The term “addiction” is directly related to the concept of “drug” (from Greek – numbing, stupor). For the first time, the term “drug” was applied to morphine-like alkaloids, opium derivatives, and their synthetic analogs. Currently, the term “drug” is a psychoactive substance that is listed as prohibited for public use.
According to the description of the World Health Organization “addiction” is a condition related to mental disorders, against the background of a strong desire to take psychoactive substances (including medications) from among those prohibited for free use, leading to systematic use, with harmful effects on the body and pronounced long-term consequences. The abuse of drugs other than those listed as “prohibited” is called inhalant abuse.
Narcotic substances are classified as follows:
- Opioids (opium, heroin, morphine): cause an anesthetic and relaxing effect, euphoria. It develops fast addiction, persistent physical and mental craving. An overdose is accompanied by severe consequences, the most severe is a dysfunction of the respiratory center, asphyxia, and death.
- Psychostimulants (caffeine, amphetamine, cocaine): briefly increase brain activity and physical endurance, against the background of severe euphoria. Develop extremely fast psychic addiction. An overdose causes an increase in blood pressure, contributing to the development of irreversible disorders in the brain – accompanied by disability/death.
- Cannabinoids (anasha, marijuana, hashish): against the background of general relaxation, a sense of relaxation, accompanied by general lightness, the perception of reality, partial or complete amnesia. It is accompanied by severe mental dependence. It does not lead to a fatal overdose but causes apathy, spatial disorientation, the fear of the environment; a more dangerous condition forms, such as cannabinoid psychosis, and later on – personality degradation.
- Alcohol (regardless of the % of alcohol content): disinhibits in a small amount, and an increase in drinking leads to inhibition of higher nervous activity, violates gait and speech. First, mental craving for a “glass” of drink, and then physical craving develops. Reducing the intervals of sobriety causes multiple organ failure, disruption in the functioning of organs and systems of the body, which leads to its death.
- Nicotine-containing (cigarettes, hookah): a commonly available and legalized drug, mainly affecting the nerve cells of the body, with a predominant effect on brain neurons. Extremely toxic (more harm in combination with impurities in the inhaled smoke); have caused no officially recorded deaths.
- Tranquilizers (prescription medicines): the effect is similar to alcohol but accompanied by severe drowsiness; the coma-like state is possible. An uncontrolled, independent increase in the dosage of the drug can lead to a disruption in the interrelated functioning of the brain, as a result of death.
- Barbiturates (cyclobarbital, phenobarbital): a physical addiction is formed extremely quickly, with a pronounced mental addiction. It leads to disruption of biological cycles, fear of staying in society, agoraphobia. Overdose can cause depression of the respiratory center; death often occurs during sleep.
- Benzodiazepines (Diazepam, Zolpidem, Dormicum) – quickly develops mental addiction. The effect on the body and its outcome is similar to barbiturates.
- Hallucinogens (classified into three main subgroups):
- Psychedelics (mescaline, salts, LSD): change thinking and perception, the behavior is accompanied by delirium and hallucinatory visions. Death caused by the use is extremely rare, often death occurs due to injuries against the background of disorientation, behavioral changes and disturbed spatial reality (road traffic accidents, drowning, falls, etc.);
- Deliriants (atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine): characterized by the development of spatial disorientation, accompanied by frequent amnesia, the development of acute psychoses with hallucinations and verbal delirium. Overdoses – rarely, death predominantly occurs from accidents;
- Dissociative substances (phencyclidine, ketamine, GHB): the separation of mental functions from physical perceptions, a violation of body control, immersion in the illusion of another world are characteristic. It causes persistent mental addiction, accompanied by the formation of “own reality”. Overdoses are extremely rare, death occurs in people who use other hallucinogens.
Considering the harmful effects of psychoactive substances on our body, that small line is smoothed out – between the healing medicine and the terrible poison. Their controlled administration leads to high results in the treatment of various serious diseases but if exceeding the dose and frequency of administration, a strong dependence is formed accompanied by “unbridled attraction”, leading to the destruction of the body and mind. Even the most effective medicine can turn into a “terrible drug”.
Consequences of drug use. Severe dysfunction of the body, and more serious problems:
- Effect on the psyche (intoxicating, illusions, hallucinations);
- The inevitability of an overdose (a constant increase in dose to achieve the state of affect);
- Toxicity of the substance itself (cirrhosis, sclerosis, multiple organ disorders);
- Effect of the method of application (phlegmon, thrombosis, septic conditions);
- Destruction of the psyche (amnesia, dementia, dementia);
- Impaired self-preservation instinct (injury, falling from a height – a feeling of ability to fly);
- The above is only a small part of the described disorders and changes.
Almost every person can become a drug addict – life is unpredictable… a person who becomes a drug addict will soon become a curse and a burden for his family and loved ones, endangering himself and others… sooner or later, he will pass through all stages of degradation to the collapse of the individual, and further…
Best regards, the MedicoMente team!