionally hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia are reported. Effects of Marijuana on the Brain Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain’s limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Investigations have shown that neurons in the information processing system of the hippocampus and the activity of the nerve fibers are suppressed by THC.

In addition, researchers have discovered that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, also deteriorate. Recent research findings also indicate that long-term use of marijuana produces changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse. Effects on Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Recent findings indicate that smoking marijuana while shooting up cocaine has the potential to cause severe increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

In one study, experienced marijuana and cocaine users were given marijuana alone, cocaine alone, and then a combination of both. Each drug alone produced cardiovascular effects; when they were combined, the effects were greater and lasted longer. The heart rate of the subjects in the study increased 29 beats per minute with marijuana alone and 32 beats per minute with cocaine alone. When the drugs were given together, the heart rate increased by 49 beats per minute, and the increased rate persisted for a longer time. The drugs were given with the subjects sitting quietly.

In normal circumstances, an individual may smoke marijuana and inject cocaine and then do something physically stressful that may significantly increase risks of overload on the cardiovascular system. Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use on Learning and Social Behavior A study of college students has shown that critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning are impaired among people who use marijuana heavily, even after discontinuing its use for at least 24 hours. Researchers compared 65 “heavy users,” who had smoked marijuana a median of 29 of the past 30 days, and 64 “light users,” who had smoked a median of 1 of the past 30 days.

After a closely monitored 19- to 24-hour period of abstinence from marijuana and other illicit drugs and alcohol, the undergraduates were given several standard tests measuring aspects of attention, memory, and learning. Compared to the light users, heavy marijuana users made more errors and had more difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in registering, processing, and using information. The findings suggest that the greater impairment among heavy users is likely due to an alteration of brain activity produced by marijuana.

Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who used have lower achievement than the non-users, more acceptance of deviant behavior, more delinquent behavior and aggression, greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug-using friends. Research also shows more anger and more regressive behavior (thumb sucking, temper tantrums) in toddlers whose parents use marijuana than among the toddlers of non-using parents. Addictive Potential of Marijuana

A drug is addicting if it causes compulsive, often uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences. Marijuana meets this criterion. More than 120,000 people seek treatment per year for their primary marijuana addiction. In addition, animal studies suggest marijuana causes physical dependence, and some people report withdrawal symptoms. Signs of marijuana abuse: * Rapid, loud talking and bursts of laughter in early stages of intoxication. * Sleepy or stuporous in the later stages. Lack of concentration and coordination. * Forgetfulness in conversation. * Inflammation in whites of eyes. * Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath. * Distorted sense of time passage – tendency to overestimate time intervals. * Craving for sweets. * Increased appetite. * Use or possession of paraphernalia including roach clip, packs of rolling papers, pipes or bongs. Marijuana Pipes How does marijuana affect the body? Some immediate physical effects of marijuana include: * a faster heartbeat and pulse rate * bloodshot eyes dry mouth and throat No scientific evidence indicates that marijuana improves hearing, eyesight, and skin sensitivity. Marijuana use increases the heart rate as much as 50 percent, depending on the amount of THC. It can cause chest pain in people who have a poor blood supply to the heart – and it produces these effects more rapidly than tobacco smoke does. Scientists believe that marijuana can be especially harmful to the lungs because users often inhale the unfiltered smoke deeply and hold it in their lungs as long as possible.

Therefore, the smoke is in contact with lung tissues for long periods of time, which irritates the lungs and damages the way they work. Marijuana smoke contains some of the same ingredients in tobacco smoke that can cause emphysema and cancer. In addition, many marijuana users also smoke cigarettes; the combined effects of smoking these two substances create an increased health risk. “Burnout” is a term first used by marijuana smokers themselves to describe the effect of prolonged use. Young people who smoke marijuana heavily over long periods of time can become dull, slow moving, and inattentive.

These “burned-out” users are sometimes so unaware of their surroundings that they do not respond when friends speak to them, and they do not realize they have a problem. How does marijuana affect your mind? Laboratory studies have shown that animals exhibit symptoms of drug withdrawal after cessation of prolonged marijuana administration. Some human studies have also demonstrated withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, stomach pain, aggression, and anxiety after cessation of oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s principal psychoactive component.

Now, NIDA-supported researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts and Columbia University in New York City have shown that individuals who regularly smoke marijuana experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop smoking the drug. Studies at Columbia University in New York City have demonstrated that, in addition to aggression, marijuana smokers experience other withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, stomach pain, and increased irritability during abstinence from the drug. “These results suggest that dependence may be an important consequence of repeated daily exposure to marijuana,” says NIDA.

HASH / HASHISH What is Hashish? H ashish consists of the THC-rich resinous material of the cannabis plant, which is collected, dried, and then compressed into a variety of forms, such as balls, cakes, or cookie-like sheets. Hash is sold in solid pieces ranging in color from light brown to black; in texture from dry to soft and crumbly. It can also be baked into cookies or cakes. Hash facts * Studies suggest that normal development of the baby may be adversely affected by heavy use of marijuana by the mother during pregnancy. The Middle East still today remains the primary source of hashish worldwide. Short-term effects of hash * Muscular in coordination, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea and reddening of the eyes. * Concentration, short-term memory, driving ability, stability, balance, ability to process information and judgement are all markedly impaired. * User feels calm, relaxed, talkative and giddy. * Sensory perception seems enhanced, colors brighter, sounds more distinct. * Appetite, reaction time, pulse rate and pupil size are increased. Sense of time and space distorted. * Some users withdraw, or experience fearfulness, spontaneous laughter, anxiety, depression; users experience hallucinations, paranoia and panic reactions with larger doses and symptoms worsen in persons with psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia. Long-term effects of hash * Increased risk of cancers, of the oral cavity, pharynx, and esophagus. * Respiratory system damaged by smoking. * Disruption in menstrual cycle, decreased sperm count, possible congenital abnormalities are also some of the effects. Psychological effects include panic reactions, psychosis, motivational syndrome, diminished drive, lessened ambition, decreased motivation. * Impaired educational attainment and significant adjustment problems. MAGIC MUSHROOMS What Are Magic Mushrooms? Naturally- occurring fungi which contain varying amounts of the conscious-altering substances psilocybin and psilocin. Users of this drug eat it or drink it in a tea to experience a powerful psychedelic trip similar in tone and effect to LSD. There are more than 90 species of magic mushrooms worldwide. Effects of Mushrooms

Taking mushrooms produces a trip that varies depending on your mood and the circumstances under which you use them. Some users report a very pleasant experience, while others feel paranoid or frightened. Using mushrooms leads to hallucinations, which can distort one’s perceptions of color, time and movement. Dangers and Long-Term Effects of Mushroom Abuse Magic mushroom users can have flashbacks that recreate a trip after it has ended. Being tired or stressed out can trigger a flashback. Difficulty concentrating and memory loss may also occur. Mushroom Addiction and Tolerance

Mushrooms are not physically addictive. Someone may turn to them repeatedly to escape from their everyday life though. A user may start by taking a small dose and then repeat the process if they don’t feel the effects of the mushrooms within a short time. Mushroom Overdose Symptoms, Signs, and What to Do The risk of overdosing on Liberty Cap mushrooms is not very high. Fly Agaric mushrooms are toxic, and can lead to death from liver or heart failure. It would be wise to call your local emergency line if you or someone you are with is possibly experiencing an OD.

Check out our drug emergencies resource page to see a list of US poison control centers and addiction resources. Once the emergency is over, please consider seeking treatment. LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) LSD Blotter L sd or Acid is also known as tabs, trips blotters, microdots, sugar cube. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the major drugs making up the hallucinogen class. LSD which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. Acid is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that alters your perception of the outside world.

Acid can turn you into a gibbering, giggling wreck; make the world seem like a magical place, and in one sublime experience, even make Cardiff City’s football ground look like the San Siro stadium. During the course of a trip, the entire universe can turn wibbly, colors become deeply intense, everyday objects take on bizarre and sometimes wonderful new forms, and all your senses can become confused and distorted. If you’re out clubbing, make sure you’ve got somewhere to go to afterwards as it can be quite a challenge trying to work out a night bus timetable when all you can see is a set of oscillating black blobs.

Health Hazards of LSD The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user’s personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs.

The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in a large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The user’s sense of time and self changes. Sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be frightening and can cause panic. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and despair while using LSD. Some fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication.

Many LSD users experience flashbacks, recurrence of certain aspects of a person’s experience, without the user having taken the drug again. A flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning, and may occur within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. Flashbacks usually occur in people who use hallucinogens chronically or have an underlying personality problem; however, otherwise healthy people who use LSD occasionally may also have flashbacks. Bad trips and flashbacks are only part of the risks of LSD use. LSD users may manifest relatively long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression.

It is difficult to determine the extent and mechanism of the LSD involvement in these illnesses. Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior as do cocaine, amphetamine, heroin, alcohol, and nicotine. However, like many of the addictive drugs, LSD produces tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug.

NIDA is funding studies that focus on the neurochemical and behavioral properties of LSD. This research will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms of action of the drug. SIDE EFFECTS Expect to make a substantial arse of yourself after taking acid. You will quite probably bellow out loud at the sight of a teacup, converse with the trees, talk complete gibberish for hours on end and annoy just about anyone within a ten yard radius. If you’re trying to impress a new girlfriend on a first date, we’d recommend you give it a very wide berth indeed.

Some people may experience flashbacks days or even weeks after taking acid, where it can feel like they’re reliving certain elements of their trip. HEALTH RISKS There are no known physical side effects associated with acid use, nor is there any evidence of brain damage. There are some psychological risks, however, particularly for those with a history of mental problems. Avoid taking acid if you’re already feeling pissed off as this could result in a bad trip. People have been known to harm themselves under the influence of acid, so be sure to have responsible friends around you.

Be careful not to take more acid when you’re waiting to come up – some acid can take a long time to take effect and it’s rare to get duff gear. Extent of LSD Use Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) Since 1975, MTF researchers have annually surveyed almost 17,000 high school seniors nationwide to determine trends in drug use and to measure attitudes and beliefs about drug abuse. Over the past 2 years, the percentage of seniors who have used LSD has remained relatively stable. Between 1975 and 1997, the lowest lifetime use of LSD was reported by the class of 1986, when 7. percent of seniors reported using LSD at least once in their lives. In 1997, 13. 6 percent of seniors had experimented with LSD at least once in their lifetimes. The percentage of seniors reporting use of LSD in the past year nearly doubled from a low of 4. 4 percent in 1985 to 8. 4 percent in 1997. In 1997, 34. 7 percent of seniors perceived great risk in using LSD once or twice, and 76. 6 percent said they saw great risk in using LSD regularly. More than 80 percent of seniors disapproved of people trying LSD once or twice, and almost 93 percent disapproved of people taking LSD regularly.

Almost 51 percent of seniors said it would have been fairly easy or very easy for them to get LSD if they had wanted it. DETECTION PERIOD LSD can be detected in the urine up to 2-3 days after use at common levels. Cocaine I t’s a popular drug. Cocaine is associated with having good times with your friends, having money and power. They write songs about it. They glamorize it. Derived from the coca plant. Cocaine used to be the drug of choice for rock stars and the rich, but recent price cuts and increased imports have resulted in a massive rise in usage and availability. A gram will cost you around Rs. 000-7000/- for a paper wrap, the contents of which are usually snorted. Delivering a quick and euphoric high, a blast of top quality coke can make you feel like you’ve just scored the winning goal in a FA Cup Final. Unfortunately the hit doesn’t last very long (around 20-30 minutes) and this encourages repeated – and wallet-crushing – doses. Smoking cocaine can give you a stronger hit, but effects can wear off in as little as 10 minutes. Side effects: Users coming down from cocaine high might get depressed, or experience insomnia. Common for cocaine users is a decrease in appetite, accompanied by weight loss.

Use of cocaine causes blood vessels to constrict, leading to an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and heart attacks are common. Cocaine can lead to irregular heartbeat, lung disease and irreversible brain damage. Body temperature and blood sugar rise. Respiratory failure, strokes and seizures are also possibilities. In rare cases, first time users have been known to die from the effects of the drug. Cocaine drug addiction also contributes to dramatic changes in behavior, as some users are known to display bizarre actions, or become violent. Cocaine users have been known to contract HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Blurred vision is a common side effect. Women users are susceptible to miscarriage, or if they carry to term, serious birth defects often occur. Detection periods: Cocaine can be detected in the urine up to 12 hours to 3 days after use at common levels. Cocaine drug addiction and Alcohol: A dangerous mix This third player intensifies the high, but at the same time increases the risk of sudden death. Highly Addictive Cocaine is highly addictive and one of the most rapidly addictive drugs used. While it became popular in the 1980’s and 1990’s, it is hardly new and is one of the oldest drugs known.

Cocaine drug addiction has been abused for over 100 years. Cocaine drug addiction creates a tolerance to the drug, as more drug is needed more often to achieve the same results. However, cocaine is so powerfully addictive that even a first-time user can gets a cocaine drug addiction. The craving for the drug can come after the first hit of a crack pipe, or the first snort. People lose control and “need” the drug to feel good. Withdrawal Users will start to withdraw from the drug sometimes as soon as six hours after taking cocaine. The withdrawal can last up to two weeks.

Users can experience depression, insomnia, paranoia, restlessness, and crying spells. Addicts have had cravings for the drug for a month or more. FACTS! * Queen Victoria and Freud both favored the odd toot of cocaine. * A recent survey in London found traces of cocaine on 99% of bank notes in circulation. Scope of Cocaine Drug Addiction The term “crack” comes from the street and refers to the cracking sound the drug makes when it is smoked. Cocaine may be fashionable, but it kills. Cocaine may be popular, but only because people aren’t thinking of it as an enemy. Cocaine may be celebrated, but it is not worthy of its praise.

People don’t know the truth, either because they have never been told or because they have chosen not to listen. Cocaine is a lie. It represents the dark side of the human experience, the desire to feel good now and have it all now. For a fleeting moment of euphoria, it robs the human soul of purpose, meaning and the gift of relationship. It takes over and becomes lord and god to whomever uses it. If you are using, seek help. If someone you know or love is using, get them help. Nothing cocaine provides is worth having. Crack Crack is made from cocaine, baking soda and water.

Usually smoked through a water pipe, it produces a rapid, ultra-intense high which lasts for about 2 minutes, followed by a pleasurable buzz which usually lasts around 20 minutes before a long low or crash. Because the hit is so strong, some people get hooked on the sensation and end up blowing all their cash trying to repeat the high, or overdosing Prolonged crack consumption can lead to a need for larger doses resulting in an enormous compulsive craving and complete psychological dependence on the drug. Despite media claims to the contrary, addiction is very rarely instant.

Street prices vary wildly, but a rock of smokable cocaine can cost ? 12 – ? 20. ECSTASY What is Ecstasy? E cstasy is one of the most dangerous drugs threatening young people today. Called MDMA (3-4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) by scientists, it is a synthetic chemical that can be derived from an essential oil of the sassafras tree. MDMA is also one of the easiest illegal drugs to obtain. Its effects are similar to those of amphetamines and hallucinogens. Distributed almost anywhere, it has become very popular at social events like raves, hip hop parties, concerts, etc. frequented by both adults and youth.

While not all “event” attendees use Ecstasy, the drug often makes the circuit of these parties and can set up dangerous circumstances that can affect everyone there. Street Names:  E, Adam, Roll, Bean, X and XTC, Clarity, Essence, Stacy, Lover’s Speed, Eve Form:  Pills – usually white, yellow or brown Size, shape and design vary Pills are often branded with designer symbols| | How is it Used? Ecstasy is usually taken in pill form and swallowed and it can also be injected some users have been known to crush and snort the resulting powder. Others insert the pill into the anus where it is absorbed.

This process is known as “shafting. ” How Does It Affect You? Ecstasy is similar (in nature) to other amphetamines and hallucinogens. It speeds up the nervous system and acts as a mood enhancer. Also referred to as “the love drug”, Ecstasy often makes the user feel good, happy and relaxed – at least at first. Contrary to rumors, Ecstasy is not an aphrodisiac and can actually inhibit sexual performance. The taking of any drug affects people differently. Depending on size, weight, health, dosage and other drugs being used, the reaction can be mild or very severe.

Anyone suffering from hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, mental illness or panic should avoid taking Ecstasy. Common Side Effects The following effects start within 20 minutes of taking E and can last for 4 – 6 hours or longer: Increased heart rate Increased body temperature Increased blood pressure Increased confidence Nausea Anxiety Feelings of well-being (happiness, love) Sweating Loss of appetite Other Reported Effects Taking higher doses of MDMA will not increase the good feelings. In fact higher dosages can cause convulsions, irrational behavior, and hallucinations.

Users have reported having problems with insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, concentration and depression after taking the drug. Overdose Taking too much Ecstasy can result in: Extremely high body temperatures High blood pressure Hallucinations Fast Heartbeat Breathings problems Death Death often results from harmful overheating (hyperthermia), or from drinking too much at one time (hyponatremia). Hyponatremia is a condition where excess fluid intake swells the brain resulting in coma. A third cause of death is stimulation. Over stimulation of the nervous system can result in heart attack or brain hemorrhage.

Warning Signs of Overdose Feeling hot or unwell Becoming confused, not able to talk properly Headache Vomiting Not Sweating Racing heart or pulse when resting Fainting or collapsing Loss of control over body movements Tremors Problems Urinating Duration of Effects An Ecstasy high can last from six to 24 hours but usually averages three to four hours. Some reactions have been reported to persist from one to 14 days after use. Short Term Effects Short-term effects include psychological difficulties (confusion, depression, sleep problems, craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia).

These effects occur during use and can continue even weeks after use. Physical problems that can occur are muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, fever, chills or sweating. Long Term Effects Recent findings connect use of Ecstasy to memory loss. Use of Ecstasy depletes serotonin, a very important chemical in the brain which regulates mood, sleeping and eating habits, as well as, the thinking and behavior process, sexual function, and sensitivity to pain. Ecstasy and Anti-Depressants

People currently taking an MAOI should not use Ecstasy. MAOIs are most commonly found in prescription anti-depressants Nardil (phenelzine), Parnete (tranylcypromine), Marplan (isocarboxazid), Eldepryl (I-deprenyl), and Aurorex or Manerix (moclobermide). The same is true of the protease inhibitor Ritonavir. METH What is Methamphetamine? M ethamphetamine (Meth) is a powerfully addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system. Meth Meth Abuse Patterns Methamphetamine abuse has three patterns: low intensity, binge, and high intensity.

Low-intensity abuse describes a user who is not psychologically addicted to the drug but uses methamphetamine on a casual basis by swallowing or snorting it. Binge and high-intensity abusers are psychologically addicted and prefer to smoke or inject methamphetamine to achieve a faster and stronger high. Binge abusers use methamphetamine more than low-intensity abusers but less than high-intensity abusers. Low-Intensity Methamphetamine Abuse Low-intensity abusers swallow or snort methamphetamine, using it the same way many people use caffeine or nicotine.

Low-intensity abusers want the extra stimulation the methamphetamine provides so that they can stay awake long enough to finish a task or a job, or they want the appetite suppressant effect to lose weight. These people frequently hold jobs, raise families, and otherwise function normally. They may include people such as truck drivers trying to reach their destination, workers trying to stay awake until the end of their normal shift or an overtime shift, and housewives trying to keep a clean house as well as be a perfect mother and wife.

Even though a law enforcement officer is not likely to encounter low-intensity abusers, these individuals are one step away from becoming binge abusers. They already know the stimulating effect that methamphetamine provides them by swallowing or snorting the drug, but they have not experienced the euphoric rush associated with smoking or injecting it and have not encountered clearly defined stages of abuse. However, simple switching to smoking or injecting methamphetamine offers the abusers a quick transition to a binge pattern of abuse. Psychological effects

Binge abusers smoke or inject methamphetamine and experience euphoric rushes that are psychologically addictive: Rush – The rush is the initial response the abuser feels when smoking or injecting methamphetamine and is the aspect of the drug that low-intensity abusers do not experience when snorting or swallowing the drug. During the rush, the abuser’s heartbeat races and metabolism, blood pressure, and pulse soar. Meanwhile, the abuser can experience feelings equivalent to ten orgasms. Unlike the rush associated with crack cocaine, which lasts for approximately 2 – 5 minutes, the methamphetamine rush can continue for 5-30 minutes.

The reason for the methamphetamine rush is that the drug, when smoked or injected, triggers the adrenal gland to release a hormone called epinephrine (adrenaline), which puts the body in a battle mode, fight or flight. In addition, the physical sensation that the rush gives the abuser most likely results from the explosive release of dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. High – The rush is followed by the high, sometimes called the shoulder. During the high, the abuser often feels aggressively smarter and becomes argumentative, often interrupting other people and finishing their sentences.

The high can last 4-16 hours. Binge – The binge is the continuation of the high. The abuser maintains the high by smoking or injecting more methamphetamine. Each time the abuser smokes or injects more of the drug, a smaller euphoric rush than the initial rush is experienced until, finally, there is no rush and no high. During the binge, the abuser becomes hyperactive both mentally and physically. The binge can last 3-15 days. Tweaking – Tweaking occurs at the end of the binge when nothing the abuser does will take away the feeling of emptiness and dysphoria, including taking more methamphetamine.

Tweaking is very uncomfortable, and the abuser often takes a depressant to ease the bad feelings. The most popular depressant is alcohol, with heroin a close second. Tweaking is the most dangerous stage of the methamphetamine abuse cycle to law enforcement officers and other individuals near the abuser. If the abuser is using alcohol to ease the discomfort, the threat to law enforcement officers intensifies. During this stage, law enforcement officers must clearly identify the underlying dangers of the situation and avoid the assumption that the tweaker is just a cocky drunk.

Crash – To a binge abuser, the crash means an incredible amount of sleep. The body’s epinephrine has been depleted, and the body uses the crash to replenish its supply. Even the meanest, most violent abuser becomes almost lifeless during the crash and poses a threat to no one. The crash can last 1-3 days. Normal – After the crash, the abuser returns to normal — a state that is slightly deteriorated from the normal state before he used methamphetamine. This stage ordinarily lasts between 2 and 14 days. However, as the frequency of binging increases, the duration of the normal stage decreases.

Withdrawal – No acute, immediate symptoms of physical distress are evident with methamphetamine withdrawal, a stage that the abuser may slowly enter. Often 30-90 days must pass after the last drug use before the abuser realizes that he is in withdrawal. First, without really noticing, the individual becomes depressed and loses the ability to experience pleasure. The individual becomes lethargic; he has no energy. Then the craving for more methamphetamine hits, and the abuser often becomes suicidal. If the abuser, however, takes more methamphetamine at any point during the withdrawal, the unpleasant feelings will end.

Consequently, the success rate for traditional methamphetamine rehabilitation is very low. E ffects of addiction on health If left unchecked, the drug is going to win. Drug abuse is a disease of the brain, and the drugs change brain chemistry, which results in a change in behavior. Aside from the obvious behavioral consequences of addiction, the negative effects on a person’s health are potentially devastating. While addicts use drugs to “feel better,” the unintended consequences include but are not limited to overdose, HIV/AIDS, stroke, cardiovascular disease and a host of related maladies.

Effects of addiction on the family One of the saddest aspects of the insidious nature of drug addiction is that by the time an addict realizes he/she has a problem, that problem has already taken a heavy toll on the family. Parents in treatment centers tell counselors and therapists that they want to “get their kids back,” as drug addiction has taken over to the point where the courts have been forced to remove the children from the home. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and sadly children are all impacted.

Families can be sources of strength and support, or they can passively enable the addiction to advance. Families can share in the victory over drug addiction, or they can be the victims of it. Effects of addiction on our society The National Library of Medicine estimates that some 20% of all people in the United States have used prescription medication for non-medical purposes. We’re not talking about cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine use, but doctor-prescribed medication. You can easily see that if you group the two together, illegal drug use and prescription drug misuse, we have a huge problem.

Effects of addiction on the Law The news media reports daily struggles with theft, drive-by shootings, drug busts, illegal trafficking and manufacturing of drugs, and arrests for crimes ranging from child neglect to murder. Look closer and chances are great that you will uncover a drug addiction component to any of these stories. Effects of addiction on the economy Beyond the personal health issues, beyond the devastating effect on families, beyond community crime statistics, drug addiction has a major impact on the American economy.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that some $67 billion per year is the impact that drug addiction has on this country. This total includes the cost of law enforcement, incarceration, treatments, traffic injuries, lost time in the workplace, etc. Drug addiction causes impaired reasoning, and therefore the crime rate is dramatically impacted by drug use. Addicts have a much higher likelihood of committing crimes than others. There are numerous harmful effects from drug addiction. The harmful effects of drug addiction include changes to the user’s brain, body, and sprit.

Drug addiction is an ever increasing epidemic spreading throughout the United States. People are addicted to not only street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crack, meth, and marijuana but also prescription drugs including Valium, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, and Ritalin. Drug addiction comes with a heavy price. There are extremely harmful effects of drug addiction which can range from mild itching to comas and death. In addition to the physical effects of drug addiction mentioned, there are many psychologically harmful effects of drug addiction.

The most serious being drug addiction itself. When abusing drugs, be it legal or illegal, it is important for the user to know the possible harmful effects of the drugs they are ingesting. This information can help in preventing overdose, medical complications, as well as provide information on any changes that they may be experiencing due to their drug addiction. It is a well known fact that the harmful effects of drug addiction can be extremely difficult to endure. That is why drug addiction treatment is available to help with such issues.

The harmful effects of drug addiction are an extremely large area of research. When an individual takes a particular drug they expect a desired effect to take place. This is true not only for legal drugs such as cough medicine, where the desired drug effect is the suppression of coughing, but illegal drugs as well. A person abuses such drugs as marijuana, alcohol, crystal meth, heroin, methadone, crack cocaine, morphine, and ecstasy for their desired effects. However, different drugs produce different harmful effects.

For example, the harmful effects of marijuana are much different than the harmful effects of crack cocaine. It will be unlikely that the marijuana addict will die from the harmful effects of marijuana addiction. Where on the other hand, there is a much greater chance a crack addict will die from the harmful effects of their drug addiction. Addictive drugs enter the body through a variety of routes. The drugs then make their way to the bloodstream and go straight to the brain, where they exert their harmful effects. Scientists have determined that most addictive drugs initially affect the brains reward system.

This part of the brain rewards us when we do the things necessary to survive–eating, drinking, and having sex to perpetuate our species, and so on. Cells in this part of the brain release chemicals that make us feel good (reward us) when we engage in these behaviours and teach us to repeat them. Drugs mimic the brain’s natural chemicals. Instead of teaching us to repeat survival behaviours, drugs teach us to take more drugs. If use continues, the harmful effects of drugs gradually change the user’s brain and lead to drug addiction. D ug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. While the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, over time a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised, and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive. This behavior results largely from the effects of prolonged drug exposure on brain functioning. Addiction is a brain disease that affects multiple brain circuits, including those involved n reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control over behavior. Because drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individual’s life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society.

Because addiction is typically a chronic disease, people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives. Too often, addiction goes untreated: According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 23. 2 million persons (9. 4 percent of the U. S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2007. Of these individuals, 2. 4 million (10. percent of those who needed treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility (i. e. , hospital, drug or alcohol rehabilitation or mental health center). Thus, 20. 8 million persons (8. 4 percent of the population aged 12 or older) needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem but did not receive it. These estimates are similar to those in previous years. Principles of Effective Treatment Scientific research since the mid–1970s shows that treatment can help patients addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse, and successfully recover their lives.

Based on this research, key principles have emerged that should form the basis of any effective treatment programs: * Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. * No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. * Treatment needs to be readily available. * Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. * Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical. * Counseling—individual and/or group—and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse reatment. * Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies. * An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs. * Many drug–addicted individuals also have other mental disorders. * Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long–term drug abuse. * Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur. * Treatment programs should assess patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk–reduction counseling to help patients modify or change behaviors that place them at risk of contracting or spreading infectious diseases. Effective Treatment Approaches Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process that often begins with detoxification, followed by treatment and relapse prevention.

Easing withdrawal symptoms can be important in the initiation of treatment; preventing relapse is necessary for maintaining its effects. And sometimes, as with other chronic conditions, episodes of relapse may require a return to prior treatment components. A continuum of care that includes a customized treatment regimen—addressing all aspects of an individual’s life, including medical and mental health services—and follow–up options (e. g. , community – or family-based recovery support systems) can be crucial to a person’s success in achieving and maintaining a drug–free lifestyle.

Behavioral Treatments Behavioral treatments help patients engage in the treatment process, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills. These treatments can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people stay in treatment longer. Treatment for drug abuse and addiction can be delivered in many different settings using a variety of behavioral approaches. Outpatient behavioral treatment encompasses a wide variety of programs for patients who visit a clinic at regular intervals. Most of the programs involve individual or group drug counseling.

Some programs also offer other forms of behavioral treatment such as— * Cognitive–behavioral therapy, which seeks to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to abuse drugs. * Multidimensional family therapy, which was developed for adolescents with drug abuse problems—as well as their families—addresses a range of influences on their drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning. * Motivational interviewing, which capitalizes on the readiness of individuals to change their behavior and enter treatment. Motivational incentives (contingency management), which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs. Residential treatment programs can also be very effective, especially for those with more severe problems. For example, therapeutic communities (TCs) are highly structured programs in which patients remain at a residence, typically for 6 to 12 months. TCs differ from other treatment approaches principally in their use of the community—treatment staff and those in recovery—as a key agent of change to influence patient attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors associated with drug use.

Patients in TCs may include those with relatively long histories of drug addiction, involvement in serious criminal activities, and seriously impaired social functioning. TCs are now also being designed to accommodate the needs of women who are pregnant or have children. The focus of the TC is on the resocialization of the patient to a drug-free, crime–free lifestyle. Treatment within the Criminal Justice System Treatment in a criminal justice setting can succeed in preventing an offender’s return to criminal behavior, particularly when treatment continues as the person transitions back into the community.

Studies show that treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. D rug abuse is a complex problem thought to result from a combination of hereditary, psychological, and environmental factors. It affects people from the neonatal stage to old age. Infants of abusers may suffer from neglect or the effects of parental drug use. As they grow into childhood, they may demonstrate antisocial behavior, and signs of malnutrition, poor self-esteem, depression, or attention deficit disorder. This may lead an adolescent to use drugs, have unwanted pregnancies, and drop out of school.

Identification of drug abuse is a difficult first step on the road to recovery because of the methods many abuses use to hide their addiction, the inability of family members to recognize or accept the problem, and the relatives’ enabling behavior. Oral health care professionals, have an ethical responsibility to inform patients of how drug abuse can damage their health. With increased knowledge of chemical dependency, one may be able to identify and encourage a patient, co-worker, or family member to seek the support needed to change substance abuse habits.

The self-assessment checklist and list of resource may provide insight and information helpful to someone who must take that difficult first step to recovery. The conclusion of a drug addiction: months possibly years of your life wasted; delay achieving your fullest potential, if not altogether never be able to achieve it. Drug addiction changes a person, rarely for the better. Putting aside the legal and criminal side to this question there is this: a Weekend Meth User spends about $1000 a year. A heroin addict about $26,000 and Cocaine addict (Snow, not Crack) as little as $50,000.

Much progress has been made in understanding the relationship between substance abuse and the family. Family factors have an important role in explaining the onset, development, and amelioration of substance abuse. Encouraging gains have been made in treating couples and families with substance abuse problems. More research is needed involving diverse and international populations, but efficacious treatments are growing in type and number that bodes well for improving the lives of millions worldwide.

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Drug Addiction. (2017, Mar 03). Retrieved September 23, 2019, from https://phdessay.com/drug-addiction/.