According to a 2011 report by CNN Health, there are 22 million Americans who are addicted to illegal drugs in the United States and all around the world. Addictions vary from gambling, food, and sex, but probably the one which needs the greatest attention are drug addictions. Drug dependency not only ruins the lives of those who are addicted, but also the lives of those who are closest to them. Listed below are 5 of the most addictive drugs and their symptoms.
Addiction Takes Its Hold
There are several illegal and prescription drugs that are addictive and dangerous. Here are the 5 most addictive drugs:
Heroin: Addicts are first drawn to the intense euphoria that is brought on by heroin. This happens soon after injection/snorting when the drug is converted into morphine in the brain, which quickly attaches to opioid receptors. Along with the euphoric rush, the user will often become flushed and experience dry mouth as well as a heavy feeling of the arms and legs. Nausea and vomiting along with severe itching is also common. Once the beginning effects of the drug have worn off, the user will feel drowsy and their breathing will become very slow, sometimes fatally. They may become foggy and slow, mentally, because of the heroin’s effect on the body’s central nervous system. Addicts easily build up a tolerance to the drug, which in turn causes them to use higher doses more frequently in order to obtain the same desired high. Once addiction occurs, the addict’s life revolves around the next high and will remain that way until they get help.
Cocaine: It is typically smoked, injected or snorted. The effects last around two hours and include high energy, alertness and euphoria followed by agitation, depression, anxiety and paranoia.
Methamphetamine: This extremely addictive drug is mostly made in illegal meth labs using toxic chemicals that can be found in common household products. The effects may include euphoria, increased libido, hyperactivity, restlessness, insomnia, heart attack and stroke. Because meth is highly addictive, the “crash” that the users feels is so intense that they’ll continue to abuse it to keep the inevitable “crash” at bay, making many addicts only focus in life to continue their high at any cost.
Prescriptions: Opioids are used to treat acute pain and include such prescription drugs as morphine, methadone, hydrocodone and oxycodone. Opioids stimulate the areas of the brain that receive pleasure and in turn produce a sense of well-being and euphoria. Repeated use of these types of drugs begin to overwhelm the system with dopamine and, in time, the body thinks it needs the drug in order to survive and this is how addiction begins. Many people become addicted to prescription painkillers after being prescribed them for an injury or to manage the pain after an operation.
Alcohol: Though it is acceptable to drink alcohol in moderation, for many people alcohol is a daily, even hourly, need. Abuse of alcohol can lead to liver damage, destructive behavior, and domestic violence. It can also mask depression and other symptoms of mental illness.
[Ref: DEA Drug Facts]
Getting Help For Addiction
Though some drugs may seem harmless, they are not. Each drug comes with its adverse effects as well as the potential for addiction. To learn more about these drugs and how to treat addiction, contact your local drug treatment facility.
Learn more about why drugs are addictive by watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQsgEtO6B6A.