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forms of addiction

Addiction intervention and drug intervention are utilized for every form of addiction imaginable. Prescription drug addiction, heroin addiction, alcohol, sexual addictions, gambling addictions and many more. These forms of addiction are related to surges of dopamine in two specific receptor sites of the brain.  Thus meaning most dopamine releasing chemicals or behaviors can become addictions. 

It is a common misconception that some addictions are worse than others.  ALL ADDICTIONS ARE SERIOUS AND DESTRUCTIVE.  The very word addiction describes a disorder which causes severe consequences to the addict and anyone associated with the addict.  The roles of intervention, addiction intervention, addiction treatment, and other forms of support are to stop the progression of addiction.

Myths About Addiction

Myth- "Alcohol and Drug Intervention is no use, the addict has to hit bottom." Truth- Intervention will happen whether physical, legal or worse. Alcohol intervention and drug intervention is the act of raising the bottom and seeking professional help.

Myth- "Addiction/Alcoholism is a choice, they can stop if they want." Truth- in 1956 the American Medical Association ruled alcoholism, later addiction, as medical diseases. Similar to diabetes and cancer. Addiction/Alcoholism are treatable.

Myth- "Prescription drug addiction is not as bad as regular addiction." Truth- prescription drug addiction is the fastest growing form of addiction in the world. This is due to increased availability, the medical fields lack of education about addiction and the public misconceptions about prescription drug addiction.

Myth- "Addiction Treatment doesn't work, look at all the celebrities." Truth- Due to unlimited resources, celebrities face some unique challenges when seeking recovery. There are statistics proving that hundreds of thousands of people with addiction problems have achieved long term abstinence and recovery through addiction treatment and 12-step recovery.

This page holds detailed information about several different addictions. First, here is a list of addictions, all of which we can intervene upon (more detailed information and facts are listed below):

Substance Abuse

  • Alcoholism or Alcohol Addiction

  • Opiate Addiction

    • Heroin Addiction

    • Prescription Drug Addiction

  • Cocaine Addiction and Crack Addiction

  • Amphetamine Addiction

    • Meet Addiction

    • Crank Addiction

  • Club Drugs

    • Ecstasy Addiction

    • Special-K Addiction

    • GHB Addiction

  • Hallucinogens

    • Mushrooms

    • Acid

  • Marijuana Addiction

  • Inhalant Addiction

    • Huffing  

  • Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids

  • Prescription Drug Addiction

  • Teenage Prescription Drug Addiction

Process Addictions

  • Eating Disorders (Bulimia, Anorexia etc.)

  • Food Addiction (Overeating)

  • Sex Addiction

  • Gambling Addiction

  • Co dependency or Control

  • Cults

  • Performance or Work-a holism

  • Shopping and Accumulation

  • Rage/Violence

  • Media Addiction

  • Video game Addiction

  • Internet Addiction

 

Alcohol

Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.

We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.

A number of factors influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain (1), including

  • how much and how often a person drinks;

  • the age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking;

  • the person's age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism;

  • whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and

  • his or her general health status.

This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol–related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol–related disorders and includes a brief look at the high–tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.

Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.

We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.

A number of factors influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain (1), including

  • how much and how often a person drinks;

  • the age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking;

  • the person's age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism;

  • whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and

  • his or her general health status.

This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol–related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol–related disorders and includes a brief look at the high–tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.

Alcohol Intervention

 

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction is often viewed as "less harmful" than addiction to other drugs. However, due to the wide availability these drugs can actually create more problems. Prescription medications such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives are very useful treatment tools, but sometimes people do not take them as directed and may become addicted. Pain relievers make surgery possible, and enable many individuals with chronic pain to lead productive lives. Most people who take prescription medications use them responsibly. However, the inappropriate or non medical use of prescription medications is a serious public health concern. Non medical use of prescription medications like copious, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants can lead to addiction, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use.

Patients, healthcare professionals, and pharmacists all have roles in preventing misuse and prescription drug addiction to medications. For example, when a doctor prescribes a pain relief medication, CNS depressant, or stimulant, the patient should follow the directions for use carefully, learn what effects the medication could have, and determine any potential interactions with other medications. The patient should read all information provided by the pharmacist. Physicians and other healthcare providers should screen for any type of substance abuse during routine history-taking, with questions about which prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines the patient is taking and why. Providers should note any rapid increases in the amount of a medication needed or frequent requests for refills before the quantity prescribed should have been used, as these may be indicators of abuse.

Drug Intervention

 

Methamphetamines

Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant drug that activates certain systems in the brain. It is chemically related to amphetamine but, at comparable doses, the effects of methamphetamine are much more potent, longer lasting, and more harmful to the central nervous system (CNS).

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it has a high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. It can be made in small, illegal laboratories, where its production endangers the people in the labs, neighbors, and the environment. Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names, such as "speed," "meth," and "chalk." Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to as "ice," "crystal," "glass," and "tina."

Methamphetamine is taken orally, intra nasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, or by smoking. Abusers may become addicted quickly, needing higher doses and more often. At this time, the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral and contingency management interventions.

 

Cocaine or Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. The powdered, hydrochloride salt form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. Crack is cocaine that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. This form of cocaine comes in a rock crystal that can be heated and its vapors smoked. The term "crack" refers to the crackling sound heard when it is heated.*

Regardless of how cocaine is used or how frequently, a user can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke, which could result in sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure followed by respiratory arrest.

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that interferes with the reabsorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. The buildup of dopamine causes continuous stimulation of receiving neurons, which is associated with the euphoria commonly reported by cocaine abusers.

Physical effects of cocaine use include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. The duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects, which include hyperstimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental alertness, depends on the route of administration. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the shorter the duration of action. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Increased use can reduce the period of time a user feels high and increases the risk of addiction.

 

 

Marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. A dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, it usually is smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It also is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug. It might also be mixed in food or brewed as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish and, as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor. There are countless street terms for marijuana including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, ganja, and hash, as well as terms derived from trademarked varieties of cannabis, such as Bubble Gum, Northern Lights, Fruity Juice, Afghani #1, and a number of Skunk varieties.

The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC. Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana.

 

 

Heroin

Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, collapsed veins, and, particularly in users who inject the drug, infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

The short-term effects of heroin abuse appear soon after a single dose and disappear in a few hours. After an injection of heroin, the user reports feeling a surge of euphoria ("rush") accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth, and heavy extremities. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes "on the nod," an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Mental functioning becomes clouded due to the depression of the central nervous system. Long-term effects of heroin appear after repeated use for some period of time. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, cellulitis, and liver disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health condition of the abuser, as well as from heroin's depressing effects on respiration.

Heroin abuse during pregnancy and its many associated environmental factors (e.g., lack of prenatal care) have been associated with adverse consequences including low birth weight, an important risk factor for later developmental delay.

In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin may have additives that do not readily dissolve and result in clogging the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. This can cause infection or even death of small patches of cells in vital organs.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network* reports that eight percent of drug-related emergency department (ED) visits in the third and fourth quarters of 2003 involved heroin abuse. Unspecified opiates—which could include heroin—were involved in an additional 4 percent of drug-related visits.

 

 

Club Drugs

MDMA (ecstasy), Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine are among the drugs used by teens and young adults who are part of a nightclub, bar, rave, or trance scene. Raves and trance events are generally night-long dances, often held in warehouses. Many who attend raves and trances do not use club drugs, but those who do may be attracted to their generally low cost, and to the intoxicating highs that are said to deepen the rave or trance experience.

For the third and fourth quarters of 2003, hospital emergency department mentions were estimated at 2,221 for MDMA use, 990 for GHB, and 73 for ketamine.*

MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Street names for MDMA include "ecstasy," "XTC," and "hug drug." In high doses, MDMA can interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature. On rare but unpredictable occasions, this can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure, and death. Because MDMA can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown within the body), potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug use within short intervals.

Research in animals links MDMA exposure to long-term damage to serotonin neurons. A study in nonhuman primates showed that exposure to MDMA for only 4 days caused damage of serotonin nerve terminals that was evident 6 to 7 years later. While similar neurotoxicity has not been definitively shown in humans, the wealth of animal research indicating MDMA's damaging properties suggests that MDMA is not a safe drug for human consumption.

According to the Monitoring the Future** (MTF) survey, NIDA's annual survey of drug use and associated attitudes among the Nation's 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders, 12th-graders reported significant declines in lifetime*** MDMA use and perceived availability of the drug in 2005. Perceived harmfulness in occasional MDMA use declined significantly among 8th-graders, from 65.1 percent in 2004 to 60.8 percent in 2005.

Another national survey, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health,**** reported 450,000 current ecstasy users in 2004, which is similar to the number reported in 2003. Past year ecstasy use declined from 3.7 percent in 2003 to 3.1 percent in 2004 among young adults aged 18 to 25. Approximately 607,000 Americans used ecstasy for the first time in 2004. The majority of these new users were 18 or older, and the average age was 19.5 years.

GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol

GHB and Rohypnol are predominantly central nervous system depressants. Because they are often colorless, tasteless, and odorless, they can be added to beverages and ingested unknowingly.

These drugs emerged several years ago as "date rape" drugs.***** Because of concern about their abuse, Congress passed the "Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996" in October 1996. This legislation increased Federal penalties for use of any controlled substance to aid in sexual assault.

GHB
Since about 1990, GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) has been used in the U.S. for its euphoric, sedative, and anabolic (body building) effects. It is a central nervous system depressant that was widely available over-the-counter in health food stores during the 1980s and until 1992. It was purchased largely by body builders to aid in fat reduction and muscle building. Street names include "liquid ecstasy," "soap," "easy lay," "vita-G," and "Georgia home boy."

Coma and seizures can occur following use of GHB. Combining use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and breathing difficulties. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. GHB and two of its precursors, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4 butanediol (BD), have been involved in poisonings, overdoses, date rapes, and deaths.

Ketamine
Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been approved for both human and animal use in medical settings since 1970; about 90 percent of the ketamine legally sold is intended for veterinary use. It can be injected or snorted. Ketamine is also known as "special K" or "vitamin K."

Certain doses of ketamine can cause dream-like states and hallucinations. In high doses, ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.

Rohypnol
Rohypnol, a trade name for flunitrazepam, belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. When mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. It can produce "anterograde amnesia," which means individuals may not remember events they experienced while under the effects of the drug. Also, Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants.

Rohypnol is not approved for use in the United States, and its importation is banned. Illicit use of Rohypnol started appearing in the United States in the early 1990s, where it became known as "rophies," "roofies," "roach," and "rope."

Abuse of two other similar drugs appears to have replaced Rohypnol abuse in some regions of the country. These are clonazepam, marketed in the U.S. as Klonopin and in Mexico as Rivotril, and alprazolam, marketed as Xanax.

 

 

Steroids

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are man-made substances related to male sex hormones. “Anabolic” refers to muscle-building, and “androgenic” refers to increased masculine characteristics. “Steroids” refers to the class of drugs. These drugs are available legally only by prescription, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence. They are also prescribed to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. Abuse of anabolic steroids, however, can lead to serious health problems, some irreversible.

Today, athletes and others abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance and also to improve physical appearance. Anabolic steroids are taken orally or injected, typically in cycles of weeks or months (referred to as “cycling”), rather than continuously. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, users often combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects (referred to as “stacking”).

All research and information provided by NIDA and NIAAA

Teenage Prescription Drug Addiction

    Today teenagers are not using as much cocaine, crack, LSD, and ecstasy as the teens of the past. Today's teens are finding other ways and means to get high; painkillers and other prescription drugs are being abused at record levels. This up coming generation of teens has been given the name “Generation Rx.”
    Teens are often getting caught raiding their parent's or grandparent's medicine cabinets in order to get high. It is not uncommon for teens to create random mixtures of pills for parties known as "Pharm Parties". Teenage prescription drug addiction is taking America and many other parts of the world by storm. For the first time, studies show that today's teens are more likely to have abused a prescription painkiller than any illicit drug.
    Teenagers may get involved with prescription drug addiction in various ways. The experimental stage can be very dangerous, because kids often don't see the link between their actions today the consequences of their actions tomorrow.
    Most teens have a tendency to feel indestructible and immune to the problems that others experience. Some teens will experiment and stop, while others may continue to use occasionally without any significant problem. Then there are those who develop a dependency; these are the ones that need immediate intervention and help learning to make better decisions.
    It is impossible to predict which teens will experiment and stop and which ones will develop serious problems. Know what your teen is doing and who they are doing it with. The following are some warning signs of teenagers at risk for developing serious teenage prescription drug addiction problems:
•    A family history of substance or alcohol abuse
•    Depression
•    Low self-esteem
•    Feel like they don't fit in and are not popular with the mainstream
•    Frequently feel sluggish and have difficulty sleeping
•    Aggressive and rebellious attitude toward authority figures
   

Prescription drug addiction is increasing; the main reason is that they are so easily accessible. If your child has one or more of the above behaviors, seek help from a professional.
    Some things that you can share with your teen about prescription medications are:
•    pharmaceuticals taken without a prescription or a doctor's supervision can be just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs or alcohol
•    Abusing painkillers is like abusing heroin because their ingredients are similar (both are opiates).
•    Prescription medications are powerful substances. Medications help sick people and are administered by a doctor. When prescription medication is not used for sickness and not administered by a professional, it becomes a controlled substance and the impact on the person can be deadly.
•    Many pills look the same and teenagers may get them mixed up. This can cause different reactions in different people due to the body's chemistry. It is extremely dangerous to take pills that are unknown.
•    Mixing drugs with other substances is very dangerous. Some people have allergic reactions to different chemicals when they are mixed together.
What can you do to help prevent teens or any other person from getting involved with prescription drug abuse? The best thing to do is keep your prescription drugs in a safe place: don't put them in the medicine cabinet in your bathroom because that is the first place teenager's will look. If possible, lock them up in a cabinet or safe box. Talk to your teen and warn them of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

References:
Generation Rx? Teens abusing prescriptions .MSNBC.com. Report: More youth getting high on painkillers than on illegal drugs the associated press April 21, 2005.
Drugs and Teens Substance Abuse.
The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI).