Different types of addictive substances and their effects

Types of addictive substances

  1. Stimulants-

(cocaine, crack, amphetamines) give a temporary

illusion of enhanced power and energy. As the initial

elevation of mood fades, depression and other serious

medical problems may emerge, including heart attacks,

seizures, strokes, and violent, erratic, anxious, or paranoid

behavior.

2. Cocaine use during pregnancy may result in miscarriage,

stillbirth, or low birth–weight babies who may be drug-

dependent and may later develop behavioral or learning

difficulties. Long-term amphetamine abuse can result in

psychosis with symptoms that include paranoid delusions

and hallucinations.

HEROIN

Heroin is an opioid drug in the same class as medications like

morphine. It can be injected with a needle or inhaled. Heroin

produces an intense feeling of pleasure when a person first

begins to use it. Occasional use of heroin often progresses to

dependence or addiction. Skipping use of heroin for an

addicted person can lead to significant withdrawal symptoms

such as chills, sweating, runny nose and eyes, abdominal

cramps, muscle pains, insomnia, nausea, and diarrhea.

Heroin use during pregnancy may result in miscarriage,

stillbirth, premature delivery, or drug-dependent babies.

Injecting heroin introduces substances into their

bloodstream, that can result in severe damage to the heart,

lungs, and brain. In addition, needle sharing spreads

diseases—this is the leading cause of all new HIV and

hepatitis cases.

Opiate abuse can bring about significant and long-lasting

chemical changes in the brain.These changes cause a

person to experience intense cravings and negative

emotions when they try to stop. Several medications can be

used to treat heroin addiction including buprenorphine,

methadone and naltrexone.

4. HALLUCINOGENS

Hallucinogens are drugs such as LSD (acid) or designer

drugs (ecstasy) that are taken orally and cause hallucinations

and feelings of euphoria. Dangers from LSD include stressful

flashbacks—re-experiencing the hallucinations despite not

having taken the drug again, sometimes even years later.

Excessive use of ecstasy, combined with strenuous physical

activity, can lead to death from dehydration or an

exceptionally high fever.

Addiction is a serious illness and can ruin health, finances,

relationships, and careers.The abuse of drugs and alcohol

is a leading cause of preventable illnesses and premature

death in our society.The importance of substance abuse

treatment cannot be overstated, and fortunately many

effective treatments are available.

Consequences of Use

5. ALCOHOL

Most adults are familiar with alcohol and its effects.

Alcohol is a legal drug that can produce pleasant effects

with lower amounts, but that can produce dangerous

effects with higher amounts. People often drink alcohol

during social occasions. Unfortunately, the reckless

behavior that often results from excessive drinking is a

leading cause of serious injury and accidental death.

Alcoholism is an illness in which a person loses the

ability to control their drinking, and it is often associated

with the development of problems in work, relationships,

and health. It is an illness that tends to run in families and

is often associated with depression. Alcoholism can have

devastating effects on health, including serious liver

damage, greater risk of heart disease, impotence, infertility,

and premature aging. Alcohol is the most common cause

of preventable birth defects, including fetal alcohol

syndrome.

An alcoholic who needs to drink daily should stop their

use of alcohol under the supervision of a physician, and

may need medication during their withdrawal.There are

medications that can help reduce the compelling desire to

drink alcohol.Treatment is more successful early in the

development of alcoholism than when the illness has been

allowed to progress for years.

6. MARIJUANA

Marijuana is the most widespread and frequently used

illicit drug and is associated with short-term memory loss,

accelerated heartbeat, increased blood pressure, difficulty

with concentrating and processing information, lapses in

judgment, and problems with perception and motor skills.

Years of marijuana use can lead to a loss of ambition

and an inability to carry out long-term plans or to function

effectively.

7. INHALANTS

Inhalants are breathable chemicals like glue, paint thinner,

lighter fluid.They are commonly abused by teenagers

because they are easy to obtain and because they

produce mind-altering effects when sniffed or “huffed.”

These chemicals reach the bloodstream very quickly and

can be deadly. High concentrations of inhalant fumes can

cause heart failure or suffocation and long-term abuse can

cause permanent damage to the nervous system.

8. SEDATIVES

Sedatives are highly effective medications prescribed by

physicians to relieve anxiety and to promote sleep.

Harmful effects can occur when taken in excess or without

a physician’s supervision. Combining sedatives with

alcohol or other drugs greatly increases the likelihood of

death by overdose. Women who abuse sedatives during

pregnancy may deliver babies with birth defects who also

may be physically dependent on drugs.

9. NICOTINE

Nicotine in tobacco products has addictive properties

similar in severity to those of heroin. Quitting is difficult

because of the unpleasantness of withdrawal, which

involves feelings of irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety,

insomnia, and depression. Continued smoking may lead to

far more dire circumstances, including lung cancer, heart

attacks, emphysema, high blood pressure, and ulcers.

Treatment

The first step on the road to recovery is recognition of the

problem, but often this process is complicated by a lack of

understanding about substance abuse and addiction or

denial. In these cases, the intervention of concerned

friends and family often prompts treatment.

Addiction is a chronic illness like heart disease, high

cholesterol or high blood pressure. People with these

chronic diseases are prone to relapse. Because substance

abuse affects many aspects of a person’s life, multiple

forms of treatment are often required. For most, a

combination of medication and individual or group therapy

is most effective. Medications are used to control drug

cravings and relieve severe symptoms of withdrawal.

Therapy can help addicted individuals understand their addiction.

AmyB

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I'm a mother, reader, writer, best friend, wife, a ex divorcee, a taxi, a teacher, a cook, an aunt, a cousin, a HUMAN, a daughter, a lover, a WOMAN, a expert, a beginner, recovering addict, from the Mississippi Gulfcoast, and so much more!

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