Drug abuse and addiction: the drugs of choice
Addiction begins with the misuse of drugs when an individual makes a conscious decision to use drugs, but addiction is not just "much drug use." Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that drugs not only interfere with the normal functioning of the brain, which creates powerful feelings of pleasure. , but they also have long-term effects on metabolism and brain activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug abuse into an addiction, a chronic and recurrent disease. Those addicted to drugs suffer from a compulsive desire and use of drugs and can not quit smoking on their own. The treatment is necessary to end this compulsive behavior.
Information about the medications listed below will help you better understand what they are and what the health risks of their abuse are.
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the effects of the central nervous system of methamphetamine are greater. Both drugs have some medical uses, mainly in the treatment of obesity, but their therapeutic use is limited.
Methamphetamine is produced in illegal laboratories and has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Methamphetamine in the street is known by many names, such as "speed", "methamphetamine" and "chalk". Methamphetamine hydrochloride, thick, clear crystals that look like ice, which can be inhaled byof smoking, it is known as "ice", "crystal" and "glass".
Methamphetamine releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, improving the mood and movement of the body. It also appears to have a neurotoxic effect, damaging brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Over time, methamphetamine appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, which can cause symptoms such as Parkinson's disease, a severe movement disorder.
Methamphetamine is taken orally or intranasally (inhalation of dust), by intravenous injection and by smoking. Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the user of methamphetamine experiences an intense sensation, called "haste" or "flash", which lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Oral or intranasal use produces euphoria, very high, but not hurried. Users can become addicted quickly and use it with increasing frequency and in increasing doses.
Research in animals that goes back more than 20 years shows that high doses of methamphetamine damage the ends of neuronal cells. Neurons that contain dopamine and serotonin do not die after the use of methamphetamine, but their nerve endings ("terminals") are reduced and regrowth appears to be limited.
The actions of the central nervous system (CNS) that result from taking even small amounts of methamphetamine include increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased breathing, hyperthermia and euphoria. Other effects on the central nervous system include irritability, insomniaConfusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia and aggression. Hyperthermia and seizures can cause death.
Methamphetamine causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and it can cause irreversible damage to the blood vessels in the brain, causing strokes. Other effects of methamphetamine include respiratory problems, irregular and extreme heartbeat. anorexy. Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.
Steroids (anabolic-androgenic)Anabolic-androgenic steroids are artificial substances related to male sex hormones. "Anabolic" refers to the construction of muscle, and "androgenic" refers to the increase of male characteristics. "Steroids" refers to the class of medications. These medications are available only by prescription, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence. They are also used to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in the loss of lean muscle mass. The abuse of anabolic steroids, however, can lead to serious, irreversible health problems.
Nowadays, athletes and others abuse anabolic steroids to improve performance and also to improve physical appearance. Anabolic steroids are taken orally or injected, usually in cycles of weeks or months (called "cycles"), rather than continuously. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids for a specific period of time, stopping for a period and starting over. In addition, users often combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness and minimize negative effects (called "stacking").
The main side effects of anabolic steroid abuse can include livertumors and Cancer, jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of the skin, tissues and body fluids), fluid retention, high blood pressure, increases in LDL (bad cholesterol), and decreases in HDL (good cholesterol). Other side effects include severe kidney tumors acneand trembling. In addition, there are specific side effects of somegender:
For men: reduction of the testicles, reduction of sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development, increased risk of prostate cancer. For women: facial hair growth, male pattern baldness, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, enlarged clitoris, deeper voice. For adolescents, growth was stopped prematurely through premature skeletal maturation and accelerated changes in puberty. This means that teens run the risk of falling short the rest of their lives if they take anabolic steroids before the typical outbreak of growth in adolescence.
Scientific research also shows that aggression and other psychiatric side effects can result from the abuse of anabolic steroids. Many users report that they feel good about themselves while taking anabolic steroids, but researchers report that extreme changes in mood can also occur, including maniac– As symptoms that lead to violence. Depression It is often seen when medications are discontinued and may contribute to the dependence on anabolic steroids. The researchers also report that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions and deficient judgments derived from feelings of invincibility.
The research also indicates that some users may turn to other medications to alleviate some of the negative effects of anabolic steroids. For example, a study of 227 men admitted in 1999 in a private treatment center for dependence heroin or other opioids found that 9.3 percent had abused anabolic steroids before trying any other illicit drug. Of these 9.3 percent, 86 percent first used opioids to counteract the insomnia and irritability that result from anabolic steroids.
InhalantsInhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A variety of common products in the home and workplace contain substances that can be inhaled. Many people do not think about these products, such as spray paints, glues and cleaning fluids, as medicines, since they should never have been used to achieve an intoxicating effect. However, young children and adolescents can easily obtain them and are among the most likely to abuse these extremely toxic substances. Parents should closely monitor household products to prevent accidental inhalation of very young children. Inhalants are classified in the following categories:
Industrial or household solvents or products containing solvents, including solvents or paint removers, degreasers, dry cleaning liquids, gasoline and glues. Solvents for office or office supplies, which include correction fluids, liquid markers and electronic contact cleaners.
Gases used in domestic or commercial products, including butane lighters and propane tanks, aerosols or whippets of whipped cream, and refrigerant gases. Home aerosol propellants and associated solvents in items such as aerosol paints, hair sprays or deodorants and fabric protective sprays. anesthetic gases, such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide ("gas that laughs")
Aliphatic nitrites, including cyclohexyl nitrite, an ingredient found in room odorants; amyl nitrite, which is used for medical purposes; and butyl nitrite (formerly used to make perfumes and antifreeze), which is now an illegal substance
Risks to health: although they differ in makeup, almost all abused inhalants produce short-term effects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body's functions. When inhaled through the nose or mouth into the lungs in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxicating effects. The poisoning usually lasts only a few minutes.
However, sometimes users extend this effect for several hours by repeatedly inhaling inhalants. Initially, users may feel slightly stimulated. Successive injections make them feel less inhibited and less controlled. If the use continues, users may lose consciousness.
Inhalation of highly concentrated amounts of chemicals in solvents or aerosols can directly induce heart failure and death within minutes of a prolonged use session. This syndrome, known as "sudden death by inhalation," can result from a single session of inhaler Use by an otherwise healthy young man. Sudden death by inhalation is particularly associated with the abuse of butane, propane and chemicals in aerosols.
High concentrations of inhalants can also cause death by asphyxia by displacing oxygen in the lungs and then in the central nervous system, so that breathing stops. Deliberately inhaling a plastic bag or paper attached or in a closed area greatly increases the chances of suffocation. Even when aerosols or volatile products are used for their legitimate purposes (ie, painting, cleaning), it is advisable to do so in a well-ventilated room or in the open air.
Chronic solvent abuse can cause severe long-term damage to the brain, liver and kidneys.
Harmful irreversible effects that can be caused by the abuse of specific solvents include:
Hearing loss: toluene (spray paints, glues, deparaffins) and trichlorethylene (cleaning fluids, correction fluids) Peripheral neuropathies or limb spasms: hexane (glues, gasoline) and nitrous oxide (whipped cream, gas cylinders) Central nervous system or brain damage: toluene (aerosol paints, glues, dewaters) Bone marrow damage: benzene (gasoline)
Serious but potentially reversible effects include:
Liver and kidney damage: substances containing toluene and chlorinated hydrocarbons (correction fluids, dry cleaning fluids) Oxygen depletion in the blood: aliphatic nitrites (known in the street as poppers, bold and fast) and methylene chloride (removers) of varnish, paint thinners)
Abuse of amyl and butyl nitriles has been associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer reported among AIDS patients. The first KS studies showed that many people with KS had used volatile nitrites. Researchers continue to explore the nitrite hypothesis as a factor that contributes to the development of SK in The hivInfected people
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