Addiction can occur in many different forms, each devastating in its own way. Any type of addiction can be severe enough that it requires professional help. The Discovery House helps individuals overcome addiction and get their lives back on track.
Simply defined, an addiction means that a person compulsively seeks and uses alcohol or drugs, despite the damaging and dangerous consequences. Changes in the brain can occur because of drug and alcohol use, and these changes can be long-lasting or permanent. The sooner an addict gets help, the more completely they can recover.
There are differences in the effects, symptoms of abuse, and symptoms of withdrawal for the various types of addiction to specific drugs or alcohol.
Alcoholism and alcohol dependence are two facets of an addiction to alcohol. Being able to recognize the signs of an alcoholic and the symptoms of someone with alcohol dependence is important.
Early recognition and treatment may mean the difference between problematic abuse of alcohol and full-blown alcoholism. Many people feel something might be wrong, but don’t always know the signs and symptoms of alcoholism, and help may be delayed.
Treatment for alcoholism is initially focused on getting the drug out a person’s body, and then using various therapies to change how a person copes and reacts to stress. Long-term sobriety is the goal.
Prescription drugs can cause various types of addictions. They can be addictions to stimulant drugs, depressants, or pain killers.
In addition to legally prescribed opiates (such as morphine, codeine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, and hydrocodone), other types of legal medications prescribed by a physician can be addictive. Some of these include drugs used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), anxiety, and insomnia.
Illegal and Non-Prescription Opiates
Opiates are strong pain control drugs that are derived from the poppy plant. Some are natural opiates (such as morphine and codeine), while others are synthetic (man-made). The synthetic drugs are called opioids and include hydromorphone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, methadone, and heroin.
Legal opiates are prescribed by a medical doctor. All opiates, except heroin, have a legitimate medical use. Opiates are often abused and are highly addictive.
Other illegal and highly abused non-opiates are crack cocaine and crystal meth, PCP, and mescaline.
Ketamine and cocaine are used for medical procedures but are not prescribed for general use by the public.
Crystal Meth Addiction
Crystal meth is one of the most addictive forms of illegal stimulants, and drug use in this form can begin at an early age. In 2012, nearly 5% of US high school students reported using methamphetamines (stimulants) at least once.
Other types of methamphetamines include cocaine and amphetamine. These have medical uses, and can be prescribed or used for medically managed procedures and problems.
Crystal meth causes severe brain and body addiction. Many meth users say the effects were so intense and immediate, that they were hooked from the first time they used this powerfully addictive drug.
Intensive and long-term treatment for meth addiction is necessary in order to avoid relapse.
Hallucinogens are drugs that change the way nerve cells and nerve transmitters react in the brain. Depending on the drug being used, a user may have abrupt mood swings, delusions, behavior changes, and may see, hear, or feel things that aren’t real.
LSD and PCP are hallucinogens originally developed in research laboratories for medical purposes, but became widely abused drugs due to the sensations that people experience when using them.
Hallucinogens occur naturally in nature in mushrooms (psilocybin) and in parts of the peyote cactus (mescaline). Mushrooms and peyote can interfere with social and work behaviors when abused.