Addiction – in all its forms – is a disease that has its origins in the brain; it has nothing to do with the willpower or moral character of the person struggling with addiction. As a disease, it’s as serious and life threatening as cancer. And, like cancer, addiction can be fatal, if not treated.
An innate aspect of addiction is continued use, in spite of negative consequences. When faced with the realization that further experimentation could cause serious health risks, financial problems, or risk of arrest, they determine what “fun” the drug may have provided simply isn’t worth the risks.Those who struggle with the disease of addiction have lost all perspective: they don’t care about the risks, only about when and how they can get more of their drug of choice.Addiction is defined as:
“A progressive, chronic, and relapsing disorder that includes:
– cravings for alcohol and other mind-altering drugs
– compulsive desire to use the substance
– inability to control its use
– continued use, in spite of negative consequences”
COMMONLY USED ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES
The most commonly abused substances are alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, inhalants, heroin, oxycodone, and other prescription medications.
Alcohol’s primary effect is the increase in stimulation GABA receptors, promotes central nervous system depression.
Learn more about Alcoholism>>>
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Derived from the coca bush, its effects have been known for over 100 years. It is abused as a fine, white powder, which can be snorted (inhaled through the nose), or dissolved in water and injected intravenously.
Methamphetamine affects the user’s central nervous system, and is highly addictive—a result of the powerfully euphoric feelings it creates. Meth use releases dopamine, a natural part of the body’s reward system: literally, the “feel good” drug. It is illegally produced in pill form, capsules, powder and clear, chunks (or crystals), which accounts for its slang name: ice.
Marijuana is a close second to alcohol, as the most popular drug with teens. When smoked or ingested (blended with food), it releases THC, a naturally occurring chemical that alters the user’s sense of time and space, produces feelings of happiness, and can cause also stimulate the user’s appetite. It is made from the leaves, stems, and flowering buds of the cannabis plant, and sold in its loose form in plastic bags, or as hand-rolled cigarettes, known as joints.
Inhalants is a class of drugs that produce vapors with psychoactive, or mind-altering, properties when those vapors are inhaled in concentrated amounts. This class includes solvents, like lighter fluid and nail polish remover, as well as aerosols (spray products in pressurized cans), including hair spray, spray paint, and non-stick cooking sprays. When abused, most of these inhalants have anesthetic properties, slowing down the body’s respiratory and heart rates. This produces a slightly stimulated feeling in low doses, but can result in loss of consciousness in high doses, or after prolonged use.
Heroin is considered the most dangerously addictive form of opiates, thanks to the extreme “high” reported by users. Opiates take their name from the Papaver somniferum poppy, whose seedpods secrete a resin that is dried, and then distributed in powder form, which can range from white to dark brown. Most commonly used through intravenous injection, it creates immediate, momentary sensations of euphoria, followed by several hours of sedation. Users, as well as those in the recovery field, report heroin to be the most difficult addictive drug to overcome.
Oxycodone is the generic name of the prescription drug Oxycontin, available in time-release pill form. When used for treatment of severe chronic pain, as prescribed, this time-release property allows long term pain relief. When abused, the pills are usually ground to powder (defeating the time-release effect), then snorted, or dissolved in water and injected. Many “oxy” abusers report developing tolerance quickly, requiring steep increases in the amount used to achieve the desired effect.
OTHER ADDICTIONS: Eating Disorders • Gambling • Steroid Abuse
Food has become a way for some people to modulate their emotions, and we even have an emotional term for certain familiar dishes: “comfort food.” Some people also use food as a way to exercise a sense of control over their bodies, by eating and regurgitating.
Overeating, binge eating, or other conditions related to food (such as anorexia or bulimia) are not effectively conquered by willpower alone. Underneath the use of food—in all these conditions—is a mental illness that needs to be addressed, in order for the individual to make peace with her body, and put food in its proper perspective. If you, or a loved one, have concerns about eating disorders, please call KD Consulting for referral to the best program for your situation.
Many people can enjoy gambling while vacationing in Las Vegas or Atlantic City . They are in control of how much time and money they wish to use, and can step away from the table when their luck, or their budgeted time and money, has passed. For others, gambling becomes an obsession, compelling the gambler to the point where normal living is affected. This can mean wagering more money than they would when rational, or spending countless hours at the tables, the racetrack, or online casinos.
Underpinning this obsessive behavior is an addictive nature, exerting itself in the “thrill” of gambling, with no concern for the consequences: financial ruin, separation from family and friends, and even disregarding work responsibilities. There is a solution for those dealing with obsessive gambling, and KD Consulting can help you find the help you need.
It’s common for young people to be concerned with their growth and their abilities, compared with their peers. But for many young people, Mother Nature’s plans don’t seem to be working fast enough. How can a person grow faster, get bigger, or be more athletically proficient? These people believe steroids hold the answer. They can help young men build bigger muscles, and young women achieve a lean and toned physique. For teens involved in team sports, the allure of a career in the “big leagues,” or an NFL or NBA contract gleams like stars in their eyes.
For young people who believe their destiny is related to their physical prowess, these drugs offer a “short cut to greatness.” This desire affects them before they’re prepared to consider the negative consequences: this is the age when teens feel immortal. To cut through the distorted beliefs and addictive nature of steroids, KD Consulting offers a solution, tailored to the user’s age, geographic location, and the severity of their steroid use. Call us for more information.
SO I’M AN ADDICT. CAN I QUIT ON MY OWN?
You can, only in the sense that it’s theoretically possible. But that’s the kind of thinking engaged in by addicts: avoiding any outside help or guidance. Most addicts who think they can quit without help, die addicted. Don’t let that happen to you.
Let KD Consulting be the helping hand you’ve been looking for. We can offer the finest treatment program available, for your specific needs. And if you’re concerned about a family member who’s told you he or she doesn’t need help, please don’t believe it. If the user could have quit, the user would have quit.
Maybe an intervention is the first step in getting your loved one the help he or she needs to effectively deal with any of these addictive behaviors. You can count on KD Consulting to make all the arrangements for a successful intervention that will allow you and your loved one the dignity to address the addiction in a hopeful, positive environment. For more information, call us at (866) 631-0026 or email info@KDconsulting.org. You’ll be very glad you did.