Addiction Solution Source

Prescription Drug Abuse At Epidemic Levels

September 30th, 2009 · No Comments

How many Americans have potentially dangerous prescription drugs in their medicine cabinet?

Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels through the United States with nearly 7 million Americans abusing them. This amounts to an increase of 80% in the last six years. The numbers now exceed those that are abusing ‘street drugs’ (i.e., cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other drugs).

It is very apparent just from the news over the past year or so, that there is a major problem in our society with the number of celebrities that have died from prescription drug addiction (i.e., Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, DJ ‘AM’)

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Tags: Prescription Drugs Addiction

Cocain and Crack

May 6th, 2007 · No Comments

Pure cocaine was first used in the 1880s in eye, nose, and throat surgeries as an anesthetic and for its ability to constrict blood vessels and limit bleeding. However, many of its therapeutic applications are now obsolete because of the development of safer drugs.

Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant, which is indigenous to the Andean highlands of South America. Much of the cocaine available in the United States is transported from South American nations, particularly Colombia, through the Mexico-Central America Corridor.

Cocaine was first Federally-regulated in December 1914 with the passage of the Harrison Act. This Act banned non-medical use of cocaine; prohibited its importation; imposed the same criminal penalties for cocaine users as for opium, morphine, and heroin users; and required a strict accounting of medical prescriptions for it. As a result of the Harrison Act and the emergence of cheaper, legal substances such as amphetamines, cocaine became less used in the U.S. However, use began to rise again in the 1960s, prompting Congress to classify it as a Schedule II substance in 1970.

Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States with severe restrictions, and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Cocaine can currently be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses, such as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries.

There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt and the freebase. The hydrochloride salt, or powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and, when abused, can be taken intravenously (by vein) or intranasally (in the nose). Freebase refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is smokable.

Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder, known as coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It has been reported that it is common for dealers to dilute the powder with chalk, laundry detergent, baby powder and rat poison! Can you imagine anyone trying street drugs with this possibility?

Crack

Crack is the street name given to a freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” comes from the crackling sound made when it is heated.

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What are Narcotics?

May 4th, 2007 · No Comments

Narcotic drugs (also called opioids) are derivatives of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) or chemically similar synthetics. The poppy was grown in the Mediterranean region as early as 3000 B.C., and has since been cultivated in a number of countries throughout the world.

Narcotics are used therapeutically to treat pain, suppress cough, alleviate diarrhea, and induce anesthesia. Narcotics are administered in a variety of ways. Some are taken orally, transdermally (skin patches), or injected. They are also available in suppositories. As drugs of abuse, they are often smoked, sniffed, or injected.

Natural Opiates are Morphine, Codiene and Thebaine.

Semi-synthetic opiates (or opioids) include Heroin and Oxycodone (among others).

Common Synthetic Opioids include Methadone, and Pethidine (Demerol).

Heroin

Heroin (a morphine derivative) is the most commonly abused narcotic.
(Some of the street names include: smack, horse, H, junk, dope or scag)

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Tags: Prescription Drugs Addiction · Street Drugs

What Are Some Effects of Specific Abused Substances?

May 1st, 2007 · No Comments

Nicotine is an addictive stimulant found in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. Tobacco smoke increases a user’s risk of cancer, emphysema, bronchial disorders, and cardiovascular disease. The mortality rate associated with tobacco addiction is staggering. Tobacco use killed approximately 100 million people during the 20th century and, if current smoking trends continue, the cumulative death toll for this century has been projected to reach 1 billion.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit substance. This drug impairs short-term memory and learning, the ability to focus attention, and coordination. Marijuana also increases heart rate, can harm the lungs, and can cause psychosis in those at risk.

Alcohol consumption can damage the brain and most body organs. Areas of the brain that are especially vulnerable to alcohol-related damage are the cerebral cortex (largely responsible for our higher brain functions, including problem solving and decision making), the hippocampus (important for memory and learning), and the cerebellum (important for movement coordination).

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Tags: Drug Abuse

How Do Drugs Work in The Brain?

April 26th, 2007 · No Comments

Drugs are chemicals. They work in the brain by tapping into the brain’s communication system and interfering with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, can activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter. This similarity in structure “fools” receptors and allows the drugs to lock onto and activate the nerve cells. Although these street drugs mimic brain chemicals, they don’t activate nerve cells in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network.

Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels. The difference in effect can be described as the difference between someone whispering into your ear and someone shouting into a microphone.

How do drugs work in the brain to produce pleasure?

All drugs of abuse directly or indirectly target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The over stimulation of this system, which rewards our natural behaviors, produces the euphoric effects sought by people who abuse drugs and teaches them to repeat the behavior.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Street Drugs

Rating Drugs – Which Are The Worst?

April 7th, 2007 · No Comments

Drug misuse is one of the major social, legal, and public-health challenges in the world. The total burden of drug misuse, in terms of health, social, and crime-related costs, is in the billions of dollars every year.

Recent research conducted in the UK has found that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs / street drugs. Tobacco is estimated to cause 40 percent of all hospital illnesses, while alcohol is a factor in more than half of all visits to hospital emergency rooms.

Research Categories of Harm

There were three main factors that together determined the harm associated with any drug of potential abuse:

1- the physical harm to the individual user caused by the drug
2- the tendency of the drug to induce dependence
3- the effect of drug use on families, communities, and society

Two independent groups of experts were asked to do the ratings on the various drugs.

Results of the research:

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Tags: Prescription Drugs Addiction · Street Drugs