What are the different types of Addictions?
From cocaine to alcohol, methamphetamine to opiate based drugs like Percocet (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and heroin, benzodiazepines such as Xanax and its cousin Valium... each of these compounds has the potential for extreme chemical dependency, as well as an entire host of negative health consequences. Drug and alcohol addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a chronic disease, characterized by uncontrollable, compulsive, drug or alcohol seeking behavior and use, despite harmful and serious consequences, as well as the potential development of permanent physical and chemical changes in the brain. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can form very quickly and can start to take over a person's entire life if left untreated. Many don't realize it, but most substance use disorders require professional care through a process of detox or rehab in an inpatient setting, then progressing to an intensive outpatient program where the addiction can be further monitored, discussed, and the necessary tools required to succeed with any substance abuse disorder, can be strengthened and reinforced. At The Bridges of San Diego, our goal is to not only treat drug addiction and alcoholism for the individual, but to also assist distressed family members through the potentially challenging stages of recovery and rehabilitation.
Most don't think of alcohol as being a drug, mostly due to its widely accepted use, however, alcohol is most certainly a drug - and a very powerful one. Alcohol is consumed as a liquid and comes in many forms, from vodka and whiskey, to beer and wine - each of these beverages contains alcohol in varying amounts. Alcohol is the result of the fermentation of sugars, often from fruit, grains, or vegetables, and a catalyst such as yeast or bacteria. Alcoholism can be one of the most challenging substance abuse disorders to overcome, with many battling the progressive disease for their entire lifetime. Within weeks, consistent use of alcohol can result in true chemical dependency, affecting both a person's physiology and their emotional state.
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Over the last twenty years, prescription opioid abuse has increased at alarming rates, with deaths due to overdose resulting in nearly 68% of all drug related overdoses in the country. Opioid use disorder often starts with a visit to your doctor - many patients begin taking drugs such as oxycodone, in an effort to control pain as a result of surgery or chronic injury. As a person continues to take prescription opiates, often in the form of a pill, tolerance builds quickly, resulting in increasingly more of the drug being required to control pain. In a matter of weeks a person can become completely dependent, both physically and emotionally, on opiate based prescription medications, resulting in a serious and potentially permanent addiction. Prescription opiates create the same sensations as heroin, with users reporting feelings of extreme euphoria, happiness, and a reduction in pain.
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Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, is an extremely powerful synthetic drug, with some becoming addicted after a single try. Meth generally resembles glass-like shards or blue-white, shiny rocks. Most meth users snort, smoke, or inject the drug, often using for days on end without a break. Crystal meth users report experiences similar to that of cocaine - extreme euphoria, overconfidence, feeling energized or "awake", and a pronounced ability to focus on tasks are all typical effects of the drug. As with cocaine, meth use carries with a host of negative psychological and physical consequences such as paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations and delusions, sores on the face and body, extreme weight loss, organ failure, heart attack, and stroke.
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Cocaine is a powerful, Class II stimulant that has seen a rise in use over the last thirty years in the United States. Cocaine generally comes in the form of a white powder or rocks, and is derived from the coca plant - a species indigenous to Central and South America. Cocaine addiction can occur very quickly, with some becoming dependent on the compound within just a couple of uses. Cocaine is generally smoked or snorted and produces a powerful "high", resulting in feelings of euphoria and happiness for the user. The negative effects of cocaine include, hyperactivity, anxiety, excessive talking, sweating, and rapid heartbeat. Serious physical and emotional consequences such as heart attack, severe depression, and organ failure can occur, should one use cocaine for any prolonged period of time.
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Heroin is another opiate based drug that has literally ravaged the country, responsible for over 15,000 fatalities in the year 2017 alone. Like prescription opiates, heroin carries with it the potential for extreme addiction. Heroin generally comes in two forms - a black, tar-like substance, or a white powder. Heroin addicts either snort or inject the drug, with physical and psychoactive effects taking place immediately. People who use the drug report a dream-like euphoria, reductions in anxiety and pain, as well as an exaggerated sense of well being. Long-term exposure to heroin is responsible for a myriad of mental and physical problems such as respiratory depression, heart and organ failure, permanent depression, and sexual dysfunction to name a few. If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, inpatient rehab is the critical first step in the recovery process.
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