Addiction

As was highlighted in a recent blog here, the growing problem of prescription drug addiction in the USA is just as serious – even more serious – as the abuse of illegal drugs.

Examining Prescription Drug Abuse Through Statistics

Heroin word cloud glowingStatistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)  indicate that prescription drug addiction is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. In a bid to help educate the public more widely, NIDA even had a competition for people to create info-graphics that outlined the statistics clearly. Here is just a taste of those stats.

  • 52 million Americans aged over 12 have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.
  • The USA has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 75% of the prescription drugs. Continue Reading

Marijuana is a substance derived from the dried flowers, stems, and leaves of the plant Cannabis sativa (often called “hemp”). It is one of the most commonly used and abused substances in the world today. Normally ingested through smoking, marijuana usually gives off a distinct sweet-and-sour odor. Most marijuana users smoke it in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, while others use pipes or water pipes called “bongs.” The substance can also be used to brew tea or mixed into foods. It also goes by a variety of common names, including pot, grass, weed, MJ and reefer.

Some of the signs or symptoms that can be noticed in individuals using marijuana may include:

  • marijuanaMucus filled coughs that occur frequently
  • Increased appetite, sometimes called “munchies”
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapidly beating heart
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Poor memory, forgetful in conversation
  • Poor concentration and coordination
  • Loud, rapid speech and laughter outbursts in early stages of intoxication
  • Aroma resembling burnt rope on breath or clothing
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia, such as roach clips, rolling papers, pipes or bongs

Physical Effects of Marijuana Substance Use and Abuse

Contrary to what many people think, marijuana has a powerful chemical makeup which renders it a high risk drug to Continue Reading

Substance use and abuseSubstance use and abuse is something that cannot be taken lightly since it affects individuals involved and those close to them. Methamphetamine is one substance that has particularly adverse effects. This substance is also known by a number of other names including: Meth, Crystal Meth, Ice, Glass, Shabu, Trash, Tina, Tweak, Speed, Ventana, Uppers, Yellow Bam and Vidrio. Taking a close look at the effects of using this drug will reveal just why it is one of the most dangerous substances in the world today.

Methamphetamine is highly addictive. Even casual use can lead to fast addiction and withdrawal symptoms lasting months.

Side-Effects of Small Doses of Methamphetamine

This substance can be ingested a number of ways including swallowing, snorting, smoking and injecting. Once a person has taken this Continue Reading

Steroids, such as cortisone, prednisone and hydrocortisone, are legitimate drugs used to treat medical conditions. Anabolic steroids are drugs that replicate human sex hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone), which are often taken illegally and abused in an effort to alter physical appearance.

When used exactly as prescribed by a doctor, steroids can be helpful in a number of ways. Examples of cases that may lead to a doctor prescribing anabolic steroids can include delayed puberty, cancer and AIDS.

If someone decides to take steroids to the point of substance use and abuse, however, a number of complications can arise. In such cases, steroids abusers are taking from 10 to 100 times more than would normally be prescribed by a doctor to treat a condition or illness.

No Matter What You Call Them…

Steroids are also known by a number of common names, including:

  • steroidsJuice
  • Gym candy
  • Pumpers
  • Arnolds
  • Roids
  • Stackers

There are various side effects that can be noted in both male and female steroid users. These include: stunted growth, hostile and aggressive behavior, severe acne, irritability, high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and high risk of blood clotting. It is also worth noting that different people may experience other effects, depending on their lifestyle and the amount of steroids used.

Additional Risks of Steroid Substance Use and Abuse

Anabolic steroid use in an effort to bulk up is not uncommon among teenage athletes. When improperly used, steroids are Continue Reading

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system and leaves users with a powerful craving for more. An addiction to cocaine develops very quickly, sometimes after using it just a few times, and users cannot then predict or control the extent to which they will continue to use the drug.

What does Cocaine Look Like and How it is Taken?

cocaineCocaine is a white crystalline powder that is often mixed with sugar, cornstarch or flour. Crack cocaine, on the other hand, resembles a small rock or chunk, and may be pink or off-white in color. Cocaine can be injected, smoked or snorted.

Unfortunately, cocaine is one of the most commonly used and abused substances in the world today. Users of this drug do so for various reasons, some of which are curiosity, peer pressure, entertainment and escape from reality in times of hardship.

While the drug may seem harmless, the truth is that both short- and long-term effects can be much worse than most people anticipate. Cocaine is potent and dangerous, and its short- and long-term effects are equally unsafe. The dangers of experiencing cardiac arrest, or seizures followed by respiratory failure Continue Reading

Taking medicine without regard for the instructions given by a qualified prescribing doctor and the specific directions of the dispensing pharmacist is normally considered prescription drug abuse. This form of substance use and abuse can be manifested in a number of ways, such as:

  • substance use and abuseTaking a smaller or larger dose of medicine than the doctor instructed.
  • Using medicine that was intended for someone else.
  • Using prescription drugs for something rather than medical purposes.
  • Taking drugs in a manner that is unusual. An example may be snorting drugs that are supposed to be swallowed.

The substance use and abuse of prescription drugs can lead to a number of serious consequences, including addiction.

Effects of Prescription Substance Use and Abuse

If an individual continues to take prescription medicines without heeding the doctor’s instructions, he or she is likely to develop health related complications. While some drugs may appear relatively harmless in the initial stages of Continue Reading

Drinking is one thing, and driving is another. Putting the two together can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. There is also any number of fallacies when it comes to drinking and driving and about alcohol side effects in general. Have a look at the following examples to see whether you think they are based in myth or reality.

5 Beliefs about Alcohol Side Effects

alcohol side effectsHolding the Booze – Over 80% of drivers in alcohol-related crashes are men. The occasional 6-pack drinking sprees can cause a lot of damage, not just to oneself, but also to other people and their property. Driving while under the influence of alcohol will not help you impress the ladies, in the same way that it will not help you focus your attention on driving. No matter how confident you feel, alcohol impairs your concentration and ability to react to the unexpected when you’re on the road.

Being Sober Enough to Drive – Sure, you may still be able to walk straight after a few bottles of beer, but alcohol side effects kick in with your very first drink. Alcohol affects not only coordination and vision, but also alertness, reaction time, attention span and judgment. These are all crucial skills that you need when you drive, so don’t ever think that Continue Reading

substance abuseA fallacy is essentially a falsehood or mistaken idea about something and when it comes to beliefs and ideas about drug addiction, there are plenty to choose from. The plain truth is, drugs ruin lives. Substance abuse commonly leads to broken families, failed careers, and even death. Essentially, whatever a drug addict says to make himself or herself feel better about taking drugs is a lie.

Here are just four of the most commonly held fallacies you may hear repeated by those trying to come to terms with and justify their substance abuse.

 

Falsehood #1 – Drugs Help You with Creativity

One of the fallacies that users often cite is that drugs help to boost their creativity. In order to really be creative, however, an individual generally needs to be truly interested in and engaged by life apart from any altered reality or Continue Reading