Drugs come in various forms and can be taken numerous ways. Some are legal and others are not. Drug abuse and misuse can cause numerous health problems, and in serious cases death can occur. Treatment for drug abuse is often sought to aid in recovery.
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Depressants slow down activity in the central nervous system of your body. These drugs are also called "downers" because they slow the body down and seem to give feelings of relaxation. Depressants are available as prescription drugs to relive stress and anxiety.
Types of depressants:
- Barbiturates - Used as sedatives, hypnotics, anesthetics and anticonvulsants. Causes mild sedation to coma and are highly addictive.
- Benzodiazepines - Treat anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures and muscle spasms as well as alcohol withdrawal.
- Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) - Also known as "roofies" is a "date rape" drug. Its high abuse potential is attributed to how easily it dissolves in liquid. Some effects include memory impairment, dizziness, nightmares, confusion and/or tremors. Although classified as a depressant, Rohypnol can induce aggression and excitability in some people, and "anterograde amnesia" which means individuals may not remember events they experienced while under the drug's effect.
- GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) - A powerful, rapid acting CNS depressant. It possesses euphoric, sedative and anabolic effects. Because it is colorless, tasteless and odorless in liquid form, it emerged as a "date rape" drug in the late 90's, often abused by young people at all night parties called "raves."
- Methaqualone - A sedative drug for the treatment of insomnia. Can cause delirium, coma and death.
- Alcohol - Alcoholism refers to a disease that is most often characterized by a pattern of alcohol-seeking behavior that leads to impaired control over drinking. Alcohol can result in health consequences, social problems, or both. For more information click here.
- Tranquillizers - (Valium) can induce calm and relaxation. Feelings will range from mild euphoria to drowsiness, confusion and light headedness. Hostility, blurred vision, hallucinations, lethargy, memory loss and irritability can also occur.
These drugs speed up the body's nervous system and create a feeling of energy. They are also called "uppers" because of their ability to make you feel very awake. Stimulants have the oppisite effect of depressants. When the effects of a stimulant wear off, the user is typicallty left with feelings of sickness and a loss of energy. Constant use of such drugs can have very negative effects on the user such as compulsive drug seeking behavior, violent behavior, anxiety, confusion and insomnia.
Types of stimulants:
- Cocaine - A highly powerful and addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Adults 18 to 25 years old have the highest rate of current use compared to other age groups.
- Methamphetamines/Amphetamines - Made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. Impurity and contamination are major risk factors. Psychotic fetures may include: paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances and delusions. The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.
- Ritalin - A prescription drug used to treat ADHD, ADD and other conditions. It has similar effects to those of cocaine and amphrtamines. Often abused for appetite suppression and/or to stay awake.
- MDMA/Ecstacy - Psyhological effects can include confussion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving and very sever anxiety. Drug purity is a major issue. Othe drugs chemically similar to MDMA are often sold as MDMA. Users often combine it with substances that put them at higher risk.
- Caffeine - Most widely used drug in the world. It is physically addicting and naturally protuced. It raises blood preasure and its effects range from mild alertness to heightened anxiety and body tension. Withdrawl symptoms include drowsiness, headaches, irritability, nausea, vomiting and depression.
- Nicotine - One of the most heavily addictive drugs in the US. You may be suprised to learn that tobacco use causes far more illnesses and death than all other addictive drugs combined. One out of every six deaths in the US is a result of smoking
Inhalants are sniffed or huffed and give the user immediate results. Unfortunately, these immediate results can also result in permanent brain, liver and kidney damage. When inhalants are taken, the body becomes deprived of oxygen, causing a rapid heart beat. Other effects include difficulty walking and confussion and sense of smell is affected.
Types of inhalants:
- Paint thinner
- Laughing gas
- Aerosol sprays
Made from various parts of thye hemp plant named Cannabis Sativa. These drugs result in feelings of euphoria, cause confussion and memmory problems, anziety, a higher heart rate, as well as staggering and poor reaction time. It has long lasting effects on the brain that can dramatically alter the quality of life for regular users.
Types of Cannabinoids:
- Marijuana - Most widely used illicit drug. THC is the main psychoative ingredient. It is often mixed with other and more unpredictable drugs like PCP.
- Hashish - Made from extracting the resin from the leaves and flowers and pressing it into cakes. It is stronger than marijuana and may contain five to 10 times as much THC.
Opioids and morphine derivatives do relieve pain but can also cause drowsiness, confussion, nausea, feelings of euphoria and respiratory complications.
Types of opiods and Morphine derivatives:
- Codeine/Hydrocodone bitartrate - (Vicodin) Most widley used naturally occurring narcotic in medical treatment in the world. Used to relive moderate pain and also supress coughing. It may be habit-forming. Side effects are light headedness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures and unusual behavior.
- Fentanyl and fentanly analogs - Used for anesthesia and analgesia. Similar effects as heroin although fentanyuls may be hundreds of times more potent.
- Heroin - Is the most abused and most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturaly occurring substance from the seed pod of poppy plants. Abusers inject heroin for the euphoric "rush" that quickly follows. Long term abuse can cause heart infections, liver disease, and poor physical condition of the user. Most new users are under the age of 26.
- Morphine - Used to treat moderate to severe pain. It may be habit forming. Some side effects might be shallow breathing, seizure, cold clammy skin, confusion, dizziness or fainting. An over dose can be fatal.
- Oxycodone - Chronic use of opioids can result in tolerance to other medications such that higher doses must be taken to obtain the same initial effects and can lead to physical dependence. The body adapts to the presence of the drug and withdrawal ymptoms occour if use is reduced or stopped quickly. Overdose can cause respiratory depression and death.
Man-made substances related to male sex hormones. Steroids are taken to improve physical performance as well as to enlarge muscles and incre4ase streangth. Negative effects of steroids include baldness, cysts, shrinking of testicles, oily hair and skin, acne, heart attack, stroke and change in voice. Hostility is also a frequent side effect of anabolc steroids.
Types of anabolic steriods:
When taking hallucinogens, switching emotions is frequent. These drugs change the mind and cause the appearance of things that are not really there. Hallucinogens affect the body's self-control, such as speech and movement, and often bring about hostility. Other negative side effects of these drugs include heart failure, increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and changes in the body's hormones.
Types of hallucinogens:
- LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) - This drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. LSD users often refer to their experience as a trip. An acute reaction called a "bad trip" ith sever, terrifying thoughts, fear of loosing control, fear of insanity, fear of dying and despair often occur.
- Mescaline - Is a naturally occurring psychedelic found in several cactus species most notably peyote and san pedro. It causes hallucinations that last about 12 hours. It provokes pupil dilation, dizziness, vomiting, tachyardia, headaches and psychosis.
- Cannabis - THC is the main psychoactive ingredient - see above for more information.
- Magic Mushrooms - Contain psilocybin a hallucinogenic substance. The mushrooms are avgailable fresh or dry and are indested orally. Popular at raves, clubs and college campuses. Side effects includer nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness and lack of coordination. Often the individual can not distinguish reality from fantacy leading to paranoia and psychosis.
Prescription drugs can be very helpful drugs when used properly and when under the guidance of a qualified phyician. the drugs can be used to aid in surgery, to treat medical conditions and controlling various symptoms. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs however can be ver dangerous.
Types of prescription drugs:
- Opiods: Codine, Oxycodone, Morphine
- Central nervous system depressants: babiturates, benzodiazepines
- Stimulants: dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate