Prescription drugs that are abused or used for non-medical reasons can alter brain activity and lead to dependence. Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids, often prescribed to treat pain. Central nervous system depressants, often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders and stimulants, prescribed to treat narcolepsy ADHD, andobesity. Streat names- Commonly used opioids include oxycodone,oxycontin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone- Dilaudid common central nervous system depressants include barbiturates and benzodiazepines such as diazepam (valium) andalprazolam (xanax) Effects- Long-term use of opiods or central nervous systems depressants can lead to physical dependence and addiction.Taken in high doses, stimulants can lead to compulisive use, paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, and irregular heartbeat. Affects of opiates- Among the compounds that fall within this class. Sometimes reffered to as narcotics are morphine is often used before or after surgery to alleviate serve pain. Codeine is used for milder pain, other opioids include oxycodone, oxycontin an oral, controlled release form of the drug. In addition to their effective pain relieving, some of these medications can be used to relieve severe diarrhea or severe cough. Opioids act by attaching to specific proteins called opiods receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When these compounds attach to certain receptors in the brain and spinal cord, they can effectively change the way a person experiences pain. In addition, opioid medications can affect regions of the brain that mediate what we perceive as pleasure, resulting in the inital euphoria that many opiods produce. They can also producedrowiness, cause constipation, and depending upon the amount taken, depress breathing. Taking a large single dose could cause severe respiratory depression or death. Opioids may interact with other medications and are only safe to use with other medications under a physician’s supervision. Typically they should not be used with substances such as alcohol, antihistamines, barbiturates. Since these substances slow breathing their combined effects could lead to life threatening respiratory depression. Longterm use can lead to physical dependence the body adapts to the presence of the substance and withdrawl symptons occur if use is reduced abruptly. This can also include tolerance, which means must be taken to obtain the same inital effects. Note that physical dependence is not the same as addiction. Physical dependence can occur even with appropriate long term use of opioid and other medication. Addiction is defined as compulsive often uncontrollable drug use in spite of negative consequencs. Individuals taking prescribid opioid medications should not only be given these medications under appropriate medical supervision, but also should be medically supervised when stopping use in order to reduce or avoid withdrawl systems. Symptoms of withdrawl can include restlessnes, muscle, and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps. Cold turkey is not recomended. Individuals who become addicted to prescription medications can be treated. Options for effectively treating addiction to prscription opioids are drawn from research on treating herion addictions, some pharmacological examples of treatments follow.
1) Methadone- A synthetic opioid that blocks the effects of herion and other opioids, eliminates withdrawl sysptoms and relieves craving. It has been used for over 30years to treat addiction of opioids.
2) Buprenorphine- Another synthetic opioid is a recent addition to the arsenal of medications for treating addiction to opiates and herion.
3)Naltrexone- Is a long acting opioid blocker often used with highly motivated people in treatment, also helps with relapse.
4)Naloxone- Counteracts the effects of opioids and is used to treat overdoses. 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. Patients, healthcare professionals, and pharmacists all have roles in preventing misuse and addiction to prescription medications. For example when a doctor prescribes a pain medication, the patient should follow the directions for use carefully learn the medication. Providers should note any rapid increase in the amount of a medication needed or frequent request for refill before the quanity prescribed should have been used, as these may be indicators of abuse.
1) Opioids- Often prescribed to treat pain
2) CNS Depressants- Used to treat anixity
3) Stimulants- Prescribed to treat attention deficit. Opioids are commonly prescribed because of their effective pain relieving. Studies have shown when properly managed is safe and rarely causes addiction.
LSD-lysergic acid diethylamide One of the strongest mood-changing drugs. It is sold as tablets, capsules, liquid, or on absorbant paper.
STREET NAMES- Acid, blotler, and many others.
EFFECTS- Unpredictable psychological effects. With large enough doses, users experience delusions and visual hallucinations. Ohysical effects include increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, sleeplessness and loss of appetite. LSD is one of the majordrugs making up the hallucinogen class. LSD was discovered in 1938 and is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. LSD, commonly referred to as acid is sold on the street in tablets, capsules, and occasionally, liquid form. It is oderless, colorless, and has a slightly bitter taste and is usually taken by mouth. Often LSD is added to absorbent paper, such as blotter paper, and divided into small decorated squares with each square representing one dose. The DEA reports that the strength of LSD samples obtained currently from illicit sources ranges from 20 to 80 micrograms of LSD per dose. This is considerably less than the levels reported during the 60’s and 70’s, when the dosages ranged from 100-200 micrograms or higher per unit. The effects of LSD are unpredictable they depend on the amount taken the user’s personality, mood and expectations and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects includes dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleepness, dry mouth, and tremors.
Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than physical signs. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in a large enough dose, the drug produces delusions and visual halucinations users refer to their experience with LSD as a TRIP and to acute adverse reactions as a bad TRIP. These experience are long, typically they begin to clear afer about 12 hours. Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop it’s use overtime. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior, as do cocaine, amphetamine, herion, alcohol, and nicotine. However like many of the addictive drugs LSD produces tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the anpredictabilty of the drug.
INHALANTS- Breathable chemical vapors that users intentionally inhale because of the chemicals mind altering effects. The substances inhaled are often common household products that contain vioatile solvents or aerosols.
STREET NAMES- Whippets, poppers, snappers.
EFFECTS- Most inhalents produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication. It sufficient amounts are inhaled, nearly all solvents and gases produce anesthesia, a loss of sensation, and even unconsciousness. Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce psychoactive common in the home and in the workplace contain substances that can be inhaled. Many people do not think of these products, such as spray paints, glues, and cleaning fluids as drugs because they were never meant to be used to achieve an intoxicating effect. Yet, young children and adolescents can easily obtain them and are among those most likely to abuse these extremely toxic substances. Parents should store household products carefully to prevent accidental inhalation by very young children.
1) Solvents- Industrial or household solvents or solvent containing products, including paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, and glue. Art or office supply solvents, including correction fluid, and electronic contact cleaners.
2) Gases- Gases used in hosehold or commercial products, including butane lighters and propane tanks, whipped cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets) and refrigerant gases. Household aerosol propellants and associated solvents in items such as spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, fabric protector sprays, and aerosol computer cleaning products. Medical anesthetic gases such as either chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
NITRITES- Organic nitrites are volatiles that include cyclohexyl, butyl, and amyl nitrites are often sold in small brown bottles and labeled as video head cleaner, room odorizer leather cleaner or liquid aroma.
HEALTH RISK- Nearly all abused inhalants produce short term affects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body’s functions. When inhaled in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxication, usually lasting only a few minutes. Sometimes users extend this effect for several hours by breathing in inhalants repeatedly, Initally users may feel slightly stimulated.Repeated inhalations make them feel less inhibited and less in control. If use continues, users can lose consciousness sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death within minutes of a session of repeated inhalations. This syndrome known as sudden sniffing death can result from a single session of inhalants use by an otherwise healthy young person. Sudden sniffing death is particulary associated with the abuse of butane, propane, and chemicals in aerosols. High concentradions of inhalants also can cause death from suffocation by displacing oxygen in the lungs and then on the central nervous system so that breathing ceases. Deliberately inhaling from a paper or plastic bag or in a closed area greatly increases the chance of suffocation. Even when using aerosols or volatile products for their legitimate purposes (painting, cleaning) it is wise to do so in a well-ventilated room or outdoors. 1Chronic abuse of solvents can cause severe long-term damage to the brain, the liver, and the kidneys.
2) Harmful irreversible effects that may be caused by abuse of specific solvents include hearing loss-toluene spray paints, glues dewaxers and trichloroethylene ( dry cleaning chemicals, correction fluids)
3) Peripheral neuropathies, or limb spasms hexane (glues, gasoline) and nitrous oxide whipped cream dispensers, gas cylinders.
4) Central nervous system or brain damage toluene (spray paints, glue dewaxers)
5) Bone Marrow Damage- Benzene (gasoline) serious but potentially reversibleeffects include liver and kidney damage- toluene containing substances and chlorinated hydrocarbons ( correction fluids, dry cleaning fluids)
6) Blood Oxygen Depletion- Aliphatic nitrites (known on the street as pappers, bold, and rush) and methylene chloride (varnish removers, paint thinners) Inital use of inhalants often starts early. Some young people may use inhalants as an easily accessible substitate for alcohol. Research suggest that chronic or long-term inhalants abusers are among the most difficult drug abuse patients to treat. Many suffer from cognitive impairment and other neurological dysfunction and may experience multiple psychological and social problems.
METHAMPHETIMINE An addictive stimulants that is closely related to amphetamine, but has longer lasting and more toxic effects on the central nervous system. It has high potential for abuse and addiction.
STREET NAMES- Speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal, T, tina, glass
EFFECTS- Increases wakefulness and physical activity and decreases appetite, chronic long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations, and stroke. Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Meth is chemically related to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of meth are greater. Both drugs have some limited therapeutic uses primarily in the treatment of obesity. Methamphetamine is made in illegal laboratories and has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Street meth 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.
HEALTH RISK Methamphetamine releases high level of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. It also appears to have a neurotoxic effect damaging brain cells that contain dopamine as well as serotonin, another neurotransmitter, overtime, meth appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, which can result in symptoms like those of parkinson’s disease, a severe movement disorder. Methamphetamine is taken orally or intranasally ( snorting the powder) by intravenous injection, and by smoking. Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the meth user experiences an intense sensation, called a rush or flash, that last only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Oral or intranasel use produces euphoria a high, but not a rush, users may become addicted quickly, and use it with increasing frequency and in increasing doses. The central nervous system CNS actions that results from taking even small amounts of meth include increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, hyperthermia, and euphoria. Other CNS effects include irritability, contusion, aggressiveness. Hyperthermia can result in death. Methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and cancause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes, other effects of meth include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, and extreme anorexia. It’s use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death. Results reported at the most recent CEWG meetings indicate that meth abuse and production continue at high levels in Hawaii, west coast areas, and some southwestern areas of the united states but meth abuse also is continuing to spread eastward some MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine users are switching to meth, ignorant of it’s severe toxicity. In many gay clubs found throughout new york city and elsewhere, methamphetamine is often used in an injectable form, placing users and their partners at risk for transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, and other STD’s
ALCOHOL USE- With the respect to alcohol use, the youngest respondents adolescents ages 12 to 17 already showed a relatively high prevalence of recent use. Thus 45% to 55% of these adolescents had consumed alcohol at least once during the past year. The prevalence of alcohol use was highest amoung young adults ages 25 to 34 of whom approximately 80% had used alcohol during the past year. Among respondents age 35 and older the prevalence of alcohol use generally declined in a linear fashion with increasing age. In one of the 3 survey years, however an intriguing increase in alcohol consumption was noted in men ages 55 to approximately 70. Although some statistical instability, the variation may merit a more detailed investigation to assess it’s potential association with retirement or bereavement. Overall however, alcohol use prevalance among the oldest respondents was similar to that oberved during late adolescence. ALCOHOL USE MAY INFLUENCE TOBACCO USE AND VICE VERSA, NOT ONLY IN THE INDIVIDUAL BUT ALSO WITHIN A COMMUNITY!
TOBACCO USE- The similarly estimated the prevalence of recent tobacco smoking in various age groups of the population. These estimates show a pattern similar to that noted for recent alcohol consumption thus, prevalence rates were lowest among young adolescents approximately 10% among 12 year olds but increased sharply during the adolescent and young adult years, reaching peak values. Approximately 45% to 50% among young adults. Subsequently a generally linear occurred among respondents from approximately age 30 to the oldest age groups. As a result, the survey respondents were just as likely as teenagers were to have smoked tobacco in the past year. Only moderate differences in smoking prevalence existed between male and female survey respondents. The patterns of age-specific prevalence rates also generally were congruent for both genders.
Anabolic Androgenic Steroids & Steriod Abuse Treatment- Human made substance related to sex hormones. Some athlets abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance. Abuse of anabolic steriods can lead to serious health Problems, Some of which are irreversible.
Effects- Major side effects can include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure, kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling. In males, side effects may include shrinking of the testicles and breast development. In females side effects may include facial hair, menstrual changes, and deepened voice. In teenagers, growth may be halted prematurely and permanently.
Anabolic- Androgenic steroids are man made substances related to male sex hormones. Anabolic refers to muscle-building and androgenic refers to increased mascutine characteristics,steroids refer 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 prescriped 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. Todays athlets and others abuse anabolic steriods 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 negative effects.(referred to as stacking)
The major side effects from abusing anabolic steriods can include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of skin, tissues, and body fluids) fluid retention, high blood pressure, increases in LDL (bad cholesterol), and decreases in HDL (good cholesterol) other side effects include kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling. In addition, there are some gender- specific side effects:
1) FOR MEN- Shrinking of the testicles, reducd sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breast, increased risk for prostate cancer.
3) FOR ADOLESCENTS- Growth halted prematurely through premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty chnges. This means that adolescents risk remaining short for the remainder of their lives if they take anabolic steroids before the typical adolescent growth spurt. In addition, people who injct anabolic steriods run the added risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis, which causes serious damage to the liver scientific side effects may result from abuse of anabolic steroids. Many users report feeling good about themselves while on anabolic steriods, but researches report that extreme mood swings also can occur, including manic like symptoms leading to iolence. Depression often is seen when the drugs are stopped and may contribute to dependence on anabolic steriods. Researchers report also that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irrtabilty, delusions, and impaired judgement stemming from feelings of invincibility. Research also indicates that some users might turn to other drugs to alleviate some negative effects of anabolic steroids. For example, a study of 227 men admitted to a private treatment center for dependence on herion or other opiods found that 9.3% had abused anabolic steroids before trying any other illicit drug of these 9.3% 86% first used opioids to counteract insomnia and irritability resulting from the anabolic steroids.