Drug Addiction

Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. Keep in mind that alcohol and nicotine are legal substances, but are also considered drugs.
When you're addicted, you're not able to control your drug use and you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug. You may want to quit, but most people find they can't do it on their own.
Drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences, including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment, and the law.
You may need help from your doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free.


Most drug addictions start with experimental use of a drug in social situations. For some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. The risk of addiction and how fast you become dependent varies by drug. Some drugs have a higher risk and cause dependency more quickly than others.
As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).

Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include among others

• Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
• Having intense urges for the drug
• Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
• Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
• Spending money on the drug, even though you can't afford it
• Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
• Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn't do, such as stealing
• Driving or doing other risky activities when you're under the influence of the drug
• Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug
• Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
• Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
• Recognizing drug abuse in family members

Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that your teenager or other family member is using drugs include

• Problems at school or work — frequently missing school or work, a sudden disinterest in school activities or work, or a drop in grades or work performance
• Physical health issues — lack of energy and motivation
• Neglected appearance — lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks
• Changes in behavior — exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room or being secretive about where he or she goes with friends; or drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends
• Spending money — sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation; or your discovery that money is missing or has been stolen or that items have disappeared from your home, indicating maybe they're being sold to support drug use
• Recognizing signs of drug use or intoxication

Signs and symptoms of drug use or intoxication may vary, depending on the type of drug. Below you'll find several examples.

Marijuana, hashish and other cannabis-containing substances

• A sense of euphoria or feeling "high"
• A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
• Increased blood pressure and heart rate
• Red eyes
• Dry mouth
• Decreased coordination
• Difficulty concentrating or remembering
• Increased appetite
• Slowed reaction time
• Paranoid thinking
• Long-term (chronic) use is often associated with:
         -Decreased mental sharpness
         -Poor performance at school or at work
         -Reduced number of friends and interests

Synthetic cannabinoids and substituted cathinone’s

Synthetic cannabinoids also called "K2" or "Spice."

• A sense of euphoria or feeling "high"
• Elevated mood
• Relaxation
• An altered sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
• Extreme anxiety or agitation
• Paranoia
• Hallucinations
• Increased heart rate and blood pressure
• Vomiting
• Confusion

Substituted cathinone’s, also called "bath salts." are psychoactive substances similar to amphetamines such as Ecstasy (MDMA) and cocaine.

• Euphoria
• Increased sociability
• Increased energy and agitation
• Increased sex drive
• Increased heart rate and blood pressure
• Chest pain
• Paranoia
• Panic attacks
• Hallucinations
• Delirium
• Psychotic and violent behavior

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines - sense of relaxation or a desire to "switch off" or forget stress-related thoughts or feelings.

Phenobarbital, amobarbital (Amytal) and secobarbital (Seconal Sodium) are examples of barbiturates. Examples of benzodiazepines include sedatives, such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax, Niravam), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin) and chlordiazepoxide (Librium).

• Drowsiness
• Slurred speech
• Lack of coordination
• Euphoria or an exaggerated feeling of well-being
• Problems concentrating or thinking
• Memory problems
• Involuntary eye movements (nystagmus)
• Lack of inhibition
• Slowed breathing and reduced blood pressure
• Dizziness
• Depression

Meth, cocaine and other stimulants - in search of a "high," or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite.

• Feeling of exhilaration and excess confidence
• Increased alertness
• Increased energy and restlessness
• Behavior changes or aggression
• Rapid or rambling speech
• Dilated pupils
• Delusions and hallucinations
• Irritability or changes in mood
• Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
• Nausea or vomiting with weight loss
• Impaired judgment
• Nasal congestion and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose (if snorting drugs)
• Insomnia
• Paranoia
• Depression as the drug wears off

Club drugs - Ecstasy or Molly (MDMA), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol, or roofie) and ketamine.

• Hallucinations
• Paranoia
• Dilated pupils
• Chills and sweating
• Involuntary shaking (tremors)
• Behavior changes
• Muscle cramping and teeth clenching
• Reduced inhibitions
• Heightened or altered sense of sight, sound and taste
• Decreased coordination
• Poor judgment
• Memory problems or loss of memory
• Reduced consciousness
• Increased or decreased heart rate and blood pressure

Hallucinogens - Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Phencyclidine (PCP).

LSD use may cause:

• Hallucinations
• Greatly reduced perception of reality, for example, interpreting input from one of your senses as another, such as hearing colors
• Impulsive behavior
• Rapid shifts in emotions
• Permanent mental changes in perception
• Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
• Tremors
• Flashbacks, a re-experience of the hallucinations — even years later
• A feeling of being separated from your body and surroundings
• Hallucinations
• Problems with coordination and movement
• Aggressive, possibly violent behavior
• Involuntary eye movements
• Lack of pain sensation
• Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
• Problems with thinking and memory
• Problems speaking
• Impaired judgment
• Intolerance to loud noise
• Sometimes seizures or coma

Narcotic painkillers - heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone and oxycodone.

• Euphoria or feeling "high"
• Reduced sense of pain
• Drowsiness or sedation
• Slurred speech
• Problems with attention and memory
• Constricted pupils
• Lack of awareness or inattention to surrounding people and things
• Problems with coordination
• Depression
• Confusion
• Sweaty, clammy skin
• Constipation
• Runny nose or nose sores (if snorting drugs)
• Needle marks (if injecting drugs)

Where we are ?

Usiru Foundation – Centre for De-addiction & Rehabilitation #956/1/3, 2nd Floor,
Near Ring Road,
Kasaba Hobli,
Mysore – 570023

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