How Drug Addiction Follow Dependency; its Symptoms and Treatment

How Drug Addiction Follow Dependency; its Symptoms and Treatment

A drug is any substance, other than those required for the maintenance of normal health, that when taken into the living organism may modify one or more of its functions (WHO).


Drug misuse (substance abuse) is defined as "a state psychic and sometimes also physical, resulting from the interaction between a living organism and a drug characterized by a behavioral and other responses that always include a compulsion to take the drug on a continuous or periodic basis in order to experience its psychic effects and sometimes to avoid discomfort of its absence.

Tolerance may or may not be present" (WHO). For drug dependence to exist psychological dependence must be present but physical dependence may not necessarily occur. Tolerance occurs when increased doses are required to produce the same effect and will only be maintained if the drug is taken regularly and in sufficient doses.

Drug addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication, produced by the repeated consumption of a drug, which is harmful to the individual and to the society. Alcohol, cannabis and heroin are the most commonly abused substances. The most important drugs of addiction are opium and its derivatives, pethidine, heroin, alcohol, barbiturates, cocaine, cannabis, LSD, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, buprenorphine, dextropropoxyphene, and amphetamine. Other drugs are chloral hydrate and bromides. Heroin is the most dangerous.

Drug habituation is a condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug, in which there is psychological or emotional dependency on the drug.Caffeine and nicotine are habit-forming drugs. Drug dependence includes both the terms 'addiction and 'habituation'.

Cocaine, LSD, and cannabis do not cause tolerance or physical dependence but cause strong habituation. Non narcotic drugs of abuse are: (1) Hypnotics. (2) Stimulants, e.g. amphetamines, cocaine. (3) Non narcotic analgesics, (4) Tranquillizers. (5) Hallucinogens.

Addiction consists of physical dependence and psychological dependence. Physical dependence is a biological phenomenon which depends on the type, dose and duration of drug use irrespective of personality factors. If the drug is abruptly withdrawn, a withdrawal syndrome will occur in a physically dependent person.

The withdrawal symptoms are usually opposite to the effects of the drug itself. Psychological dependence is a compulsive need for a drug in order to maintain a state of well-being, and it can occur in the absence of physical dependence.

Pharmacologically, addiction evolves through the following stages: (1) Habituation. (2) Physical dependence, wherein an altered physiological state exists because of the frequent exposure to the drug. Withdrawal of the drug causes physical and emotional illness, known as the abstinence or withdrawal syndrome. (3) Tolerance to many of the pharmacological effects of the drug.

Drug abuse is a major medical problem with extensive legal, social, moral, ethical and even political problems. A person made tolerant to a large dose of one narcotic is also cross-tolerant to many of the effects of another narcotic.

Most persons use drugs of dependence with a certain discrimination, and in such cases little harm results. Indiscriminate use of any of these drugs becomes dangerous, and produces a gradual mental, physical, and moral deterioration of the individual, and sometimes also sexual perversions or crime. To obtain the money for the drug the addict often turns to prostitution or crime. The majority of drug victims are neurotic individuals who are mentally unbalanced.

A normal person has no tendency to become a drug addict and is most unlikely to become one, even when all the facilities are available. Hereditary factors, abnormal mental correlations, frustrations in life, anxiety, chronic tensions, physical inability to do a job, curiosity, etc. are some of the causes of drug addiction.

Addicts fall in two groups. (1) Those who originally used the drug for some disease and thus have acquired the habit, and (2) those who use the drug for its narcotic effect alone. The first group are more easily cured than the second. The inability to discontinue the use of drug may be due either to a desire for satisfaction, or an anxiety to avoid the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, or both. Most drug users appear normal.

Symptoms of Drug Dependency :

Loss of appetite and weight; clumsy movements, unsteady gait, tremors; reddening and puffiness of eyes, unclear vision; slurring of speech; loss of interest, sleeplessness, lethargy and passivity; acute anxiety, depression, profuse sweating; mood changes, temper tantrums; depersonalization and emotional detachment; impaired memory and concentration; preference for solitude, especially spending long hours in the toilet. Acute intravenous narcotism is characterized by the appearance of fulminant pulmonary edema and immediate collapse and death.

Withdrawal Symptoms : They may begin within six to eight hours following stoppage of the drug or they may be delayed for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, depending upon the particular drug being used. The length of period of withdrawal symptoms also varies and can last up to ten days.

The intensity of the symptoms depends on the dose and type of the drug used, the duration of addiction and the suddenness of withdrawal of the drug. Early symptoms are chilliness, sensation of cold, uneasiness, anxiety, sweating, cramps, yawning and rhinorrhoea. Later, respirations become labored, sharp and very rapid. Goose skin; lacrimation, gross tremors and dilated pupils are seen. Anorexia is present in all the stages. The third stage is one of sleep lasting from eight to sixteen hours. Upon awakening, all the previous symptoms become intense. In addition, there is tachyapnoea, fever, hypertension, pain and cramps in the legs and abdomen, perspiration, vomiting and diarrhea.

Newborns of addicted mothers may show withdrawal symptoms from one to fifty-six hours after birth and require treatment. The symptoms are hyperactivity, twitching and convulsions.

Narcotic addicts may be murdered by a 'hot shot'. This is a dose of narcotic with poison, such as strychnine in it. In such cases, only signs of anorexia and cerebral depression are present. Another method of accidental or homicidal death is by the use of a purer drug than the addict has been using.Cocaine, LSD, and depressants and anti psychotic do not product physical dependence.

Treatment :

  1. The person should be removed to an institution, so as to remove him from the association with which the addiction started.
  2. Constant supervision to prevent addict from obtaining secret supplies of the drug.
  3. Detoxification: This consists of reduction in dosage of drug over a period of one to 3 weeks.
  4. Administration of drugs, such as sedatives, Benzedrine, hyocine.
  5. Diverting the mind by engaging him physically and mentally in some occupation.
  6. Psychotherapy (group, family or individual).
  7. Improving general health.
  8. Symptomatic. The treatment is successful only in 10 to 25% of cases.
  9. Rehabilitation : Rehabilitation is a continuous process of "weaning away the victims of drug dependency. It requires strong family support and follow-up to prevent relapse. Social rehabilitation and training for gainful employment are the most important components after weaning addicts away from drug dependency to prevent relapse.

Comments

Post new comment

Similar

Nicotine Patch, a Great Way for Cessation Smoking

Nicotine Patch, a Great Way for Cessation Smoking When you have a smoking habit, many things seem to go along with having a cigarette. These might include having a cup of coffee or an alcoholic drink, being stressed or worried, talking on the phone

The American are Eating More and More, Aren't Realizing How Much Portion Size / Serving Size have Grown

The American are Eating More and More , Aren't Realizing How Much Portion Size / A slice of pizza once in a while won't do you any harm, but if pizza (or any fast food) is all you eat, that can lead to problems. The most obvious health threat of eating too much fast food is

Egg Allergy Minimized by Gradually Increasing the Amount of Intake

Egg Allergy Minimized by Gradually Increasing the Amount of Intake Eggs in themselves aren't bad, but when you're allergic to them, your body thinks they are. When a person is allergic to eggs, the body's immune system overreacts to proteins in the egg. Every time

Cause and Impact of Video Games Addiction

Cause and Impact of Video Games Addiction Some children get into bad habits with their homework because they become preoccupied with TV programs or video games. Some middle school children become sidetracked by their social life or by sports

Goiter for Iodine Deficiency

Goiter for Iodine Deficiency Iodine is a trace element present in the human body in minute amounts. The function of iodine is to constitute an essential substrate for the synthesis of thyroid hormone, tetraiodothyronine (

Cocaine Abuse, Its Effect and Management

Cocaine Abuse, Its Effect and Management It is obtained from the leaves of Erythroxylum coca, which grows in South America, India, Java, etc. It is a colorless, odorless, crystalline substance with bitter taste. It is used as local

Only Dieting Is Enough for Effective Weight Loss

Only Dieting Is Enough for Effective Weight Loss Therapeutic weight loss, in individuals who are overweight, can decrease the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes [3]. Overweight and obese individuals are also at greater risk of