Drug Abuse: Interesting facts

Drug abuse occurs when you’re incapable of refraining from the use of drugs prescribed or some other legitimate or illegitimate substance to the extent that it affects your normal body functions/reasoning.

As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 40,000 people died due to inadvertent drug overdose in the United States in 2011. More than 22,000 people die yearly from isolated cases of abused prescription drugs.

Drug abuse also precedes several public health challenges as listed below:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Fierceness and aggression
  • Strained familial relationships
  • Child brutality

Venous drug users, who inoculate themselves with drugs, are capable of contacting and dispersing diseases such as AIDS, HIV and hepatitis B. Habituation to drugs includes various social and genetic factors. Though treatment is possible, prevention and awareness are the most effective methods of elimination.

Drug abuse
Photo Credit: Verywell Mind

Drugs abused frequently

Inhalants

They are also called snappers, popping and huffing.

Inhalants are inhalable substances used to feel hallucinogenic effects. Such chemical substances are as listed:

  • paint
  • assorted glue
  • hair spray
  • vaporizable fluids

Immediate outcomes of using these drugs produce an experience similar to alcohol use.

Inhalants are very harmful. They can bring about the following effects, listed below:

  • Dull hearing perception
  • losing consciousness
  • Brain seizure
  • inability to feel sensation
  • violent/awkward spasms
  • Heart collapse

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 546,000 people aged 12 and beyond consume it.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids may also be identified as:

  • pumpers
  • stackers
  • gym candy
  • juice

Steroids are artificially made substances. They imitate testosterone, a male hormone. They can be taken by inoculation or swallowed orally. They are illicit in United States, yet used to improve abilities by athletes.

Steroids may trigger severe long-term health issues, including:

  • infertility
  • high cholesterol
  • fierceness
  • liver failure
  • elevated blood pressure

Females using steroids can have even more issues such as:

  • hoarse voice
  • irregular menstruation
  • facial hairs
  • hair loss

Teen abusers of drugs experience:

  • stunted growth
  • severe acne
  • fast-tracked puberty rates

Alcohol

Alcohol is present in liquor, beer and wine. It’s licit for adults aged 21 and above to buy and consume in the United States. Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and from the small intestine and stomach.

One standard drink is equivalent to:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof alcoholic liquor and spirit.

Alcohol leads to organ failure and can potentially harm a fetus within a pregnant woman and can raise the risk of developing:

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, arises by use of alcohol and inhibits your ability to maintain relationships and work. Alcohol abuse can bring about long term health risks.

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health discovered over a 30-day period:

  • 16.3 million Americans reported heavy alcohol use
  • 52.7 percent of adults, age 12 and above, consumed alcohol at least once
  • 11.5 % of adolescents between age 12 and 17, consumed alcohol at least once

Cocaine

Cocaine is also called coke, snow, flake, crack and blow.

Cocaine is an intoxicating drug that causes a strong addiction. It’s sold as a white, fine powder. It’s inoculated, smoked or sniffed through the nose. It exists in processed form as crack cocaine, which is more affordable but equally potent. In both forms, cocaine triggers euphoria and increased energy.

Cocaine use predisposes to a rise in:

  • heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Body temperature

Risks of cocaine usage:

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health discovered that an alarming 1.5 million Americans aged 12 years and above were already using cocaine.

Club Drugs

This class of drugs denotes significant divisions of drugs and they are as listed:

  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) – also named ecstasy, XTC, adam, clarity, and X.
  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) – also called roche, roofies, rophies, and forget-me pills.
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) – also named grievous bodily harm, G, or liquid ecstasy.
  • Ketamine also named; special K, K, cat valium, and vitamin K
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

Club drugs induce sensations of ecstasy, detachment, or sedation. Roofies are particularly identified as drugs used by sexual offenders and used to induce such feeling.

They bring about serious short-term mental health problems such as delirium. They also induce rapid heart rate, seizures, dehydration and eventually cause the death.

Club drugs are more harmful when taken with alcohol.

Heroin

Heroin is also called smack, H, ska and junk. It is an illicit opium derivative like morphine, an illicit prescription drug. It is extracted from the seed of Poppy plant, or opium. It is usually in a white and sometime brown powder which may be taken by inoculation, smoked, or sniffed through the nose. Heroin can induce ecstasy and a fuzzy sensation.

Heroin causes:

  • drug overdose
  • miscarriages
  • heart failure and eventually death

Continual exposure makes the users habituated. Users will ultimately require a higher dose to have the same effects, leading to addiction and bringing about withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana

Marijuana can also be identified as pot, weed grass, ganja, trees and 420.

Marijuana is a dried mix of cannabis plants – leaves, stems, seeds and flowers.

It is typically smoked, but it can also be infused with food. It induces hallucinations and ecstasy.

As of 2014, not less than 2.2 million people in the United States have been reportedly said to have abused Marijuana. This submission is according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Studies also show that it has been successful in curing certain medical challenges like glaucoma and unexpected results of chemotherapy. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the District of Columbia and 23 states have legalized Marijuana for medical adaptation.

These states are:

  • Alaska
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • California
  • Maryland
  • Washington
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Michigan
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Delaware

Methamphetamines

It is also known as:

  • ice
  • meth
  • crank
  • glad
  • speed
  • chalk
  • crystal

Methamphetamine is a very addictive drug. It’s often related to amphetamine. It’s a yellow or whitish powder that’s sniffed, inoculated, or heated and smoked.

Users can often stay alert for a long while. It also induces hyper-activity leading to physical effects such as:

  • body temperature
  • blood pressure
  • heart rate

Extensive use leads to:

  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • violence
  • severe dental pains
  • mood swings
  • sleeplessness

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse happens if you take a medication that was not prescribed by a medical expert for you. It can be used to explain a situation where you use a drug for other reasons than was prescribed by your doctor. It is also possible to have a typical instance where you become addicted to drugs prescribed by your doctor.

Some prescribed drug examples are listed below:

  • Opioids – pain management drugs. Examples are fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
  • Sleep or anxiety medicines e.g. alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium).
  • Stimulants e.g. amphetamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dextroamphetamine (Adderall).

Consequences of abusing any of the drugs vary according to the medication but abuse of prescription drugs will often lead to:

  • paranoia
  • anxiety
  • seizures
  • suppressed breathing
  • drowsiness
  • delayed brain function

In the long run, it causes physical dependence and addiction. Over the past few decades, illicit drug use has increased, partly due to its wider availability.

Phases of drug abuse

Drug abuse has been broken down into phases by public health experts:

  1. Experimental use phase – you use the drug with peers or for recreation.
  2. Regular use phase – you change your behavior and use the drug to fix negative feelings.
  3. Daily pre-occupation or risky use phase – you are only thinking of the drugs and can’t relate normally.
  4. Dependence phase – you can’t lead a normal life without the drug. Personal and financial struggles escalate, and you may be willing to risk illicit methods to obtain the drugs.

Treating drug abuse

Treatment programs expectations

It is imperative to seek a treatment program that follows these values listed below:

  • Treatment is always available
  • Drug use is supervised while undergoing treatment because relapses can and do happen.
  • Addiction is complicated but curable.
  • No particular one treatment works for everyone.
  • Treatment addresses your mental health. Your treatment is regularly reviewed to meet your requirements.
  • Treatment focuses on your diverse needs.
  • It is important to follow-through in treatment for a sufficient time frame. Willing or forced treatment can be successful.

Treatment programs should monitor contagion and always check for it while giving risk-education counseling. This calls living responsibly and the place of a check on spreading contagious diseases.

Cleansing

This depends on the drug you are addicted to. First phase of treatment is often medically-induced detoxificationSupportive care is provided as the cleansing is ongoing.

After detoxification, other treatments to ensure long-term abstinence follow. Most treatments include group or personal counseling provided within outpatient facilities or inpatient residential recovery programs. Medications are also helpful to reduce your withdrawal symptoms and encourage recovery. In heroin addiction, for example, your doctor may prescribe a drug called methadone. It can ease your recovery and help you cope with the intense withdrawal stage.

Inhibiting drug abuse

Abstinence is the best remedy. Efforts are more focused on youths exposed to peer pressure. Community prevention programs work in schools, with teachers, and with community members to educate and provide information and support.

Parents should play an active role in stopping their children from drug abuse. You should:

  • Educate them about drug abuse.
  • Discover and share fact-based information about drugs and their abuse.
  • Develop a strong and supportive family system.

Resources, phone numbers, and support groups

Listed below are resources that can help:

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – gives resources and referrals for treatment. Helpline: 800-662-HELP.
  • Above the Influence – scope of help is to young adults on peer pressure, drug use, and treatment options. Visit http://www.abovetheinfluence.com.
  • The National Association for Children of Alcoholics – offers help to alcohol addicted kids in form of knowledge andmaterials. Call 888-55-4COAS (888-554-2627) or visit http://www.nacoa.org.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – offers meetings and support groups for alcohol abuse. Visit www.aa.org.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – offers meetings and support groups for alcohol abuse. Visit www.aa.org.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teenagers – specializes in reaching out to teens that are already trapped in drug abuse. Visit http://teens.drugabuse.gov.
  • Al-Anon – offers timely help for addiction victims in the United States

You can call 888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666), 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, or visit http://www.al-anon.org/home.

  • Al-Ateenoffers private support for US teens and young adults suffering from alcoholism. Call 888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time; Monday-Friday. You can visit http://www.al-anon.alateen.org.
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – offers meetings and support groups affected people. Visit www.na.org.

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