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Drugs

Say no to drugs

ADDICTIVE DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES

Some common names and classes of addictive drugs and substances

Caffeine, Chocolate, Cocaine, Crack cocaine, Codeine, Methamphetamine (crystal meth.) Marijuana, Speed, Heroin, PCP, Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) LSD, Nicotine, Speed, Banana cream pie, Benzodiazapines, Barbiturates, Non-barbiturate sedative-hypnotics, Inhalants, Sugar, Steroids, Opiates, Over the counter drugs, ex: antihistamines and other cold remedies, Vanilla extract.

DISEASE PROCESS

A factor influencing drug addiction is a gene mutation that leaves individuals with fewer than normal receptor sites for the neurotransmitter dopamine.  Dopamine, a feel good endorphin with a deficit of receptor sites diminishes a person’s normal activity. An individual who has a rise in dopamine activity through an addictive drug or addictive experience has an intense high. Once experienced the brain adjusts, creating more receptor sites which diminishes the intensity of the high. The addict continues to chase that intense high.

There is evidence that suggests stress, abuse and trauma triggers similar responses as those above setting up individuals for all types of addiction. Genetics and brain function determines which addiction(s) will be acted out.

Addicts have a real or perceived need for the drug, which manifests itself in continued use even when the results are harmful.

The addict comes to need a drug for normal functioning after adapting to its presence in the body and develops physical disturbances or illness (withdrawal reaction) if the drug is stopped.

Signs indicating potential alcohol or drug problem

Mental:

Decreased concentration, judgment and timing is off, depression, confusion, short-term memory loss, increased aggression, lethargy distorted perceptions, reaction time slowed, communication skills declined, daydreaming,

Physical:

Hoarse voice, bloodshot eyes, acne, psoriasis, itchy dry thin skin, spidernevi (breaking of small facial veins), rum nose, breast development in males, loss of muscle mass, pale complexion, purple tint or dark red lip color after binge, odor of alcohol on breath, unsteady gait, tremors, balance and coordination off, pupils dilated, inappropriate and unusual laughter, nausea, Vomiting, dizziness, tremors, incoherence

Behavioral or social:

Marital problems, financial problems (borrowing money), family problems (teenagers acting out), withdrawing socially, decrease in hobbies and other interests, moodiness and irritability, exaggerated highs and lows, sporadic work patterns, increased sick time and illness, increased injuries, tardiness, unreliability, legal problems increase, personal grooming deterioration, decreased ambition, anxiety increases, paranoia increases, anger outbursts increase, chews gum or breath mints.