Mary J. Anderson

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Types Of Drug Misuse

Substance abuse in America has increased substantially since 2006. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 22.6 million Americans dabble in illegal drugs every year. More and more people fall into the same pattern, and there are various reasons why individuals reach for drugs. Some want to escape the reality and avoid problems while others want to try something new just because they have money. But, one thing is sure, polls are showing an alarming percentage of Americans consuming drugs. The same survey shows an increase in the number of young people misusing drugs. In 2007, the number of young teens over the age of 12 using drugs was 5.8 percent.

Two years later, the number had risen to 6.9 percent. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Law enforcement, rehabilitation, and drug education efforts seem to be bearing fruit. The NSDUH report shows a decline in the number of people abusing certain drugs.Substance-abuse

A case in point is the sharp drop in methamphetamine users since 2006. The number of users dropped from 731,000 to 353,000 in 2010. Cocaine users dropped from 2.4 million to 1.5 million during the same period. While these statistics paint a bright future, many people still misuse drugs every day.

Substance abuse – Does not involve the use of illegal drugs alone. In fact, using prescription medication to alter the state of your consciousness qualifies as drug abuse. Most medical experts break down drug categories into three: sedatives, stimulants, and narcotics.

The federal government regulates each of the aforementioned categories of drugs to curb dependency. To ensure wide public awareness, all drugs in these categories have a potential abuse rating. The following guide will take you through common types of drug misuse.

Hallucinogens – Drugs under this classification can also be broken down into three distinct classes. These are dissociative, deliriants, and psychedelics. Users will experience different symptoms depending on the class of drugs being abused. Hallucinogens have been used in different cultural settings for hundreds of years. While the drugs were initially used during cultural events, this is not the case today.Hallucinogens

Dissociative – Most dissociative induce a detachment from the surrounding environment. This state is commonly referred to as Dissociative Personality Disorder (DPD). In addition, these drugs have pain killing properties. As the sense of depersonalization becomes more pronounced, one can easily engage in dangerous activities. Some of the most common drugs in this class include ketamine, dextromethorphan (DXM), and PCP.

Alcohol – This is the most widely abused drug in the world today. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), alcohol abuse costs the US economy more than $250 billion every year. Continued abuse of alcohol can lead to serious health problems. These include liver damage and mental health issues. Alcohol intoxication symptoms include impaired judgment and motor function.

Helping A Loved Ones Displaying Drug Misuse

Substance use disorder has become a common problem in our society, and more and more people are struggling with drug addiction. Drugs can severely affect your emotional life and damage your health. If your loved ones are suffering from this disease, then you might be in a challenging position. Most individuals don’t know how to cope with this situation because they aren’t trained, professionals or doctors. Your desire to help your loved ones may have an opposite effect, so you need to proceed carefully. Here is what you can do, to help them recover faster.

Don’t try to fix their problems directly

HelpingPeople who suffer from addiction don’t like to hear the truth and often tend to neglect their problems, thinking they are not addicts. So, unless you are mental health professional, you should try to fix your loved ones or friend’s substance use problems. You can offer them your unconditional support and love. Fighting addiction is very challenging, and in those moments your loved ones need someone to rely on. You should be that person, who helps them open up and stop hiding behind their fears and insecurities.

Talk about the problem

TalkingJust identify the type of addiction and reaching for treatment isn’t enough. Your friends and loved ones might be worried about the treatment and might have fears of relapsing. However, you play a significant role in their life, and they need someone to confide in. Be the person who they can trust, be there for them during the treatment, help them during difficult times and they will recover faster.

Identify the issue

Discovering whether the substance use problem is mild, moderate or severe, should be the first step to getting someone help. In this case, you can find a qualified health professional who will apply S-BIRT procedure. He will use a set of tools to identify and assess problematic substance use and preventing it from becoming more severe. Seeking out the help of a qualified expert should your first step, and he will guide you through the rest of the process.


The Dangers Of Drug Misuse

Drugs are essentially chemical substances which act on the nervous system and brain, by changing the state of consciousness, emotion or mood of an individual. Drug misuse is an epidemic and all must be done to do away with this destructive practice. Education, other preventative measures and treatment will have huge roles to play, if this is to be achieved.

Typically, drugs are categorized by their effects on individuals. For example, stimulants like cocaine make individuals feel full of energy. Sedatives or depressants like heroin make individuals feel relaxed and hallucinogens like LSD make individuals hear or feel things that are not real.

Prescription medications like tranquilizers or strong painkillers are frequently misused by individuals who have no medical need for them but exploit it because if their mood-altering properties. In a number of cases, it is against the law to possess particular categories of prescription medication like methadone or morphine, without a legitimate prescription. However, this has done very little in way of preventing drug misuse.

Commonly Misused Drugs

AmphetaminesAmphetamines – These are a group of artificial or synthetic drugs which are powerful stimulants. They are commonly referred to as wiz, billy or speed. More often than not, amphetamines are available in powder form and are rubbed into the gums, snorted via the nose or placed in cigarette paper and swallowed; this is known as speed bombing.

A number of amphetamines are available in the form of tablets. In addition, there is a very potent form of amphetamine that is referred to as crystal meth, which is smoked. The amphetamines could be taken by way of injection as well.

Right after taking amphetamines, there will be a rush; this is a sudden boost of energy that will make the user feel extremely excited, talkative and energetic. Typically, this high or rush will last anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the quantity of amphetamine that is taken.

As soon as the effects of amphetamines are worn off, the individual will experience what is referred to as a comedown or crash, which could go on for quite a few days and he or she will feel:

  • Anxious
  • Irritable
  • Depressed
  • Inability to sleep

CannabisCannabis – This is derived from a plant which is found in the majority of places around the world and it is available in two forms: herbal cannabis and cannabis resin.

We should conclude that drugs have an adverse impact on our body and its use should be strictly monitored. Drugs have the power to emotionally and physically destroy a human body. If we don’t implement stricter laws and controls over various institutions, the drugs will always be present in our lives.

Signs Of Drug Misuse

While some may argue that the treatment of drug abuse is the most important factor, the truth is that recognizing the signs of drug misuse is even more important. This is because if one does not recognize those signs in drug addicts or in oneself, then the question of going for treatment would not even come up.

VictimsWhile some people can use prescription or recreational drugs without ever experiencing addiction or negative consequences, others can become victims of substance abuse quite easily. Substance abuse does not come without its consequences; it causes a lot of problems at school, home and work and even in relationships.

Therefore, it ends up making the addict feel helpless, ashamed, depressed and isolated. If you have discovered that you or someone whom you know have become a victim of drug misuse then you shouldn’t worry much because although this is a serious problem, it is most definitely treatable.

Help is available, but before you avail such help you have to find out if the person is really suffering from drug addiction or not. Learning and educating yourself about the signs of drug misuse will provide you with knowledge on how you can deal with the condition and a better understanding of drug or substance abuse.

Although different drugs may produce different physical effects, the signs or symptoms of addiction are the same. If you happen to be neglecting your responsibilities at home, school or work and your performance level is dropping then your drug misuse habits could be responsible for it. Secondly, if you are using drugs under high risks or dangerous conditions and engaging in risky acts when you’re high then you could be addicted.

Some examples of such activities can be drunk driving, using dirty needles for the purpose of injecting the drug into your system, etc. If your drug use is inviting legal trouble for you and if your drug use is causing problems in your relationships then you can be pretty sure that you are suffering from drug addiction.

Physical Drug Misuse Warning SignsPhysical-Drug-Misuse

  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Change in appetite
  • Impaired coordination
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Unusual smell on the body clothing or breath
  • Deterioration of personal grooming habits and physical appearance

Drug Abuse Behavioral Signs

  • Frequently getting into trouble
  • Unexplained demands for money
  • Engaging in suspicious or secretive behaviors
  • Sudden changes in hobbies hangouts and friends

Psychological Signs of Drug Abuse

  • Agitation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Being paranoid
  • Angry outbursts
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Change in attitude or personality

Drug misuse is a pretty common thing, but usually, people neglect the first signs. Friends and family play an essential role and early discovering because the affected person is always in denial. If the first stage isn’t treated properly, then people fall into drugs more severely, and a path towards recovery becomes more challenging.

Drug Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug addicts who seek treatment or try to kick the habit by themselves can rest assured that they will experience withdrawal symptoms at some point. Withdrawal symptoms occur when the brain and the body react adversely to the absence of a particular drug in the body after it has gotten used to the substance and developed dependence.

This is best explained by the spring theory. Drug misuse leads to a strong dependence on drugs. When addiction sets in, the brain works in much the same way as a spring. The drug on which the addict is hooked on takes up the role of a brain depressant and consequently pushes down the spring. The drug suppresses the production of neurotransmitters such as noradrenalin by the brain.

Addict-CeasesOnce the addict ceases taking in drugs, the weight that was holding the spring down is lifted off and the brain goes through a strong rebound. This results in the production of an adrenaline surge that marks the onset of withdrawals. Adverse reactions occur when the body becomes accustomed to illicit drugs before the supply is cut off.

Withdrawal symptoms are synonymous with heroin addiction, cocaine addiction, crystal meth addiction, opiate addiction, marijuana addiction and other forms of substance abuse. According to SAMHSA, different drugs produce different levels of physical withdrawal symptoms. Tranquilizers, opiates and alcohol produce considerable physical withdrawal symptoms.

Ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine on the other hand produce intense emotional withdrawal symptoms and little physical symptoms. It is also important to note that every person’s withdrawal experiences are different. Some people experience subtle withdrawal symptoms that may be hard to pin down.

Physical-WithdrawalsHowever, this does not in any way mean that they are not addicted. Their withdrawals may be more on the emotional side. Withdrawal symptoms can be broadly classified into two categories: emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms.

Emotional withdrawals are found in almost all cases of substance abuse. Addicts suffer from these irrespective of whether they have the physical ones or not. Physical withdrawal symptoms are prominent or outstanding with tranquilizers, opiates and alcohol.

Emotional Drug Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation
  • Poor concentration

Physical Drug Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Tremor
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Palpitations
  • Racing heart
  • Muscle tension
  • Chest tightness

The most dangerous physical withdrawals are associated with tranquilizers and alcohol. Sudden cessation of tranquilizer and alcohol intake can result in heart attacks, strokes or seizures. Some common dangerous symptoms associated with these drugs include:

  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens
  • Grand mal seizures

Withdrawal symptoms shouldn’t be taken lightly and can be connected to many health conditions. If you are experiencing emotional and physical distress, then always consult your doctor because your bodily functions can deteriorate over the time and leave serious consequences. The faster you treat them, the better you will feel.

Understanding Drug Misuse

Drug misuse may be far more common than abusing a substance, in fact many people who misuse a drug may not even be aware of it. Taking any medication in a manner that is contradictory to the instructions or prescription can constitute drug misuse. Dial 800-303-2482 to be connected with an addiction counselor now and get the information you need.

While it may seem like a minor transgression, especially when compared to more overt addiction and chemical dependency issues, misuse can be just as dangerous depending on the circumstances and even offers a greater chance of developing a substance abuse problem in the future.

About Drug Misuse

There are many forms of misuse, and a variety of circumstance that makes taking any medication or drug in a manner other than what has been instructed can be quite dangerous. Understanding the risks will ensure that one is able to make better decisions and that any medication they may be taking is done so in a safe and effective manner. Choosing to ignore the instructions or orders you have been prescribed by your doctor can bring about many potentially dangerous and sever situations, putting your health and even your life at great risk.

Taking more than one medication or substance, even alcohol, may create a potentially dangerous combination with what would have been safe doses of medications had they been taken independently. It is precisely this unpredictability and volatility that makes even seemingly minor misuse a potentially dangerous situation.

The risk of a violent, severe or even potentially fatal interaction been two or more medications or drugs may not always be a known commodity to those taking them, as such it can pose the risk of an accidental overdose even when you are taking a smaller dose than you have in the past. Unsafe medication and drug combinations can be very dangerous; as such they should be discussed with a doctor to ensure that your medications are being taken in a safe manner.

When taking a medication such as a pain reliever, it is possible that your body may develop a tolerance to the drug over time. When this occurs, it takes a greater and greater dosage to achieve the desired effect. Such a situation may serve as motivation to up your dosage in an unsafe manner as doing so will allow you to enjoy the original level of effect offered by the medication.

The human need for drugs has always existed, regardless of its type and purpose. What we fail to understand that even the essential mix of medications can cause the harmful side-effects and people who are taking them need to be very careful. Otherwise, they can become addicts and let the drugs rule their lives.