Drugs of Abuse Programs in Jupiter, FL (561) 768-7644
Drugs of abuse are considered to be those that are the most addictive and dangerous, and they are typically the ones that alter mood, inhibit judgment, and cause strong cravings. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 resulted in drug categories called schedules, which are enforced by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Most drugs of abuse are listed as either Schedule I or Schedule II. These drugs of abuse are as addictive as they are dangerous.
- Schedule I drugs are dangerous and highly addictive and have no accepted medical use. These include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
- Schedule II drugs are also dangerous and highly addictive, but they have accepted medical uses which are tightly restricted. Most prescription drugs fall under this category.
If you or someone you care about is currently struggling to control drug and alcohol abuse, please call Drug Treatment Centers Jupiter at (561) 768-7644.
Common Signs of Drug Abuse
While drugs of abuse can often lead to addiction, you can abuse drugs without being physically dependent on them.
Behavioral signs of drug abuse include:
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school.
- Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence.
- Changes in attitude, sudden mood swings, or an onset of hostility, aggression, or paranoia.
- Lack of motivation.
Physical signs of drug abuse include:
- Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils.
- Unexplainable changes in weight.
- Deteriorating physical appearance, including grooming and hygiene neglect.
- The appearance of being high, such as slurred speech, hyperactivity, or problems with coordination.
Common Drugs of Abuse
Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the United States, with about 17 million people abusing or addicted to alcohol. Illegal street drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth are also widely used drugs of abuse, and combined, these three illicit substances account for 39 percent of all drug overdose deaths. Prescription drugs are also very commonly abused. Around 20 percent of the U.S. population above age 12 has used a prescription medication for non-medical purposes, and 45 percent of drug overdose deaths involve prescription medications.
Abusing drugs and alcohol can lead to a physical and psychological addiction to these substances, as well as cause major long-term health problems including heart, liver, kidney damage, and impaired brain function. Social problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse include financial problems, deteriorating relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, and legal troubles.
Alcohol is directly responsible for around 88,000 deaths each year, not including over 10,000 traffic fatalities resulting from driving under the influence of alcohol. Long-term health effects of alcohol abuse include high blood pressure, liver disease, a number of cancers, and learning/memory loss.
Opiates include the illicit drug heroin and prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin. Opiates are highly addictive, and their prolonged use can lead to physical changes in the brain structure and reduced cognitive function as well as major depression and heart damage.
Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are used to treat conditions like ADD and narcolepsy by increasing the production of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine to increase attention, alertness, and energy. Illicit stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine. Over time, stimulant abuse can result in long term health effects like anxiety disorders, heart problems, malnutrition due to extreme weight loss, psychosis, and hostility.
Sedatives are used to treat conditions such as anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia. Commonly abused prescription sedatives include Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax. Sedative abuse can result in chronic paranoia, seizures and organ damage.
How Abusing One Drug May Lead to Others
While the “gateway drug” theory is quite controversial, there is no doubt that for some people, abusing one drug like alcohol or marijuana can lead to the abuse of harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Some of the reasons this may happen include:
- Introduction to harder drugs by other users or a drug dealer.
- Conditions like depression or bipolar and personality disorders that predispose some sufferers to engage in drug-seeking behaviors and to take whatever is available.
- Taking a different drug to alleviate the effects of another, such as using cocaine to perk up during a night of heavy drinking.
- Wanting a different kind of high or a prolonged high once a user develops a tolerance for a particular drug.
Treating Drug Abuse
It’s estimated that only eight percent of the people who need help overcoming drug abuse or addiction actually get the professional help they need. Alcohol and drug treatment centers provide comprehensive substance abuse or addiction treatment that starts with detox, during which traces of the drug are removed from the body and the patient is assessed for underlying issues that contributed to the abuse or addiction. After this process is complete they move on to counseling and various forms of therapies.