Drug addiction also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs. When someone are addicted, they may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes.
Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations and for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications, or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication.
The risk of addiction and how fast they become addicted varies by drug. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.
As time passes, they may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon they may need the drug just to feel good. As the drug use increases, they may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make them feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).
Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include, among others:
Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that the teenager or other family member is using drugs include:
Signs and symptoms of drug use or intoxication may vary, depending on the type of drug
People use cannabis by smoking, eating or inhaling a vaporized form of the drug. Cannabis often precedes or is used along with other substances, such as alcohol or illegal drugs, and is often the first drug tried.
Long-term (chronic) use is often associated with:
Two groups of synthetic drugs — synthetic cannabinoids and substituted or synthetic cathinones — are illegal in most states. The effects of these drugs can be dangerous and unpredictable, as there is no quality control and some ingredients may not be known.
Synthetic cannabinoids, also called K2 or Spice, are sprayed on dried herbs and then smoked, but can be prepared as an herbal tea. Despite manufacturer claims, these are chemical compounds rather than "natural" or harmless products. These drugs can produce a "high" similar to marijuana and have become a popular but dangerous alternative.
Substituted cathinones, also called "bath salts," are mind-altering (psychoactive) substances similar to amphetamines such as ecstasy (MDMA) and cocaine. Packages are often labeled as other products to avoid detection.
Despite the name, these are not bath products such as Epsom salts. Substituted cathinones can be eaten, snorted, inhaled or injected and are highly addictive. These drugs can cause severe intoxication, which results in dangerous health effects or even death.
Signs and symptoms of recent use can include:
Barbiturates, benzodiazepines and hypnotics are prescription central nervous system depressants. They're often used and misused in search for a sense of relaxation or a desire to "switch off" or forget stress-related thoughts or feelings.
Stimulants include amphetamines, meth (methamphetamine), cocaine, methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others) and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Adderall XR, others). They are often used and misused in search of a "high," or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite.
Club drugs are commonly used at clubs, concerts and parties. Examples include ecstasy or molly (MDMA), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol ― a brand used outside the U.S. ― also called roofie) and ketamine. These drugs are not all in the same category, but they share some similar effects and dangers, including long-term harmful effects.
Because GHB and flunitrazepam can cause sedation, muscle relaxation, confusion and memory loss, the potential for sexual misconduct or sexual assault is associated with the use of these drugs.
Use of hallucinogens can produce different signs and symptoms, depending on the drug. The most common hallucinogens are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and phencyclidine (PCP).
LSD use may cause:
PCP use may cause:
Signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary, depending on the substance. Some commonly inhaled substances include glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and household aerosol products. Due to the toxic nature of these substances, users may develop brain damage or sudden death.
Opioids are narcotic, painkilling drugs produced from opium or made synthetically. This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone and oxycodone.
Sometimes called the "opioid epidemic," addiction to opioid prescription pain medications has reached an alarming rate across the United States. Some people who've been using opioids over a long period of time may need physician-prescribed temporary or long-term drug substitution during treatment.
Like many mental health disorders, several factors may contribute to development of drug addiction. The main factors are:
Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug changes the way your brain feels pleasure. The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells (neurons) in your brain. Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate. These changes can remain long after you stop using the drug.
Nux Vomica : Useful for drug addiction with sour taste and nausea in the morning, accompanied by retching .Useful when patient feels Intoxicated,Useful when the feeling is worse in the morning. There may feeling of vertigo with momentary loss of consciousness.There is indigestion caused by alcohol, coffee, and other drugs.
Morphinum : Useful for drug addiction when there is violent throbbing in the heart along with a small and weak pulse. There may be a sudden alteration in the heart rate which is known as tachycardia or fast heart rate, and bradycardia or slow heart rate. Useful when patient feels delirious and suffer from depression. Also useful when the patient is in a dream-like state and feels indifference.
Coffea : Useful for drug addiction when patient experiences increased energy, ecstasy, sleeplessness on account of excess mental activity, and an increased flow of ideas. Useful when patient is unable to sleep from an excessive intake of coffee. There is great loquacity with extremely activeness. Useful when patient feels strong enough to do anything.
Hyoscyamus : Useful for drug addiction when patient experiences a confused mind and seems intoxicated, laughs, sings, recites poetry, and babbles deliriously. Recommended when patient does foolish things and does not behave normal. Also useful for patients with an addiction to alcohol and those who experience intoxicated rages.There is involuntary urination along with hallucinations.
Opium : Useful for drug addiction when patient falls into heavy and deep sleep, he wants nothing, and says that nothing ails him. The patient is hot, sweaty, drowsy and has cold limbs accompanied by a heavy, deep sleep, and noisy laboured breathing.Also useful for loss of consciousness and a coma from overdose of drug.