Addiction (also known as substance use disorder) is a devious and sometimes confusing disease. However, many signs and symptoms may alert loved ones to the fact that a person is in trouble with their drug or alcohol use. Drug-seeking behavior, financial issues, and drama with relationships and even the law are signs that something is wrong. People who are addicted to drugs may have different symptoms, depending on the drug they use. People can become addicted to any mind-altering substance. However, some drugs are more addictive than others. These are important to know because “hitting bottom” or experiencing negative consequences can snowball quickly for the drug user as they begin to need more of the drug.
- Heroin: Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and one of the most dangerous. It’s been used in many years all over the world as a narcotic, derived from the poppy plant. As an opiate, heroin quickly affects the brain, eliminating any pain signals and giving the user an intense euphoric high. Users rapidly also develop a tolerance to the drug, making them need more amounts to get the same rush they first experienced when getting high. When a person who uses heroin problems tries to cease using, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Often they choose to use again because these symptoms are so unpleasant or painful.
- Opioids: Similar to heroin, opioids are fueling an addiction crisis across the Unit4ed States due to lax prescribing and regulation. Opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicoden are all highly addictive drugs. They operate in the same way as heroin, with the difference being that they’re pharmaceutical drugs. They are made in a lab, not from the poppy plant, but they work the same way. Withdrawal is a considerable issue that stops people from getting help for this addiction, and people often resort to heroin when they can’t get their drug of choice.
- Crack cocaine: Crack cocaine spurred a crisis of addiction, drug wars and mass incarceration throughout primarily inner-city communities in the 1990’s. Many stereotypes still surround this drug, and a lot of stigmas encompass its use. However, crack is incredibly similar (just more potent) to its more “designer” counterpart, cocaine. Crack is considered more addictive than cocaine because it’s more powerful, and its high is short-lived. Many people who use crack are unable to quit because of its powerful high. It gives users euphoria and more energy, making them jittery as well as high. The intense lasts about 15 minutes. People who become addicted to crack crash from that high and seek it again immediately, without realizing that they are quickly becoming addicted to the drug.
- Methamphetamine: This drug is also an “upper” with a high that can last for hours and cause the user to stay awake for hours or days. The high stimulates almost ten times as much of dopamine as is normal, causing extreme euphoria, adrenaline and sometimes paranoia too. The brain chemistry is immediately effected when a person has used meth. With the extreme high comes an extreme crash – making the user feel depressed and lethargic almost immediately after they “come down”. The withdrawal effects of meth are dangerous and can include nausea, vomiting, tremors, fever, seizures and hallucinations.
Many other drugs are addictive out there, but these are some of the most dangerous and, unfortunately, popular among addicted persons. Help is available no matter how bad you feel your addiction is! Recovery is possible.
If you or somebody you know thinks they have a problem with drugs, help is available. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767.