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Drug Addiction Information and Resources in Malibu

List of Top Addictive Substances

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Description: An alcoholic drink is a beverage containing ethanol, a type of alcohol generated through grain fermentation, fruit fermentation, or other sugar sources.

Effects: Alcohol can affect your body both inside and out. The impacts of alcohol on the brain can be rapidly felt. Not only can drinking trigger temporary problems like memory loss and coordination, but it can also lead to sometimes irreversible long-term side effects.

Common side effects include:

  • Slowed Breathing
  • Extreme Shifts in Mood
  • Memory Lapses
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Vision Impairment
  • Slurred Speech

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Information: An estimated 88,0000 individuals (around 62,000 males and 26,000 females) die annually from alcohol-related causes, making alcohol the United States’ third major preventable cause of death.

Cannabis Abuse and Addiction

Description: Cannabis is a drug derived from crops of Indian hemp such as Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary active substance in cannabis.

Effects: Cannabis plant chemical compounds, including 400 distinct cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol, enable its drug to have distinct psychological and physiological impacts on the human body. When individuals start to use marijuana as adolescents, the drug may impair functions of thinking, memory, and learning and influence how the brain develops. Researchers are still studying how long the impacts of marijuana last and whether there may be permanent changes.

The impacts of THC may differ depending on who you are, the strain’s potency, whether you smoke or consume it, among other factors.

Common side effects include:

  • Give you a relaxed feeling of wellbeing
  • Increase of heart rate
  • Cause a loss in sense of time
  • Increase anxiety, sense of fear and panic
  • Cause hallucinations
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Problems with child development

Cannabis Abuse and Addiction Information: Currently around 24 million individuals use marijuana, making it America’s most common illicit drug. Nearly 4 million individuals were addicted to marijuana in 2016 or encountered major issues related to marijuana.

Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Description: Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone (OxyContin ®), hydrocodone (Vicodin ®), codeine, morphine, and many more. All opioids are chemically linked and communicate with the nerve cells of the body and brain through opioid receptors. Opioid pain relievers are usually beneficial when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but since they generate euphoria in relation to pain relief, they can be misused (taken differently or in a greater amount than prescribed, or taken without prescription from a physician).

Regular use — even as prescribed by a doctor — can lead to dependence, and opioid pain relievers can lead to addiction, incidents of overdose, and death if misused. To become addicted to opioids is very easy. Naturally, our bodies release endorphins for pleasure and pain relief. Opioids in the brain and nervous system produce artificial “endorphins.” The body gradually stops producing its own endorphins after a few days using opioids and ultimately, the same dose of opioids stops producing pleasant emotions and pain relief.

Effects: Opioids active and bind to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs, particularly those involved in pain and pleasure. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body. The euphoria felt from this release, can strongly promote the user’s desire to repeat the experience.

Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Physical Dependence

Opioid Abuse and Addiction Information:

  • Over 80% of the world’s prescribed opioids are used by Americans. The CDC estimates that US prescription opioid misuse’s “financial burden” is $78.5 billion a year, including health care expenses, loss of productivity, treatment of addiction, and criminal justice involvement. After three days, the risk of chronic opioid use increases.
  • With each additional day of medication beginning with the third day, the risk of chronic opioid use increases with the sharpest increase after the fifth and 31st day of therapy and a second prescription or refill.
  • Overdoses of opioids have risen to 70% over the last 2 years.

Benzodiazepine Abuse and Addiction

Description: Benzodiazepines sometimes referred to as “benzos,” are a class of psychoactive drugs whose key chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring, less formally known as a tranquilizer. Benzodiazepines are a class of medications mainly used to treat anxiety, but they are also efficient in treating a number of other disorders. Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include: alprazolam (Xanax®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), chlordiazepoxide (Librium®)

Effects: All benzodiazepines can be physically dependent. Suddenly stopping treatment may be connected with withdrawal symptoms after a few months of regular treatment, which include a sense of loss of self-worth, agitation, and insomnia. If benzodiazepines are regularly taken for more than a few months, suddenly stopping treatment may result in seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and sweating. To prevent symptoms of withdrawal, the dose of benzodiazepines should be slowly reduced.

Common side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech, stuttering
  • Respiratory depression
  • Drowsiness, lethargy, fatigue
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Depression
  • Altered Vision
  • Vertigo
  • Tremors
  • Nausea, constipation, dry mouth, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite

Benzodiazepine Abuse and Addiction Information:

  • For therapeutic purposes, most individuals have been prescribed these medications for various mental illnesses, however, this eventually leads to abuse.
  • 4 of the top 100 prescribed medications include Ativan®, Xanax®, Klonopin®, and Valium®.
  •  55% of Benzodiazepine treatment admissions are from individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
  • Another drug is the primary substance of abuse in approximately 82 percent of benzo-related treatment admissions. Benzodiazepines are often secondary to opiates, alcohol, and marijuana.
  • In the United States, Benzodiazepines alone accounted for an estimated 8,000 fatalities in 2014.

Stimulant Abuse and Addiction

Description: Stimulants are an overarching phrase that includes many drugs including those that boost the central nervous system and body activity, pleasurable and vigorous drugs, or have sympathomimetic effects. Stimulants are helpful in treating various medical conditions such as ADHD, narcolepsy, asthma, obesity, and depression.

Stimulant abuse may occur through a variety of techniques: oral ingestion, insufflation, smoking, or even dissolving and injecting, depending on the type. In addition to the onset and severity of impacts, the path of administration will determine the medical hazards, including the danger of developing an addiction. Examples of different stimulants include cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine salts (Adderall®), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®), methylphenidate (Ritalin® or Concerta®).

Effects: Stimulant effects can range from short-term energy boosts to long-term alterations in the brain and/or injury to the organ system. In extreme cases, the harm may be long-lasting, but any quantity of stimulant abuse may lead to issues with psychosis, rage, paranoia, heart, nerve, and belly, including overdose.

Common side effects include:

  • Improved attention
  • Increased energy/social ability and self-esteem
  • Intense feelings of happiness
  • Increased breathing
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Increase of blood pressure and heart rate
  • Decreased blood flow

Stimulant Abuse and Addiction Information:

  • The number of emergency department visits involving legal stimulants more than quadrupled in the past five years.
  • More than 360,000 people received treatment for a stimulant addiction in the past 2016.
  • In recent years, the number of individuals reporting non-medical stimulant use, including meth, has been greater than ever before.
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