What Is Drug Addiction ?
• Drug Addiction is defined as a chronic,
relapsing brain disease that is characterized
by compulsive drug seeking and use,
despite harmful consequences.
• It is considered a brain disease because
drugs change the brain—they change its
structure and how it works.
• These brain changes can be long-lasting,
and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen
in people who abuse drugs.
• Narcotics are addictive drugs that
reduce the user's perception
of pain and induce euphoria which is a
feeling of exaggerated and unrealistic
• Users also may experience constricted
pupils, watery eyes, and itching. An
overdose may produce slow and shallow
breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma,
and possibly death.
• Although the term can refer to any drug
that deadens sensation or produces
stupor, it is commonly applied to the
opioids—that is, to all natural or
synthetic drugs that act like morphine.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis has been used for hundreds of years
by humans for fiber (hemp), seed oils, seed,
medical treatment, and recreationally.
• The primary psychoactive ingredient in
cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol
• Cannabis contains more than 113
Medical Uses of Cannabis
• THC has mild-to-moderate pain-killing
(analgesic) effects, and can be used for the
treatment of pain.
• THC alters neurotransmitter release in
the spinal cord, resulting in pain relief.
• The compound is also known to stimulate
appetite and induce a relaxed state, as well
as other effects on sense of smell, hearing,
• THC can also cause fatigue. In some people,
THC may reduce aggression.
• Also helps in the treatment of nausea and
vomiting - it may have antiemetic
qualities that make it helpful for people
undergoing chemotherapy or other
treatment where nausea can be a side
Potential hazards of cannabis
• Cannabis use might lead to male sexual
• It can also eventually suppress the body's
immune system, making the user more
susceptible to certain types of cancer and
• could increase the risk of developing
• Gum disease risk - raises the risk of
developing gum disease, regardless of
whether the user smokes tobacco.
• Reduced brain function - regular cannabis
users who started before they were 15 years
old scored worse on brain tests than their
counterparts who started later in life.
• Acute memory loss - smokers of potent
cannabis strains (skunk, for instance) may
have a greater risk of acute memory loss.
• Alters human DNA - a British study found
compelling evidence that cannabis
smoke damages human DNA in such a way
that the user could become more susceptible
to developing cancer.
• Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug.
• Cocaine is a naturally occurring substance found in
the coca plant which is mostly grown in South
• The chemical formula of cocaine is C17H21NO4
• Cocaine is addictive due to its effect on the reward
pathway in the brain.
• It is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational
• It is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or as a
solution injected into a vein.
• Cocaine is now predominantly used for nasal
Symptoms and Effects
• Physical symptoms may include a fast heart
rate, sweating, and large pupils.
• High doses of cocaine can result in very high
blood pressure or body temperature.
• Effects begin within seconds to minutes of
use and last between five and ninety
• Mental effects may include loss of contact
with reality, an intense feeling of happiness,
• Its use also increases the risk of stroke , lung
problems (in those who smoke it), blood
infections, and sudden cardiac death.
• Morphine is a type of natural narcotic drug.
• The primary source of morphine is isolation
from poppy straw of the opium poppy.
• The chemical formula of morphine is C17H19NO3
• Morphine is a pain medication of the opiate variety
which is found naturally in a number of plants and
• It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS)
to decrease the feeling of pain.
• It can be given by mouth, by injection into a muscle,
by injecting under the skin, intravenously, into the
space around the spinal cord.
• Morphine is used primarily to treat both acute and
chronic severe pain.
• It is also used for labour pains.
• Morphine is beneficial in reducing the symptom
of shortness of breath due to both cancer and non
• Morphine is also available as a slow-release
formulation for opiate substitution therapy (OST)
in many countries.
Symptoms and Effects
• Serious side effects include a decreased
respiratory effort and low blood pressure.
• Common side effects include drowsiness,
vomiting, and constipation.
• Morphine can affect the baby if mother is a
• Maximum effect is around 20 minutes when given
intravenously and 60 minutes when given by
mouth, while duration of effect is 3–7 hours.
What is a Hallucinogen?
•A drug that changes perception, thought, or emotion.
•They also alter senses, consciousness, and may cause hallucinations.
•Generally, some of the common effects of hallucinogens include:
o hallucinonation of sight, sound, taste and touch
o a blurring of senses, such as sounds being ‘felt’ or color
o feeling detached from the body
o distortions of time, direction and distance
o accelerated heart rate
o dilated pupils
o nausea and loss of appetite
In general, the various types of hallucinogens fall in three
• Deliriant hallucinogen drugs alter a
person’s sensory perceptions to the point
where the mind concocts imaginary
scenes that have no basis in his or her
• Consequently, someone experiencing
a Deliriant-type “high” enters a stupor-
like state of total confusion.
• Commonly used deliriant hallucinogens include:
o Jimson Weed
o Deadly Nightshade
•These drugs block signals to the conscious mind from other parts
of the brain. The loss of these senses leave the user in a dream-
like state of self exploration and hallucinations.
•Commonly used dissociative drugs include:
• Psychedelics, while they can cause pleasurable side
•While psychedelics can cause a person to feel a sense of
oneness with the universe and experience spiritual or
enjoyable hallucinations and distorted perceptions, they can
also cause intense fear, paranoia, and panic.
•Commonly used psychedelic types of hallucinogens
Good Trips and Bad Trips
• Good trips entail pleasant, exhilarating, even transcendent-like
experiences that many users describe as spiritual or divine.
• Bad trips produce distressing and oftentimes frightening imagery
•On average, a drug “trip” can run anywhere from five to 12 hours
depending on the dosage amount ingested. While the type of
hallucinogen used does affect the types of experiences had, a
person’s mood, expectations and surrounding environment most
influence what type of trip he or she will have.
How are Hallucinogens Used?
• In most cases they are ingested, such as LSD,
Mushrooms, Peyote, and Ecstasy.
•They are also commonly smoked, such as marijuana.
•Other ways are by snorting or injecting. These drugs
are usually crushed from a solid into a powder and then
• Stimulants, sometimes called “uppers”, are
drugs that increase the alertness of the user
causing increased attention, heightened
energy and elevated blood pressure.
• These drugs essentially stimulate the user
and have been widely used throughout
medical history in the treatment of asthma,
obesity, various neurological disorders and
for certain respiratory problems.
• Today, stimulants are only used in the
treatment of a couple of different disorders
including ADHD and certain types of
Drugs that can be classified as stimulants include:
Each stimulant has various levels in terms of the effects that it can cause. Some
are relatively mild when used in small amounts and are actually legal such as
caffeine or nicotine while others are never legal such as methamphetamine.
• Caffeine is present in over sixty plants,
including coffee beans, tea leaves and cacao
• Caffeine stimulates the central nervous
system, an effect that may begin as early as
15 minutes after ingesting the caffeine and
can last for as long as six hours.
• The main effect of caffeine is increased
alertness and reduced sleepiness, but the
drug can also cause problems.
• The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA)
classifies caffeine as both a drug and a food
• Nicotine is a chemical compound that is
present in tobacco.
• When tobacco is smoked, nicotine is
absorbed through the wall lining of the small
air sacs in the lungs. When sniffed or chewed,
it is absorbed through the mucous membranes
of the nose or mouth. Nicotine can also be
absorbed through the skin.
• Regardless of how nicotine is absorbed, it
enters the bloodstream where it circulates
throughout the body and travels to the brain
where it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once
in the brain, it binds to and activates receptors
called the cholinergic receptors. Nicotine
enters the brain and disrupts its normal
• Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant
drug made from the leaves of the cocoa plant.
• Although health care providers can use it for
valid medical purposes, cocaine is an illegal
• People who use cocaine often take it in
binges—taking the drug repeatedly within a
short time, at increasingly higher dose—to
maintain their high.
• Cocaine increases levels of the natural
chemical messenger dopamine in brain
circuits controlling pleasure and movement.
• Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine. It is
just one form of the drug methamphetamine.
• It is a white crystalline drug that people take by inhaling
through the nose, smoking it or injecting it with a needle.
Some even take it orally, but all develop a strong desire
to continue using it.
• Crystal meth is used by individuals of all ages, but is
most commonly used as a “club drug,” taken while
partying in night clubs or at rave parties. Its most
common street names are ice or glass.
• It is associated with serious health conditions, including
memory loss, aggression, psychotic behaviour and
potential heart and brain damage.
Effects of Stimulants:
Short term effects
In the short term, stimulant effects can be very pleasurable and may include :
• Intense feelings of happiness.
• Increased energy and self esteem.
• Improved attention.
• Increased sexual desire and performance.
• Opened breathing passages/easier breathing.
• Suppressed appetite.
• Increased heart rate.
• Heightened blood pressure.
• Very high body temperature.
• Muscle shakes or tremors.
Stimulant withdrawal treatment:
Withdrawal from stimulant abuse is not a life-threatening process, but it can be
Common symptoms of withdrawal from stimulants include :
• Mental and physical exhaustion.
• Anxiety and agitation.
• Excessive sleep.
• Intense hunger.
• Drug cravings.
• A sedative is a drug that slows down or
depresses the central nervous system and
therefore slows down both the physical and
mental processes in the body.
• Also known as tranquilizers or depressants,
sedatives have a calming effect and can also
• When used properly, sedatives can relieve
anxiety, help people sleep better, and even
help them to get through a difficult situation
such as a death in the family; on the other
hand, when over-prescribed or when taken too
frequently, they can easily cause addiction
and, in some cases, even death.
TYPES OF SEDATIVES
The two most common types of sedatives prescribed are Benzodiazepines and
• Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for
anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and panic attacks. Somebody might abuse these
kind of sedatives because of the calming effect that they have.
• Barbiturates: Barbiturates are less commonly prescribed than
Benzodiazepines, but can be used for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and panic
attacks, and can still be found in some hospitals and veterinarians.
• Non Benzodiazepines (Z Drugs) : Non Benzodiazepines are in the
same family as Benzodiazepines, but work faster and don’t alter the sleep
patterns as greatly.
• Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily
prescribed to reduce anxiety or stress, encourage
sleep or to relax muscles.
• Short-term use of these medications is generally
safe and effective. However, long-term use is
controversial because of the potential for tolerance,
dependence, and other adverse effects.
• It is possible to overdose on benzodiazepines, and
mixing them with alcohol or other substances can
• There are various types of benzodiazepines:
Ativan, Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Valium,
• They can begin to affect you after 10 to 15 minutes and last up to 6 hours.
• Depresses your nervous system and slows your body down.
• Relieves stress, anxiety and tension and can make you more calm and relaxed.
• You can become drowsy, forgetful and confused which can lead to accidents.
• Short-term memory loss.
• They may lose their effect as ‘sleeping pills’ after only two weeks of
continuous use. They no longer control anxiety after four months of regular
• Barbiturates are central nervous depressants. They reduce the activity of
nerves causing muscle relaxation. They can reduce heart rate, breathing,
and blood pressure.
• Barbiturates are medications used for treating headaches, insomnia,
• Examples of barbiturates: Amytal , Butisol, Seconal .
Other Side Effects:
• Common side effects of barbiturates are:
• Barbiturates can slow breathing, reduce heart rate, and they can be habit
Non Benzodiazepines (Z Drugs):
• Carry the same potential as Barbiturates.
• Originally used as anxiolytics, day time sedatives and hypnotics.
• Interchangeable pharmacologically with Barbiturates.
• Rarely used today.
• Common Non Benzodiazepines are:
Signs of Sedative Withdrawal:
Sedatives reduce and slow communication throughout the brain. As an
individual withdraws from a persistent period of sedation, a much higher level
of neural stimulation may be experienced. This can lead to symptoms like:
• Muscle shaking.
• Excessive sweating.
• Nausea or vomiting.
The Public Health Code, defines a medicinal drug as a
“Any substance or compound that can be used in
humans and animals , in view to formulating a medical
diagnosis or restoring, correcting or modifying their
physiological functions through pharmacological,
immunological or metabolic action”.
Samples of Medicinal Drugs
• Antipyretics: reducing fever (pyrexia)
• Analgesics: reducing pain (painkillers)
• Anti malarial drugs: treating malaria
• Antibiotics: inhibiting germ growth
• Antiseptics: prevention of germ growth
near burns, cuts and wounds
• Mood stabilizers: lithium and valpromide
• Hormone replacements: Premarin
• Oral contraceptives: Enovid, "biphasic" pill, and "triphasic" pill
• Stimulants: methylphenidate, amphetamine
• An allergic reaction could happen with any drug.
That can range from itching and rash all the way to a
life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
• Some drugs can’t help but trigger side effects because
of their chemical structure. The
common allergy drug diphenhydramine(also known
by the brand name Benadryl) is one. Though it
eases allergy symptoms, it also blocks the chemical
acetylcholine, and that leads to drowsiness and a host
of other side effects, including dry mouth.
• Changes in patterns of sleep.
• Increased amounts of irritability, especially when medication
• Frequent usage of alcohol.
• Mood swings that are correlated to the absence and availability
of prescription drugs.
General Medicinal Drugs
Characteristic Drug Name
Drug commonly used for treatment of
fever and as a painkiller.
Drug commonly used for treatment of
Drug commonly used for treatment of
cold and symptoms of sneezing,
watery eyes, runny nose.
Drug commonly used for treatment of
Cough Syrup as a Drug
• Cough Medication is one of the easiest substances to
abuse. There are pills and bottles of cough-
suppressing medications in millions of homes in
America and around the world. Many are over-the-
counter drugs and others are prescription-only. Both
can be intoxicating or even deadly in high doses.
• The cough suppressants that are abused contain
dextromethorphan or codeine.
Iodex as a Drug
Iodex is used to prevent and treat infections
that may occur in minor scrapes and cuts. It
works by killing bacteria that can cause
• Keep this medicine away from the eyes because it
may cause irritation. If you should accidentally
get some in your eyes, wash it away with water
• Do not use topical iodine on deep, puncture
wounds, animal bites, or serious burns. To do so
may increase the chance of side effects.
• Do not cover the wound to which you have
applied topical iodine with a tight dressing or
bandage since this may increase the chance of
Alcohol as a Drug
• Alcohol often has harmful interactions with
prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and even some
• Alcohol interactions with medications may cause problems such as:
• Nausea and Vomiting
• Changes in blood pressure
• Abnormal behavior
• Loss of coordination
Mixing alcohol and medications also may
increase the risk of complications such as:
• Liver damage
• Heart problems
• Internal Bleeding
• Impaired breathing
• These are unpleasant, nasty or uncomfortable
effects that can happen if you stop an addictive
substance or drug quickly.
• It occurs because your brain gets used to and
adapts to a drug or alcohol being present. If you
have been taking a drug or drinking alcohol
regularly and suddenly stop the body has to get
used to it not being around anymore, and you will
experience ‘withdrawal symptoms’. The type of
symptoms and when they occur can differ
depending on which drug you were taking.
• It may only be mild and not last long, but they can be
very severe and dangerous. If you have taken bigger
and bigger amounts of a drug over a long period of
time the symptoms are more likely to be worse. This
is why it is always important to seek help and support
on how to reduce and stop taking drugs safely.
Hinweis der Redaktion
Many stimulants were widely accepted as safe for a long time but as use increased and the dangers became more evident, these drugs became less prescribed and less accepted except in the most dire cases. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Prescription stimulants come in tablets or capsules. When abused, they are swallowed, injected in liquid form or crushed and snorted. Stimulants work by acting on the central nervous system to increase alertness and cognitive function.
Around 90% of individuals use caffeine in one form or another. Caffeine is added to food and drink items as well as to certain medications to relieve drowsiness or enhance the effects of pain killers.
Regular smoking leads to a change in the number of cholinergic receptors and to changes in their sensitivity to nicotine. This can lead to the development of nicotine tolerance. Once this happens, the affected person needs to use nicotine regularly to maintain normal brain function. If the level of nicotine falls, the smoker may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that lead to them "topping up" their nicotine levels by smoking again. Because of its highly addictive properties, smoking is considered by the American Heart Association to be one of the hardest addictions to break.
It is because the drug creates a false sense of happiness and well-being—a rush (strong feeling) of confidence, hyperactiveness and energy. One also experiences decreased appetite. These drug effects generally last from six to eight hours, but can last up to twenty-four hours. The first experience might involve some pleasure, but from the start, methamphetamine begins to destroy the user’s life.
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