Drug Addiction Info
Drug Addiction And Dual Diagnosis Information
There are many schools of thought as to what constitutes an addict or an alcoholic. Medical and religious communities have debated this issue for decades and yet are no closer to an agreement on any one sound theory. The truth is this is a dynamic affliction and most likely encompasses some or all of the major schools of thought.
The Disease Concept is the fundamental belief of any twelve step program. Simply stated addicts and alcoholics are born with a genetic predisposition to become addicted. Drug addiction and alcoholism are defined as chronic, progressive and fatal diseases unless arrested through total abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
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Drug Addiction Information, The Disease Concept, Dual Diagnosis and Recovery
Dual Diagnosis as developed and defined by the psychiatric community states that addicts and alcoholics do not have a disease, yet there is an underlying mental illness with all the symptoms of a disease that the addict chooses to treat through the use and abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs. In order to achieve sobriety one must be abstinent from drugs and alcohol with the exception of prescribed psychiatric medications.
Moral Corruptibility – This belief stems from the religious community and contends that if the addict or alcoholic nurtures a sense of spirituality or a relationship with a higher power of his/her understanding, alcoholism and addiction would be relieved. Answers to all questions can be found through meditation, prayer, and involvement in a spiritual program of recovery.
The Downward Spiral - There is one common and defining element with which all addicts and alcoholics struggle. That element is pain. The thought process behind how this pain develops into addiction or alcoholism is simple and logical.
Drug Addiction Progress
An addict progresses through life with goals and aspirations as we all do. Then at some point he/she begins to experience pain, pain that they are not equipped to handle. This may be the same pain that many other people experience and handle with relative ease, but for the addict it is a turning point. This pain is often unresolved in the present time and may remain dormant for years. The addict is then introduced to a substance – alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, etc. – usually by friends or acquaintances, that will seem to relieve their pain. The truth however is that the pain is not truly relieved by the drugs and alcohol. Drug addiction and alcoholism are an illusion of comfort. While they provide immediate gratification and temporarily relief from feeling feelings, they actually perpetuate the sadness, guilt, remorse, and shame that the user is attempting to escape. They now believe they have found the answer to the pain they could not resolve through traditional means. Use of the drugs or alcohol increases as tolerance levels build, but the result of achieving short term relief is always paramount. As time progresses the substance that once provided the relief now starts to create new pains. Relationships become strained, honesty and creditability disappear, family and friends are ignored, jobs are lost, and/or criminal charges begin to appear.
For the addict and alcoholic, stopping the use of the drugs is not an option. When he/she does, the pain quickly reappears. Only now it is no longer simply the original pain, the pain compounded by years of addiction and alcoholism becomes so overwhelming that the thought of facing reality, taking responsibility, or being sober is insurmountable. In fact, the addict or alcoholic has lost the ability to even see the original source of pain. The problems compounding in their present environment are themselves fueling the drug addiction. This creates the downward spiral of addiction or alcoholism, and it will continue until there is a stop – usually treatment, jail, or death.
Drug addiction treatment and alcohol rehab centers exist to provide a safe place for individuals suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism, dual-diagnosis, eating disorders, gambling addiction, sex addiction etc. to learn, grow, and heal from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.
The Wide World of Drugs
With so many possible drugs available today, is it any wonder that 1 in every 12 people has had, is having or will have a problem/addiction. Obviously there is wide variety of street drugs. However, often overlooked is the misuse/abuse of prescription drugs, which, according to recent studies, has become an extreme danger throughout society. As a matter of information, the material below is a basic list of drugs that are commonly being abused all of which can become physically and/or emotionally addicting and all of which may lead to medical complications and withdrawal symptoms.
Comes in many forms such as beer, wine and hard liquor.
Obviously, alcohol is the most readily available drug and it ranks third in the United States as a cause of death. It is classified as a depressant and can negatively impact the brain, vision, hearing and muscle coordination. Alcoholism is impacting millions of Americans and their families each and every day, and among teenagers and college students, binge drinking has reached near epidemic proportions.
Also known as ‘pot’, ‘weed’, ‘grass’ and can come in other forms such as ‘hashish’ or ‘hash’.
It’s not the marijuana of the 60s and 70s any more. Its potency has increased by nearly 700 percent over the years. It can produce effects on the nervous system such as loss of energy, decreased coordination, loss of memory and questionable judgment or reasoning.
Also known as ‘smack’, ‘horse’, ‘H’, ‘tar’ and ‘China White’, and sometime misspelled as “heron” and “heroine.”
In its street version, this drug has been used for centuries to promote a sense of well being and to relieve pain. However, it also creates a very fast physical */dependency/* that is extremely difficult to break. From a pharmaceutical standpoint, synthetically produced opiates are manufactured primarily as pain relievers. Used judiciously, they have value. Abused, and they become just as dangerous as their street cousin heroin. Some of the more common prescription drugs in this category are Morphine, */Oxycontin/*, Vicodin, */Lortab/Loratab, Dilaudid, Darvon, Percocet, Percodan, Demerol, Hydrocodone/* and */Codine/Codeine/*. Methadone has also been used as a pain reliever and as a medication to ease withdrawal symptoms from heroin. However, there are some newer alternatives such as buprenorphine and soboxin (which is a combination of buprenorphine and moloxin to prevent misuse) that have been found to be quite effective without some of the drawbacks of methadone.
Also known as ‘coke’, ‘blow’, ‘powder’, ‘snow’ and ‘nose’ candy’ or, in the case of ‘crack’, ‘rock’ or ‘base’.
Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs available today. It offers an intense immediate rush lasting for 15 to 30 minutes with lesser euphoria for a few hours. However, as tolerance builds, more and more cocaine or switching to crack is needed to sustain the result. Negative complications from cocaine use are quite severe and can include respiratory problems, loss of ambition and efficiency, and time distortion. In addition, chronic use can result in near permanent brain impairment.
Also known as ‘speed’, ‘meth’, ‘crystal’, ‘crank’, ‘uppers’ and ‘bennies’.
Pharmaceutical versions include Ritalin, Dexedrine and Cylert. These are very potent stimulants often used by people who want to stay awake and active for extended periods of time. Other than the pharmaceuticals, which can also lead to problems, meth is usually cooked in home-based laboratories with devastating results on the end user. The chemicals are commonly available in grocery and drug stores. However, when combined to make meth, they are quite volatile and can lead to explosions. The residue is also very dangerous and hazardous to the health of those who are exposed. Meth is quite addictive and those who are cut off from their supply can become violent and paranoid.
Also known as ‘yellow jackets’, ‘ludes’, roofies and reds and include those pharmaceutical drugs such as barbiturates and tranquilizers such as Xanax, Librium, Ativan and Valium among others.
Because of the availability of these drugs through prescription, these drugs are very easily abused, usually over a long period of time. As a result, the long-term, negative implications can be quite severe.
- Including ‘Ecstasy’ (also known as ‘extasy’, ‘X, ‘XTC’ and essence’);
- ‘GHB’ (also known as ‘liquid ecstasy’ and ‘G’);
- ‘Ketamine’ (also known as ‘K’, ‘Kat’, ‘Special K’ and ‘Vitamin K’);
- ‘PCP’ (also known as ‘Angel Dust’);
- ‘LSD’ (also known as ‘acid’).
Ecstasy combines the properties of methamphetamine and mescaline offering not only a rush, but also hallucinogenic qualities. Heavy doses can have wide ranging negative consequences. GHB and Rohypnolare commonly used to relax the user. However, they are often used for the purpose of gaining submission over the user without their knowledge, thus resulting in the name ‘Date Rape drugs’. A large enough dose of GHB can also result in coma and death. Ketamine and PCP are veterinary anesthetics. Large enough doses can cause delirium, high blood pressure, amnesia and respiratory problems as well as a tendency toward violence. LSD was the hallucinogenic drug of choice in the 70s and is still readily available. Its use often results in delusions and a total loss of reality. It can also cause the user to suffer delusional flashbacks long after the last dose was taken.
Additional drug addiction links are provided below to share information related to drug addictions, alcoholism and substance abuse.
Drug Addiction Public Health Information