Drug addiction is more common than you think. About 21.5 million adults in the US struggle with addiction and that number seems to continue to grow year-over-year. 2019 has been a difficult year in the world of fame, as the news of a celebrity death due to a drug overdose hits headlines far too often. With more news, comes more awareness of the dangers, but unless you’re fully aware of the causes and symptoms of drug abuse, someone you love may also end up risking their own life.
Addiction looks different from person to person and even substance by substance. Regardless of the drug of choice, it is defined as an excess usage or overly high dose of medicine over extended periods of time. This is true of prescription medications as well.
Here are a few signs that indicate drug addiction:
- Cravings for addictive drugs
- Increased tolerance for the medicine
- Losing interest in hobbies
- Visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions for the same drug
Drug addiction may also cause the following physical symptoms:
- Dilated pupils
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sudden weight loss
- Abrupt changes in sleeping pattern
- Irritability and anger
Drugs are everywhere so it’s important to take medication as advised by your doctor. If you continuously increase the dosage, your body can develop a resistance to the substance and you will become addicted to it over time. If you use the following medications, it is imperative to be careful in order to avoid becoming addicted:
Most Common: Benzodiazepines
Benzos are a very commonly used psychoactive drugs, also known as minor tranquilizers. They induce calmness and help people enjoy better sleep, as well as reduce body pain. These medicines are usually prescribed to people with alcohol dependence, insomnia, and panic disorders.
Benzodiazepines are addictive drugs and you can develop an addiction if you use them regularly, even for a few months. This medicine floods your brain with neurotransmitters that promote calmness and pleasure. This strong wave of pleasure is irresistible and you may be tempted to increase the dose.
It’s estimated that 44% of people become addicted to this type of drug. While a majority of people develop dependence after around 6 months of use, it is very possible to become an addict sooner.
Benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term applications due to their addictive properties. But many people stay on the medications for years. Not only does this affect their physical health, but it also leads to mental health issues.
Prolonged or excessive use of Benzodiazepines can lead to cognitive impairment. Drug addicts find it difficult to recall things they already know, and often forget how to perform routine tasks. In addition, this drug can also augment the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease among seniors.
Opioids are narcotics with a variety of medical uses. They are generally prescribed to relieve some form of excruciating pain. This class of drugs includes prescription medicines such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Furthermore, the illegal drug, heroin, is also an opioid.
Opioids target your spinal cord and brain to reduce pain. People older than 40 years of age are more likely to experience addiction, while younger users have a lesser chance of developing an opioid addiction.
Opioid addiction is a prevalent problem in the US, and around 115 people lose their lives to opioid overdose on a daily basis. Opioids cause an intensified euphoria, which is quite an addictive feeling.
Over-the-counter and prescription opioid drugs are legally used by patients to treat pain, but the problem arises when you over consume the drugs for a greater effect. Your body quickly develops a tolerance which increases the risk of respiratory or cardiac arrest.
Getting rid of opioid addiction isn’t easy since it leads to a wide range of uncomfortable conditions. The safe way to treat addiction is to get in touch with a rehab center. Under medical supervision, you can achieve the desired results and the medical staff can treat withdrawal symptoms in order to speed up recovery.
Common Overuse of Amphetamines
Amphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs that boost brain activity and speed up the sharing of messages or signals between your brain and the body. It’s basically a central nervous system stimulant and there are strict regulations in many countries to limit its consumption.
These medicines are prescribed by doctors to treat narcolepsy, obesity, nasal congestion, depression, and ADHD. Athletes also use it to enhance their performance on the field. While it’s a prescription drug, it is also frequently used as a recreational drug.
There are two types of amphetamines: methamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. If you misuse the drug, you can develop an amphetamine dependence and it won’t be easy to stop its consumption, even when your doctor advises you to do so.
Amphetamines are addictive drugs, and dealing with amphetamine addiction has become a major challenge. Its powerful and intense psycho-stimulant properties increase the risk of addiction. Unless you follow the doctor’s prescription, you’re likely to get addicted before you even know it.
These medicines increase the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that lead to intense euphoric feelings. The person using is tempted to over-prescribe, or use for extended periods even when they don’t need it. This becomes increasingly common among those that have turned to smoking or injecting the drug. Taking the medicine with alcohol further augments the risks of addiction, and deteriorates the person’s physical and mental health.
Amphetamines are energy boosters, which is why professional and amateur athletes use them to give their best performance in the sports field. Teens tend to overdose on amphetamines when they want to stay awake partying or studying for their upcoming exams. It’s usually taken in the form of a pill, but it can also be injected, snorted, or smoked.
As compared to alcohol and many other drugs, amphetamine is more likely to lead to addiction. Doctors prescribe it to increase concentration and enhance performance, but it can cause several mental disorders, such as mood swings and eating disorders, when the patient doesn’t use the drug as recommended.
Millions of people in the US experience drug addiction. It is very common for people turn to drugs in an attempt to overcome grief and run away from their responsibilities, but they end up ruining their lives. With the help of Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, you can overcome addiction and return to a healthy life.
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