What Are Prescription Drugs
A prescription drug is a pharmaceutical drug that requires you to have a written prescription by a licensed medical practitioner before you can acquire it. This is rather unlike over-the-counter medicine that you can obtain without any prescription.
Prescription drugs are controlled in this way because they contain active ingredients that people can quickly develop an addiction to. That is, drug abuse and dependence is a greater danger with a prescription drug.
Generally, prescription drugs are more potent than over-the-counter medication. This also means that they can have much more significant side effects if you misuse them. In essence, prescription drug abuse is when you take medication for reasons other than why your doctor prescribed it. Also, if you take more than the recommended dosage, you are abusing the drug.
According to the stats, about 22% of Canadians above 15 years use one or more psychoactive prescription drugs. Some of the drugs that fall under this category and are commonly abused include:
- Opioid pain relievers Morphine, Codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.
- Central Nervous System Depressants Valium, Xanax, etc.
- Stimulants Dextrostat, Ritalin, Adderall, etc.
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How Quickly Do Drugs Become Addictive
Drug addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that must be managed over a lifetime. However, developing an addiction is a much quicker process than treating one. Most people know that drugs and even other substances or activities can be addictive, but they may not know how addiction develops. Understanding how quickly drugs become addictive is key in the prevention of substance abuse.
Changing The Brain’s Reward System
Drug addiction is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brainthey change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting and can lead to harmful behaviors.
Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.
Research tells us that repeated use of a drug actually begins to make chemical changes in the brain that alters the brain’s reward system. When someone continues to use a substance even when it no longer provides pleasure, it’s called the pathological pursuit of rewards, or addiction.
Usually, it takes some time for a drug to begin to change the brain’s reward system to the point that a person forms an addiction, but some drugs can do so very quickly.
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How Do You Get Addicted To Oxycontin
The best way to determine how people get addicted to oxycodone is by answering this question: why is oxycodone addictive? Opioids are most addictive when theyre taken in ways theyre not meant to be taken.
For instance, a person increases their risk of addiction if they take higher doses of their prescribed opioids than recommended or if they mix them with other drugs or alcohol. These drug-taking behaviors are designed to intensify the side effects of the drug, contributing to a euphoric high.
Lets get into the science behind oxy addiction. Addiction is the compulsive, uncontrollable use of drugs despite the negative consequences that may occur.
Oxycodone is addictive because of its effects on neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly dopamine. Generally, opioids work by attaching themselves to opioid receptors located on the surface of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and other areas like the gut.
These receptors are associated with pain and pleasure, and by attaching themselves to these receptors, opioids can block pain signals from the body. However, addiction mostly occurs from the effects of oxycontin use.
Those who feel as if their prescribed medications arent alleviating their symptoms may take more doses without consulting their doctors first, increasing their risk of addiction. Those who become addicted to oxycodone are also at an increased risk of suffering from an opioid overdose, which can potentially be fatal.
How Do People Get Addicted To Oxycodone
Oxycodone is an opioid or narcotic thats known by brand names like Xtampza ER, Oxaydo, Roxicodone, and Oxycontin.
As a narcotic, oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Unfortunately, like other opioids, oxycodone is highly potent and addictive, and many people who start off taking a prescribed amount of oxycodone end up abusing the drug and becoming addicted. But why does this happen? How do people get addicted to oxycodone?
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How Drugs Affect The Brain
When people begin using drugs, the way the brain functions begins to change.
Drugs have an effect on the way the brain communicates, and they can affect the way nerve cells send, receive, and interpret information.
Drugabuse.gov states that there are two ways this disruption of the brain can happen:
Why Do Most People Get Addicted To Prescription Drugs
In Canada today, addiction to prescription drugs is increasing at an alarming rate. Yes, people abuse prescription drugs too. Even worse, more often than not, such action leads to a dependence on the drug. According to world statistics, about 10% of people who are given prescription drugsas medication will eventually become addicted to the drug. This number also holds in Canada. The reasons people abuse these drugs are numerous. However, this behaviour puts them at risk of substance addiction and severe health complications.
Many people assume drug abuse only happens with street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. However, addiction is, in fact, more common with prescription drugs. Every year, more than 15 million people around the world develop an addiction to these drugs. Some of these drugs include opioid painkillers, anxiety medication, sedatives and stimulants. Unsurprisingly, you are not alone in wondering how people get addicted to these prescription drugs. Thankfully, we have answers for you.
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A Gray Zone Of Prescription Drug Use
It’s possible to have a valid medical prescription, follow your doctor’s advice, and still be a prescription drug abuser.
- Some addicts occupy a gray zone of prescription drug abuse, and the reason for this is pretty simple: not all medical conditions manifest in a blood test or x-ray.
- Therefore, it is fairly easy to present symptoms or complaints to ones doctor.
Mental health conditions such as anxiety and insomnia, some chronic pain conditions, and a handful of other ailments are diagnosed based on symptoms. Some people lie about their symptoms to gain access to prescription drugs.
Others self-diagnose to get drugs.
- For instance, a man who wants to stay up all night studying might tell his doctor he has symptoms of ADHD to get Ritalin.
- Alternatively, a woman who struggles with the normal concentration challenges we all periodically face might misdiagnose herself with ADHD.
- If her doctor does not carefully screen her for symptoms, she might end up with a potentially addictive prescription drug that she does not actually need.
- Her history of taking ADHD medications will then serve as evidence to future doctors that she needs these drugs!
- Doctors must be able to trust their patients, and requiring a patient to prove that he or she has a problem means that many who need medications might have to go without them. So while this strategy is unfair and needlessly burdensome, doctors must take proactive measures to ensure their patients take the right drugsand nothing more.
The Difference Between Addiction And Dependence
The terms addiction and dependence are often confused or used interchangeably. While there is some overlap, its important to understand the major differences between the 2.
A dependence is present when users develop a physical tolerance to a substance. They may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug altogether. Usually a dependency is resolved by slowly tapering off the use of a particular substance.
On the other hand, an addiction occurs when extensive drug or alcohol use has caused a persons brain chemistry to change. Addictions manifest themselves as uncontrollable cravings to use drugs, despite the harm done to oneself or others. The only way to overcome an addiction is through treatment.
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How Do You Get Addicted To Gambling
So how do people get addicted to gambling anyway? The recent contributions of science and medicine during the past 50-60 years have greatly advanced our understanding of addictions. We are beginning to understand biological forces that affect behavior . Addiction is easier to understand when we consider that our biology programs us to pursue pleasure. However, we are not slaves to our biology. The unrestrained pursuit of pleasure represents a type of developmental immaturity. This type of immaturity is depicted in the classic story of Peter Pan. Therefore, psychological, socio-cultural, and spiritual factors influence whether we mature beyond our biological limitations.
Until fairly recently, people with addictive disorders such as gambling addiction were viewed as selfish, weak-willed folks. They seemed to behave badly without regard for themselves, or others. As people with addictive problems will tell you, willpower is not enough. As we will soon see, our biological make-up explains why this is so.
Advancements in neurobiological research have enhanced our understanding of addiction. Traditionally, the term addiction was limited to drugs and alcohol. We now know that certain activities can also be addictive . This is because addiction is a problem of brain functioning. We become addicted to the chemicals our brain releases, not the substance or activity that causes this release. Our genetics greatly determine our brain functioning.
Why Is Addiction To Meth So Common
Meth addiction is common because it’s used in several populations and because there is little knowledge about the risks involved. Few people understand the substantial brain chemical changes being made during a meth binge or the long-term effects of meth on the brain and body. Few people think that by taking a drug to lose weight or work the night-shift think it will develop into a meth addiction.
Methamphetamine produces a prolonged sense of well-being and energy but after the high there is a crash often comprised of severe depression, fatigue and irritability. These highly unpleasant symptoms combined with a chemical craving for the drug lead the user to use more meth, leading rapidly to addiction to meth.
Similar to other drug addictions, it can be very difficult for someone addicted to meth to stop using the drug as meth addicts often exist in a subculture permeated by meth creation, use and sale. The person addicted to meth can find it very difficult to separate from that kind of the environment.
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Why Are Some People More Susceptible To Opioid Addiction
Nobody is quite sure why one person becomes addicted to opioids and not another. Typically, opioids produce pain relief, which is good after surgery. However, for some people opioids create a pleasurable effect. For example, caffeine is a reinforcing drug people like the effects.
That is true for about 80 percent of the adult population in U.S. But, some people avoid it because it makes them jittery or anxious. Early in the process of opioid use, people may take it because of the pleasurable effect, and some people actually dont like the effect of an opioid and may go on to avoid them. If you take an opioid and your pain is gone, and you find yourself saying, I feel really good, it may be a warning sign that you are vulnerable to misusing these medications.
Over time that good effect diminishes for people who like how an opioid makes them feel, and many people take more opioids because they hope to get that good feeling, and they also dont want to go through withdrawal.
Can Drug Addiction Be Cured Or Prevented
As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isnt a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patients drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.
More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.
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What Makes Cocaine Addictive
Cocaine is a powerful and dangerous stimulant drug that is usually snorted as a white powder. It can cause a wide range of effects as well as a very intense high, which can make people want to take cocaine over and over again until they develop a harmful addiction.
In this blog, we outline the effects of taking cocaine, explore why cocaine is so addictive and provide information on the specialist cocaine addiction rehab we can provide at Priory.
Is Opioid Addiction A Disease
Opioid addiction is not simply like diseases such as pneumonia theres not a magic bullet that cures the person, like an antibiotic can cure pneumonia. We can think of opioid abuse as a medical illness that is governed by things inside of us and outside of us.
Medical conditions typically have a core defining feature. With drug abuse, we can think of the defining feature as the dysregulation of choice that is governed by things inside of us and outside of us . For example, think about eating there is a physical craving, but environmental queues can engage our choice to eat, even when we arent hungry.
When we talk about addiction or opioid use disorder, often people refer to a syndrome of symptoms. There is a syndrome of problematic use of the opioid. The syndrome has features, such as the person using the opioid is giving up other things in their life, and the use of the drug starts to impact them . They crave the drug, and the use of it starts to impact their whole life. Their life becomes organized around the use.
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An Addicted Brain Causes Behavior Changes
Brain imaging studies from people with substance use disorders show changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control. Scientists believe that these changes alter the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addiction.
A promising student might see his grades slip. A bubbly social butterfly might suddenly have trouble getting out of bed. A trustworthy sibling might start stealing or lying. Behavioral changes like these are directly linked to a changing brain.
Addiction also creates cravings. These cravings can be painful, constant, and distracting. Whats more, withdrawal from substances is a painful, whole-body experience. Once someone is addicted, responding to cravings and avoiding withdrawal become their most important needs.
Addiction can happen to anyone.
Its not about your background, where you grew up, or how much money you make. Addiction can happen to anyone. Still, researchers have identified what kinds of experiences and biological circumstances put some people at greater risk than others.
Why Are Some People More Prone To Addiction
Addiction is a very complicated subject and its something that scientists and psychologists are still trying to understand. What can be said is this: addiction does not discriminate it can affect people of all ages, intelligence levels and backgrounds. The signs, symptoms and causes of addiction can vary from person to person, but still, addiction can have a damaging effect on anyone’s livelihood and it’s often difficult to manage without professional addiction treatments.
Despite the difficulty in ascribing exactly what makes some people more prone to addiction than others, countless studies have found that a combination of factors can play a part. Environment, genetics, family background, personality traits, and even stress can all make someone more likely to try drugs or alcohol in the first place. Experimenting with different substances doesn’t automatically lead to addiction however, when different factors contribute to the taking of drugs and alcohol, addictions can develop.
Although nobody can completely eliminate the possibility of becoming an addict, The National Institute on Drug Abuse has highlighted some of the most common risk factors that make some more susceptible to it than others.
To discuss how the Life Works team can help to support individuals and families dealing with addiction and for further information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.
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Meth Addiction: Addiction To Meth As A Party Drug
Crystal meth addiction can happen due to use in party settings. Crystal meth is often considered a party drug as its stimulant properties can keep partiers up and energetic for hours, or even days, without sleep. In spite of tighter drug laws in the United States, meth is still inexpensive and easy to find.
Other reasons people develop an addiction to meth on the club scene include:
- Increased sex drive
- Increased sexual pleasure
While gay men have been depicted as commonly engaging in meth addiction-fueled sex orgies, 80% of male meth users identify as heterosexual.1
Unfortunately, meth user’s sex obsession makes them most likely to engage is risky sexual behavior. Addiction to meth often means extended periods of risky sexual encounters producing a serious risk of HIV or a sexually-transmitted infection.