What is Addiction?
Addiction is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use or unhealthy compulsive behaviors, despite harmful consequences. The outward behaviors of addiction are manifestations of underlying disease that involve different parts of the brain. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people active in their addictions.
Signs of Addiction
- Minimizing problems
- Mood Swings
- Personality changes
- Manipulation of others
- Legal problems
- Loss of pleasure in life
- Breaking Promises
- Overly Talkative
- Emotional Unsteadiness
- Financial Problems
- Lack of Communication
The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and general euphoria. Sexual interest may also be amplified.
The white crystalline form is commonly the hydrochloride salt diacetylmorphine hydrochloride. Upon crossing the blood-brain barrier, which occurs soon after introduction of the drug into the bloodstream, heroin mimics the action of endorphins, creating a sense of well-being; the characteristic euphoria has been aptly described as an “orgasm” centered in the gut. One of the most common methods of heroin use is via intravenous injection.
Euphoria and rush: Might be extremely alert and energized, even after up all night. Increased respiration and/or increased body temperature: Might appear out of breath for no reason (methamphetamine is a stimulant that can speed up one’s heart rate.) Burns, nosebleeds or track marks: If there strange burns on lips or fingers may be smoking methamphetamine through a hot glass or metal pipe. Snorting methamphetamine could cause nosebleeds and eventually eat away at the septum inside the nose.
Using methamphetamine intravenously there could be track marks on her arms. Carelessness about appearance: Stopped showering? Lost interest in grooming? No longer brush teeth? Deceit or secretiveness: Is your normally honest child lying to you all the time? Is his bedroom door always closed? Has she got a seemingly endless string of excuses to justify her behavior? Violence and aggression: Methamphetamine affects the central nervous system, which in turn can affect a person’s mood. Look for wild mood swings, hostility or abusive behavior.
Methamphetamine use is up 90% since 2011 according to a world drug report and the “New Meth” is 90% pure according to the report.
In some areas, particularly the eastern U.S., OxyContin has been the drug of greatest concern to enforcement authorities. Some symptoms of overdose can include: Slow breathing (less than ten breaths a minute is really serious trouble) Small, pinpoint pupils Confusion Being tired, nodding off, or passing out Dizziness Weakness Apathy (they don’t care about anything) Cold and clammy skin Nausea Vomiting Seizures
The center for disease control & prevention says that abuse of prescription pain killers has reached epidemic proportion. Deaths associated to pain pill abuse is up 400% in women between 1999-2012 & 275% in men. Abuse itself is up 110% since 2007 according to the same study.
Marijuana – The short-term effects of marijuana include:
Problems with memory and learning
Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch)
Increased heart rate
These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with the marijuana; and users do not always know what drugs are given to them.
Vicodin – After any period of continual use, these receptors will adapt and begin to resist the drug, calling for higher doses to produce the same effects. Furthermore, once the brain has adapted to the presence of Vicodin, an individual will experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug leaves the body, as nerve receptors must readapt to its absence.
These symptoms include agitation, anxiety, tremors, muscle aches, hot and cold flashes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Many users take Vicodin solely for the intoxication they produce. They obtain the drug illegally or bend the law through a practice known as “doctor shopping,” where a patient will visit many different prescribing doctors to obtain a large supply of Vicodin without alerting any one physician to the abuse. However, even those taking Vicodin for legitimate pain management are at risk for addiction.
In 2013 prescriptions written for Vicodin exceeded 1 Billion for the first time according to the CDC.