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Drug Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms

Barney Garcia asked:

An addict is a person who has an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its negative consequence. There are many drugs that can lead to a condition recognized as addiction. The common symptoms are a craving for more of the drug, increased psychological tolerance to exposure, and withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the stimulus. A risk of dependency exists in most drugs that directly provide pleasure or relief.

There are two types of dependency – physical and psychological. Physical dependency on a substance is defined by the appearance of characteristic withdrawal symptoms when the drug is suddenly discontinued. Opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, alcohol and nicotine are well known addictive drugs known for their ability to induce physical dependence. Cortisone, beta-blockers and most antidepressants are examples of similar such drugs, but they are not addictive. Some highly addictive drugs, such as cocaine, induce little physical dependence too. The main characteristic of an addictive drug is its ability to induce euphoria while causing harm.

The dependency of the mind leads to psychological withdrawal symptoms. Eating disorders are sometimes considered as psychological disorders and are sometimes treated as addictions. Withdrawal symptoms faced when the diet is altered suggests that food substances like chocolate, caffeine and sugar have the potential for addiction. Nicotine is considered to be the most addictive substance in the world.

Anxiolytics are used to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal in people with chemical dependency. In chronic opiate addiction, a surrogate drug such as methadone is offered. There are various models to treat dependency like the opponent-process model, the disease model, the genetic model, the cultural model, and the blended model. The term addiction is sometimes used loosely rather than as a medical classification. Endorphins are released as a result of pleasurable activity. This endorphin rush can become addictive. Opioids pose extreme risk of dependency because they are chemically similar to endorphins. Cocaine and amphetamines also pose risks associated with physical attenuation by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which acts indirectly to stimulate dopaminergic pathways in the brain.

Craving is the incredible desire an addict or alcoholic still feels for the substance. It takes often days, months or even years for recovery. It could be directly related to the long term changes in brain functioning. Relapse triggers can create powerful emotional and physical responses that can lead up to incredible urges to use drugs and alcohol again. It may result in the addict feeling angry, lonely, depressed or in self pity. Thus it becomes essential for individuals early into drugs to change their habit and different aspects of life.

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UK Heroin Addiction –Getting A Heroin Addict Get to a UK Rehab is Step One

Tibor A. Palatinus asked:

Deciding if you truly want to help a UK heroin addict, especially a loved one and family member, is the first challenge one faces. The internal conflict of indecision is the result of past failures and major hurdles one doesn’t know how to overcome. Is there still hope for someone facing heroin addiction and shattered lives in the UK?

UK Heroin Stats

According to “Statistics on Drug Misuse: England 2007″ published by the NHS, the highest use of Class A drugs (includes opiates such as heroin and methadone) for adults was reported in London higher than the average for England and Wales. Heroin rehab in the UK is available but how can you help your loved one overcome heroin addiction?

Decide To Give The Heroin Addict Or Alcoholic Some Hope, Enough To Make Them Want To Try To Get Better

I once had a family member addicted to heroin. She is still with us today and no longer a heroin addict. The day I decided to help, I knew that it was now or never, a whole new world was opened in front of me.

After the decision to help this person addicted to heroin, finding the right Heroin Rehab program was the next step for me and gave me the tools, information which I could use to talk to her. I learned that it is possible to help a friend or loved one but it takes a lot of courage and gumption. You really have to want to do it. You have to want to do it enough to give them the courage and hope that they lost a long time ago.

Deciding To Help A Heroin Addict vs Waiting For “Rock Bottom”

Well, apparently some believe that “rock bottom” is the magical time when the addict or alcoholic will decide that it is time to finally do something about their problem and stop the misuse of drugs or alcohol. In my own experience, the family kept waiting for her to hit “rock bottom” but although there were many such times, in our view; like loosing the kids, lethal doses of drugs within reach of children, theft, stealing from family, several near deaths, car accidents, various emergency hospital visits… shall I go on? To me, these are “rock bottoms”. To the addict, this is not necessarily so, but just another day in their chaotic life and simply barriers to their next fix. More on this later.

Heroin Effects: How Strong Is The Urge To Keep Using Heroin?

There are many hard truths about heroin use. Heroin is usually injected, snorted or smoked. The immediate effects of heroin include a surge of sensation – a “rush”. This is often accompanied by a warm feeling of the skin and a dry mouth. Sometimes, the initial reaction can include vomiting or severe itching. After these effects fade, the user becomes drowsy for several hours. The basic body functions such as breathing and heartbeat slow down. Short-term effects also include clouded mental functioning, hypothermia and coma or death (due to overdose). Within hours after the drug effects have reduced, the addict’s body begins to crave more. If he does not get another fix, he will begin to experience withdrawal.

Heroin withdrawal includes the extreme physical and mental symptoms which are experienced if the body is not supplied again with next dose of heroin.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms include: restlessness, aches and pains in the bones, diarrhea, vomiting and severe discomfort. The intense high the user seeks lasts only a few minutes. With continued use, he needs increasing amounts of the drug just to feel “normal”.

Your Conviction To Help Has To Be Greater Than Their Heroin Urges

Heroin addiction can result after even after a single dose.

To the heroin addict in the UK and around the world, the absolute physical need to keep using is above all else. Even when the person thinks about getting clean, the physical withdrawal which comes after each use and before the next is enough to keep them addicted and caring about nothing else in their lives.

Even their “loved ones” become painful memories to be put behind them with the next fix. When you cannot get out of bed because of the pain, can’t stay in bed because of the pain, can’t sleep, and can’t eat, what then? When life is just pain, it is no wonder that there is nothing more important than the next fix and some “relief”.

It is true that an addict still has love of family/friends but the drug has become the first love and all hope is lost in them. This is why we must hope for them and we can help them to break free from the shackles of their addiction.

Intervention And “Rock Bottom” — It’s Your Decision To Make, Not Theirs

It is important not to wait for this fabled “rock bottom”. The final end could be with the next fix. The heroin addict has no guarantees that he or she will only get a high; it could be an extended coma resulting in paralysis or simply, death. Intervention is key to helping someone recover from addiction. When I did the intervention on my family member and she needed one more fix before allowing me to take her to the private residential rehab, I so feared that although it was the last time, it could be the time that would kill her.

The time to intervene is now. Do your homework. There is lots of information and tips on how to go about doing this and professional interventionists can also help. Although we may see the life of the addict falling apart and each facet of their lives slowly crumbling in front of them, they most often do not. Even if they see the truth, they often feel powerless to change it.

UK addicts won’t get clean without someone to help them. If you expect an addict to take responsibility for their lives while hooked on heroin, you’re under a similar delusion that they suffer from: that ending heroin addiction in the UK is someone else’s problem. It is infact, a problem for all of us.

The first question is, “Will you decide to help a heroin addict get to rehab in the UK?”

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MUST SEE THIS – Drug Addiction

A thrilling film about drug addiction and the notion of a cure.