America's Addiction

Drugs in America Today

What is an addiction?

Today in America addiction is mostly known to be a brain disease that affects someone’s actions, and the way one thinks. Much research on drug addictions in America has shown the drugs used in everyday lives and the outcome of what happens when one becomes an addict.

It doesn’t take much to become an addict to any drug; once the drug is in your system, your body will crave it even more.

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Affects of Drugs

Drugs have different chemicals and depending on what drugs you're on, your body will react differently. Some drugs can change a person's body and mind, in ways that can last longer than the drug high, sometimes it will last a lifetime.

While injecting drugs, the drug goes directly into the blood system giving more immediate effects; while ingestion the drugs passes through the digestive system.

Most abused drugs directly or indirectly target the brain's reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. When drugs enter the brain, they can actually change how the brain performs its jobs. These changes are what lead to compulsive drug use, the hallmark of addiction.

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Health Affects

Weaker immune system, increase in infections within the body.

Causes heart problems (heart attack, stroke, etc.) Also leads to collapsed veins and infections of blood vessels.

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. Liver works harder, causing liver failure or damage to the liver. Problems with seizures, brain damage that can affect memory loss, decision making, sustained mental confusion, and permanent brain damage.

Behavorial Problems

  • Paranoia

  • Addiction

  • Aggressiveness

  • Hallucinations

  • Impaired Judgement

  • Impulsiveness

  • Loss of Self Control

Types of Drugs

  • Alcohol
  • Cough Medicine
  • Ecstasy
  • Inhalants
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Rohypnol
  • Amphetamine
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Addictive Drugs

  • Heroin - can be addictive after one use, easy tolerated, body will come to want more and more results end up in overdose.

  • K2/Spice - variety of herbal mixes, experiences similar to marijuana, mostly used by teens in high school.

  • Prescription Pills

    • Opioids are usually prescribed for pain relief. Commonly prescribed opioids include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin), morphine, fentanyl, and codeine. In the United States, more people now die from opioid painkiller overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined.

    • Stimulants: Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, and Metadate) and amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine) are stimulants commonly prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    • Depressants are usually prescribed to promote sleep or to reduce anxiety. As measured by national surveys, depressants are often categorized as sedatives or tranquilizers. Sedatives primarily include barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbitol) but also include sleep medications such as Ambien and Lunesta. Tranquilizers primarily include benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax, but also include muscle relaxants and other anti-anxiety medications.

Syrup,” “Purple Drank,” “Sizzurp,” or “Lean”describes soda mixed with prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine—these cough syrups are available by prescription only. Users may also flavor the mixture with hard candies. Drinking this combination has become increasingly popular among some celebrities and youth in several areas of the country. Codeine is an opioid that can produce relaxation and euphoria when consumed in sufficient quantities. Promethazine is an antihistamine that also acts as a sedative.