Substance abuse has a range of definitions related to disaproval over use or overuse of mood altering substances. These fall into four main categories: Substance abuse may lead to addiction or substance dependence. Medicaly, dependence requires the development of tolerance leading to withdrawal symptoms.
Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) known by its street names as scoop, liquid ecstasy, Grievous Bodily harm, Georgia Home Boy etc. is one of the latest designer club drugs. Used as a general anesthetic in Europe and first used in the US as a work out aid in gyms it is most often an odorless, colorless liquid, with a slightly salty taste. Generally classed as a CNS depressant sedative the dangers of GHB use are substantial to include rapid respiratory failure and death and when mixed with alcohol is sometimes used as a so called "date rape" drug.
GHB is highly addictive and GHB addiction severity and dangers when detoxing off the drug are in many cases worse than cocaine and heroin. GHB addiction withdrawal includes profuse sweating, anxiety attacks, and may be accompanied by spiking blood pressure and rapid pulse. Even when the physical symptoms look like they are going to subside the GHB addict may often experience severe hallucinations and psychotic episodes well into day 7 of a detox episode and beyond . GHB addiction withdrawal needs to be closely medically monitored as the withdrawal episode can indeed be life threatening.
Tolerance is a word used to describe the reaction an individual receives from a drug or substance. Over time, higher quantities are needed to receive the desired effects of a substance. Eventually an individual needs to increase the amount of a drug or substance to experience the same affects they once had.
For example, before tolerance developed it took 3 glasses of wine to give the individual a buzz. Now due to developing tolerance, the individual needs to drink 6 glasses of wine to feel the same effects. Tolerance is a common symptom in substance use and abuse.
Dependence describes a compulsion to continue taking a drug in order to feel good or to avoid feeling bad. When this is done to avoid physical discomfort or withdrawal, it is known as physical dependence; when it has a psychological aspect (the need for stimulation or pleasure, or to escape reality) then it is known as psychological dependence.
Inpatient Treatment is most often residential in that they require that the client live within the facility during treatment. Inpatient treatment centers and programs are a higher level of care than outpatient programs and provide more intensive services and treatment than lower levels of the care continuum.
Addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its consequences. A person who is addicted is sometimes called an addict. An addict is someone who is physiologically dependent on a substance; abrupt deprivation of the substance produces withdrawal symptoms
MDMA commonly known as Ecstasy stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. MDMA produces intense feelings of pleasure and excitement and can lead to hyperactivity and hyperthermia.
Ecstasy addiction and use often takes place in a rave, (a underground dance event) and is used at clubs. The effects of MDMA are heightened by overcrowding, dancing and sometimes the use of other stimulant drugs.
In the days after use, 80% of ecstasy users report feelings of depression and lethargy. Users who stop ecstasy show deficits in learning, memory, have changes in appetite and mood, and experience a decrease in sexual desire, These effects are greatest in heavy users and remain long after the use of the drug has ceased. These changes may be permanent.
Cocaethylene is formed in the human body by the ingestion of cocaine and alcohol in combination. The effect of this combination is to inhibit the dopamine neural transporters.
At the turn of the 20th century Vin Mariani was a popular mixture of wine and cocaine, primarily in Europe The principal physical danger of cocaethylene is to the heart and is more toxic to the cardiovascular systems than either alcohol or cocaine separately. Cocaetheylene has been shown to be prevalent in post mortem autopsies leading to the findings that the combination can indeed kill.
Addiction implies that a drug dependency has developed to such an extent that it has serious detrimental effects on the user (referred to as an addict). They may be chronically intoxicated, have great difficulty stopping the drug use, and be determined to obtain the drug by almost any means. The term addiction is inextricably linked to society's reaction to the user, and so medical experts try to avoid using it, preferring dependence instead.
A twelve-step program is a self-help group whose members attempt recovery from various addictions and compulsions through the use of a plan referred to as the "twelve steps".
As an Opioid heroin use escalates as the body's tolerance for the drug increases. The increased tolerance is the cause of many overdose deaths given that the heroin user may be injecting 3 to 5 times the lethal dose in order to maintain their high.
Rapid Detoxing from high tolerance heroin use is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Relapse for a heroin user after some period of absence can also be fatal as their tolerance level is no longer present and the same amount used during their last episode prior to a period abstinence will often kill the user.
When an addictive behavior is stopped or an addictive substance is withdrawn from use, withdrawal symptoms almost always follow. Depending on the behavior or substance, these symptoms can appear within a few hours (nicotine) or over a few days or weeks (alcohol, or most behavioral addictions).
Residential Treatment is a level of care that entails that the client live (resides) within a treatment facility for a specified duration of care; most often 28 days. Residential Treatment Programs and Centers usually include group and individual therapy sessions and span the confinement continuum from open campus to lock down facilities.
Drug Rehabilitation is an umbrella term for a variety of processes by which a person addicted to a drug stops using that drug. These processes can vary from cold turkey to the use of substitute drugs which do not have the same action upon the state of consciousness as the original drug to which the person was addicted.
Rohypnol is one of the trade names for Flunitrazepam and is classed as a benzodiazepine. Rohypnol is not approved for use in the US but is readily available "on the street" and in Texas and Miami has become a major concern for addiction treatment professionals. Rohypnol has been in the news as a so called the "date rape" drug due to its effects of depressing the central nervous system and when mixed with alcohol it has an amnesiac effect on the memory centers of the brain. The effects of Rohypnol addiction include depression or paradoxical excitation.
Withdrawal symptoms from Rohypnol can include tremors, hallucinations and seizures; indeed seizures can occur a week or more after the person stops taking Rohypnol. As with any benzodiazepine addiction Rohypnol Addiction requires medical monitoring during the withdrawal period and also requires recovery treatment by trained addiction professionals.
As one of the class of drugs benzodiazepines Xanax has been shown to be a dangerous drug to withdraw from. The reason that Xanax withdrawal is dangerous is that as a CNS depressant that slows neural activity in the brain when the drug is abruptly stopped brain activity can rebound and accelerate out of control.
Prolonged Xanax users should not attempt to withdraw from the drug without medical supervision.
Alcohol Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, a constant or periodic reliance on use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, the inability to limit drinking, physical illness when drinking is stopped, and the need for increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects.
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder; the distinguishing signs of this disorder are excessive weight loss by starving oneself. Anorexia Nervosa is extremely dangerous, due to the severe weight loss, often times this leads to major health problems and death.
Anorexia is defined as ‘loss of appetite’. In this case, many times the individual just refuses to eat. The extreme fear of being over-weight consumes this person. No matter how small and slender they are, they still see themselves as fat and over-weight. Many decrease their food intake and tend to exercise in excess.
Drug Abuse is clinically defined by the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
Oxycontin is a prescription painkiller used for moderate to high pain relief associated with injuries, bursitis, dislocations, fractures, neuralgia, arthritis, lower back pain and pain associated with cancer. Oxycontin contains oxycodone, an opium derivative and is produced in a time released tablet.
Oxycontin commonly referred to as OC, OX, Oxy, Oxycotton and kicker, was introduced in 1996 and has had a rapid escalation of abuse. The tablets can be chewed, crushed and snorted like cocaine, crushed and dissolved in water and then injected like heroin.
The most serious side effect is respiratory depression, particularly dangerous for the elderly. Oxycontin addiction and demand has resulted in pharmacy robberies and forged prescriptions. The estimated number of people aged 12 or older with an oxycontin addiction has increased from 1.9 million in 2002, to 3.1 million in 2004. The largest increase occurred among young adults aged 18 to 25.
Ativan has been used short-term for treating insomnia that’s associated with severe anxiety. This drug is also used to help an individual detox from alcohol dependence. This drug should never be mixed with alcohol.
According to a rent study conducted by Kathryn Graham, et al of the University of Western Ontario psychology department "Depression is most strongly related to a pattern of binge drinking,". Binge Drinking is defined in the study as consuming at least 5 alcoholic beverages at one sitting. Whether binge drinking resulted in the development of depression or whether depression contributed to a persons binge drinking was unclear in this study.
Detoxification is a specific level of treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction designed to manage withdrawal symptoms so that the person may purge their body of intoxicating or addictive substances.
Such a program is used as a first step in recovery from addiction but by no means is detox an effective form of treatment for addiction by itself. It is most effective when followed by participation in a program of recovery.
Oxycodone works by stimulating certain opoid receptors that are located throughout the central nervous system, in the brain and along the spinal cord. When the oxycodone binds to the opoid receptors, a variety of physiologic responses can occur ranging from pain relief, to slowed breathing to euphoria. Withdrawal reactions include anxiety, irritability, sweating, trouble sleeping and diarrhea.
Alcoholism is clinically defined as physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Alcohol dependence manifests itself in the alcoholic as a compulsion to continue to drink despite the consequences or the risks involved.
Suboxone is manufactured by Reckitt-Benckiser and contains the active ingredient buprenorphine hydrochloride. Suboxone has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid addiction by qualified physicians who are authorized under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000).
Suboxone treatment works by both tricking the brain into experiencing the use of Suboxone as an opiate while at the same time blocking the neural receptors that are specific to opiates such that if a patient uses opiates while undergoing Suboxone Treatment he or she will not get the narcotic high. Suboxone detox treatment along with counseling and group support has been shown to be an effective means for treating addictions to opiates and may help many addicts to recover from their addiction.
Drug addiction is a compulsive, uncontrollable and chronic need of a chemical or substance no matter what the consequences are. Addiction to Drugs is a very complex disease that impacts the brain. The desire, cravings and need for the drug or chemical is so powerful, the abuser can no longer function without it.
A very common myth is that an individual that has a drug addiction is ‘morally weak’. What people don’t understand is that brain function is altered with chronic abuse and the addict no longer has self control. Many recognize their addiction and are miserable but just can’t stop on their own due to the over-whelming desire and need of the substance. Over time, when there is an addiction to drugs present the brain sends very intense impulses throughout the body for the need of more of the drug.
There are many reasons for drug abuse, including calming or exciting effects, escape from reality, search for awareness & mysticism, masking pain, blunting anxiety, fighting depression, escaping mental or physical deficits, lightening other burdens, improving performance, etc.
Such drugs often require increasing dosage to obtain the same effect, leading to mental and physical dependence and possibly severe withdrawal symptoms with high risks.
An Alcohol and Drug Addiction Intervention is a carefully planned attempt by family, loved one’s and friends to get the abuser to understand their need to seek professional help for their addiction. Denial keeps the chemically dependent individual from seeing their life as ‘self destructive’. An intervention specialist will also help you understand what the abuser is going through which makes your life easier as well.
Interventions are pre-planned and when seeking the guidance and advice of a specialized Professional Therapist and Counselor before-hand, can make all the difference in the world when trying to get someone you love or care about to understand the need for treatment and rehabilitation.
Ketamine can lead to psychological dependence and in some cases induced psychosis. Ketamine users seek the psychedelic properties of the drug that include a marked disassociation from reality. This reality disassociation is referred to by ketamine users as the K-hole experience and as the users progresses in their ketamine addiction the probability of flashbacks is markedly increased. Ketamine addiction also carries with it the associated risks of HIV and other infections for those who inject the drug.
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