Do You Have To Be Addicted To Experience Problems
The experience of problems is central to the diagnosis of addiction. As repeated use of a substance accelerates motivation to seek out and use the agent, people typically suffer negative physical and psychological consequences and, in neglecting roles and responsibilities, experience difficulties and disruptions in their family, social, and work lives. They may also face increasingly dangerous situations in pursuit of a substance supply. Independent of the addictive process, problems can also develop from the taking of any chemical substance.
Illegal drugs pose special risks of toxic contamination and/or accidental overdose as a result of substitution with underground agents of unknown potency. The recent rise in opioid deaths, for example, is attributable to a shift from prescription painkillers to the cheaper and often more readily available street drug heroin. Unbeknownst to users, illicit drug manufacturers often adulterate heroin with the synthetic painkiller fentanyl, which is not only cheaper but 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, increasing the likelihood of respiratory problems. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is the drug most often involved in fatal overdoses in the U.S.
While consumption of any illicit drug can be dangerous from a toxicological perspective, it can also create problems from a behavioral perspective. Intoxication with alcohol is a major cause of traffic accidents and violence to others.
What Are The Dangers Of Mixing Painkillers With Alcohol
Mixing alcohol and painkillers is incredibly dangerous. Both types of substances act as depressants, and the most dangerous side-effect of combining the two is a decreased respiratory rate. This can cause seizures, coma, and even death. The perilous symptoms of mixing alcohol with painkillers can include the following:
- Changes in blood sugar, which can cause seizures
Mixing alcohol and painkillers enhances the effects of both substances, and combining them has lead to a rise in overdose deaths in the United States. Call 911 if you suspect a drug overdose immediately. Even if a person survives a drug overdose, they can experience lifelong brain damage. It is crucial to get them the help they need before they experience a seizure or a coma.
People who are addicted to prescription painkillers need integrated, intense care to help them beat this incredibly difficult addiction. Because a lot of people who abuse painkillers also genuinely need pain management for severe injuries and illnesses, they require a specialized, customized treatment plan with a team of doctors and therapists. They may be able to receive lower doses of painkillers under a doctors supervision at an inpatient detox facility. Or get relief from non-opioid analgesics.
Some of the early signs of painkiller addiction include:
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Do All Drugs Create Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms occur when drug use is abruptly stopped or the dosage is sharply diminished. They occur because the brain is an adaptive organ , and in response to the repeated presence of a psychoactive substance, the brain undergoes changes in neurotransmitter activity and receptor sensitivity in various systems. When use of that substance stops abruptly, cessation disrupts all the adaptations to that substance the brain has made over time, it will adapt to absence of the drugbut that process takes time.
The clinical manifestation of abrupt cessation of a substance of abuse is withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal range from sweatiness, shakiness, tremors, and seizures to upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Irritability, agitation, restlessness, and sleep disruption are common withdrawal symptoms for many drugs as are muscle cramps, headaches, and changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Drug cravings can be fierce, and fear of withdrawal symptoms often drives continued drug use.
Withdrawal symptoms do not occur with all substances for example, stopping hallucinogens or marijuana does not typically lead to withdrawal symptoms. Further, the intensity of withdrawal depends on the amount of drug usually taken and the duration of its effects. Withdrawal from such drugs as heroin, painkillers, alcohol, and benzodiazepine tranquilizers can be life-threatening, and medical supervision is generally advised.
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What Is Wet Brain
Wet brain is the colloquial term for the nutritional brain bomb of severe thiamine deficiency that occurs with chronic abuse of alcohol. It is medically known as Wernickes Encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. It arises when people get a large proportion of their calories from alcohol, because the substance interferes with the intestinal absorption of thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Thiamine is critical for energy production and serves as a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions regulating glucose utilization by mitochondria, the power factories inside all cells.
Because the brain uses a disproportionate amount of energy to power its many high-level functions, thiamine deficiency can lead to damage to the mitochondria of nerve cells. The clinical manifestation of wet brain syndrome are memory loss and confusion, difficulties in muscle coordination when standing or walkingsufferers have a distinctive shuffling gate known as ataxiaand abnormal eye movements and visual changes such as double vision resulting from paralysis of eye muscles. These signs, similar to those of intoxication, exist in the absence of drinking.
Signs Of Drug Abuse Or Addiction
Not every addiction looks the same.
Unfortunately, media representations have painted many misleading caricatures of how a person suffering from substance abuse disorder appears or behaves.
Often, people do not acknowledge that they have a problem, and friends or family members are the first to notice something has changed. If you are worried that you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, uncertainty makes it hard to proceed. However, there are some telltale signs and symptoms to help you identify any potential issues.
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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.
Drug Addiction Treatment Options
When some people struggle with addiction, they may deny that they have a problem. Others may be reluctant to enter treatment due to cost, fear, or lack of support. However, once they overcome any reservations and are ready to enter treatment, there are several types of addiction treatment options to choose from.
- Inpatient treatment: This type of treatment offers 24-hour supervised care in a comfortable, safe setting. Inpatient rehab typically uses a variety of therapeutic approaches including individual and group therapy sessions.
- Outpatient treatment: With outpatient rehab, patients live at home and go to treatment during the day. Common levels of care in outpatient rehab include standard outpatient, intensive outpatient , and partial hospitalization .
In inpatient or outpatient rehab, patients can also be assessed and treated for dual diagnosis, which means they have two or more conditions presenting at the same time or one after the other.
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Sex And Pornography Addiction
Sex addiction has been a source of controversy for several decades, with intense debate among experts who believe that sexual addiction is either possible or not. Those who believe in the existence of sex addiction tend to define it in similar ways as addiction to substances are defined: as a pattern of compulsive and problematic sexual behaviors.
Porn addiction is believed to be a subtype of sex addiction and is defined as the compulsive use of porn. Use of porn is continued despite causing problems to a person, their relationships, or other important areas of life. Aside from the obvious symptom of excessive porn use, other key features that may indicate porn addiction include an inability to perform with real-life partners and sexual dissatisfaction with real-life partners.2
Signs Of Drug Use In Teens
Figuring out if your child is using substances can be challenging. Many signs of drug use in teens are typical young adult behavior. Many signs of drug use are also symptoms of mental health issues, including depression or anxiety.
If you have reason to suspect use, dont be afraid to err on the side of caution. Prepare to take action and have a conversation during which you can ask direct questions like Have you been drinking, vaping or using drugs? No parent wants to hear yes, but being prepared for how you would respond can be the starting point for a more positive outcome.
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Smelling Like Alcohol Or Drugs All The Time
This may seem obvious, but its important to note that alcoholics and drug addicts will regularly reek of their drug of choice.
While this is especially pronounced in alcoholics and those who smoke weed, you can find the signs on other types of addicts as well.
Unfortunately, some drugs especially prescription drugs have no scent, but drugs like meth and crack have a scent when smoked that can linger on a users body, breath, and clothes.
This absolutely falls under the umbrella of addict behavior because someone who is just experimenting with drugs or alcohol is going to take the time to clean their clothes or change them to cover up the scent.
As people fall deeper into addiction, they worry less and less about how they smell or appear, even in public.
Changes In Mood & Behavior
A person struggling with an addiction will often display changes in their mood and behavior. People closest to them may notice some of the following signs of addiction:
- Drug paraphernalia
- Collections of drugs hidden away, known as stashes, often in plastic bags and wraps of paper or tin foil
- Secretive about parts of personal life
- Withdrawal or social isolation
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Learn More About Painkiller Addiction
For people who suffer from chronic pain, taking prescription pain medication can be life-changing, as these medications can allow them to resume healthy functioning without being hindered by their condition. When a physician makes a recommendation for a painkiller regimen, warnings about the addictive nature of these medications are frequently provided and patients are often advised to closely follow their physicians instructions for how and when to take them. However, if these warning are not heeded, abuse and addiction can result.
Many of the prescription pain medications that exist today contain oxycodone or hydrocodone. These active ingredients make these medications habit-forming and also make overcoming this type of chemical dependency so difficult. In the event that a person abuses painkillers, it is likely that he or she will experience painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms once these substances are no longer in his or her system. These withdrawal symptoms are often painful enough to keep a person trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction. Furthermore, if an individual is battling a mental health condition at the same time, it could be even more cumbersome to defeat a painkiller addiction if the necessary skills for coping are not present.
What Are Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse
Some of the most noticeable symptoms of drug use are those that affect certain physiological processes. For example, your bodys tolerance to a drug develops when a drug is used long or often enough that it adapts to the consistently elevated presence of the substance. When tolerance grows, increased quantities or strengths are required to achieve the previous effects.1
Individuals using a drug to get high may come to take such large doses to overcome their tolerance that they place themselves at increasing risk of potentially fatal overdose.3
Changes in appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include:4
- Bloodshot or glazed eyes.
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Does Psychological Dependence Exist
Psychological dependence is a term sometimes used to indicate the mental processes of addiction, but it has no real meaning given current understanding of the way the brain works. There is no real difference between physical addiction and psychological addiction. Addiction is one of those conditions that demonstrates it is not possible to distinguish between physical and psychological aspects of behavior.
Nevertheless, some people erroneously believe that processes such as withdrawal are distinctly physical while other feature of addiction, such as drug cravings or the inability to stop using a substance, are purely psychological. In fact, inability to regulate use results from a physiological processprogressive weakening of the neural circuitry in the brains executive control center in response to repeated use of a dopamine-activating substance. Cravings, or deep desire for a substance, arise from alterations in reactivity patterns of nerves in the brains reward center.
Confusion arises in part because of historical misunderstanding: It was once thought that withdrawal was the defining feature of addiction and every other aspect of addiction did not reflect physical processes. It is now known that withdrawal symptoms are not an invariable feature of addictionthey do not occur with addiction to hallucinogens, for exampleand that all facets of addiction reflect physical changes in brain circuitry, and those changes are reversible after substance use stops.
Signs And Symptoms Of Cocaine Addiction
The symptoms of cocaine abuse and addiction will vary from one individual to the next depending upon length of addiction, frequency of use, and level of physical dependency. The most common symptoms of cocaine abuse include the following:
- Depression after a binge-crash cycle of abuse
- Feeling superior to other people
- Lying about drug use
- Constriction of blood vessels supplying blood to the heart
- Vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain
- Loss of sense of smell
- Difficulties swallowing
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Are Behavioral Addictions Serious
According to the US National Library of Medicine, behavioral addictions, resemble substance abuse addictions, in reference to the impact on the brain and their response to treatment. Individuals often struggle to resist urges or temptations to reduce or stop behaviors that may be addictive to them, elicit arousal before completing them, and bring pleasure while doing them. Areas of concern can include the feelings of guilt or embarrassment after completing the activity. This is similar in individuals abusing harmful chemicals. Individuals abusing substances have extreme difficulty resisting the urge or temptation to use the drug and may feel pleasure from using the drug. Consequently, he or she may feel shame after completing the activity, and may lie about it or hide it.
Because behavioral addictions impact the part of the brain responsible for rewards, individuals can experience similar effects one would feel if they were abusing a substance. This can translate to troubled relationships, challenges with impulse control, obsessions, distractions, and financial challenges. Treatment methods used for substance abuse can be helpful in treating behavioral addictions. Twelve step groups may be of use, along with anxiety or depression medications if these are at the root of the behavioral addiction. Additional treatment methods like meditation, SMART Recovery strategies, and counseling can potentially benefit those who may struggle with a behavioral addiction.
Why Do I Feel Like Ill Never Be Able To Stop
Substances of abuse deliver an intense sensation that creates a neurochemically driven motivation to repeat the experience again and again. At the same time, the repeated use of a substance that delivers the intense reward of a chemical high weakens the decision-making and impulse-control centers of the brain, making it difficult to resist cravings.
Many drug users have made many promises to themselves to stopand broken them as well, leading them to believe they are incapable of stopping. Users, too, commonly experience negative life effects of addictionwhether to relationships, work, or in other domains, and the painful feelings of self-disappointment and shame trap them in negativity that further erodes hope and finds fast relief in the drug high.
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Behavioral Addiction Vs Substance Addiction
Research suggests that behavioral addiction and substance use addiction work in the brain in similar ways. While they both have some overlapping diagnostic symptoms, such as continued use despite consequences or lack of any benefit, there are also differences. Behavioral addictions differ because they do not produce the same physical signs as drug addiction.
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What Do Drug Cravings Mean
Cravings are intense desires for a substance and motivate the repeated seeking of the substance and its effects. They are typically viewed as a sign of entrenchment of the addiction process. Cravings intrude on thought processes, create considerable distress, and focus attention on immediately satisfying the desire for the substance. Cravings can be seen in brain imaging studies as areas of heightened activity in the reward center of the brain in response to specific environmental signals that have been connected to drug use through experience.
Cravings occur when the brain remembers drug use. They can be set in motion by past memories or current environmental cues relating to substance use and are thought to be a force behind relapse, although they are not a clinically consistent predictor of relapse. Any cue with emotional significance registers on the brain’s amygdala, which then activates the nucleus accumbens and its dopamine neurons. Their activation gives rise to the sense of motivation, experienced as a highly focused urge to seek the substance.
There is no objective measure of the strength of cravings, but they are highly dynamic and fluctuate, varying in intensity and duration in any individual throughout the course of a day. They naturally rise and fall over several minutes, and many treatments for addiction train people in techniques for outsmarting cravings or distracting themselves from drug cravings until they lessen in intensity.