Instructor: HBO Addiction series.
Why I chose to take this class:
To learn about drug abuse. How it works on the brain, cause and effect of drug abuse and treatments.
What I learned from this class:
Drug abuse is the non medical use of drugs that interfere with a healthy and productive life. Any drugs may be abused, including: tobacco, alcohol, medications and substance that gives off intoxication fumes. Many young people begin to use drugs or alcohol to experiment with the pleasurable effects of drugs, to fit in with peers, or to try on adult roles and behaviors. Most people who experiment with drugs or alcohol do not become addicted. However, repeated use of Nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs may lead to physiological and psychological dependence – addiction. Withdrawal is the reaction of the body when regular use is stopped.
Abuse of legal drugs:
Some of the most commonly abused drugs can be purchased legally by adults. They include:
- Alcohol beverages,
- Tobacco products,
- Inhalants, and
- Prescription drugs.
- Alcohol beverages are one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world. Alcohol is a depressant that deceases the activity of the central nervous system.
- Tobacco is among the most addictive drugs. The addictive element in tobacco product is Nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant, a chemical that excites the central nervous system.
- Inhalants gives off fumes that are inhaled for their intoxicating, mind altering effects. They include glues, nail polish, gasoline and aerosol spray. Inhalants take the place of oxygen in the lungs, depleting the amount of oxygen available to the brain, creating an intoxicating effect.
- Over-the-counter drugs that can be abused include cough and cold medications. Many of these medications contain alcohol or stimulants.
- Prescription drugs – obtained legally from physician. Commonly abused prescription drugs include stimulant called Amphetamines, analgesics, barbiturates and tranquillizers.
- Steroids – Some athletes abuse anabolic steroids to increase muscle size and strength.
Abuse of Illegal drugs:
Illegal drugs includes:
- Hallucinogens’ drugs and
- Club drugs – designer drugs, ecstasy, ketamine, GHB and Rohypnol.
- Marijuana – The main addictive chemical in Marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which can be detected in urine.
- Cocaine – Powerful stimulant made from the leaves of Coca plant. Cocaine is snorted or smoked in a form called crack cocaine, or injected. High concentration of drugs reaches the brain producing immediate euphoria, rush or high.
- Methamphetaime – strongly stimulates the central nervous system. Methamphetaime can be snorted, smoked or injected. The drug cause the release of Dopamine in the brain. Repeated use damages the brain cells that produces Dopamine and neurotransmitters, such as Serotonin.
- Heroin – Opiates made from the saps of the opium poppy. Which contained morphine, used to relieve severe pain. Codeine is a less potent opiate used to relieve cough and mild pain.
- Hallucinogen drugs – Mescaline from Peyote Cactus, LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), PCP (Phencyclidine). Repeated use can cause long lasting disturbance in perception that can last for months after discontinuing use of the drug.
- Club Drugs – Use them at clubs, Rave parties. Common club drugs include Ecstasy, GHB, Rohypnol and Ketamine. Rohypnol – sedative, amnesia, prevent victim from remembering. GHB Body building steroids.
Cause and effect of drug abuse:
Most adults with drug dependence start abusing substances as teenagers. Genetic factors play a role in developing drug abuse. Drug users may resort to theft, prostitution, selling drugs, or other criminal activities to pay for their habits. Injecting drugs contributes to the spread of infectious diseases like Hepatitis and Aids.
Treatment and substance use disorders:
Effective treatment must address area to help the individual to stop using drugs and teaching the skills the person needs to maintain a drug free lifestyle. Effective treatment includes medication and therapy. People with addictions often relapse (begin taking drugs again). Researchers have found that drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing medical and psychiatric illness similar to other illness like diabetes or depression. Longer term, scientifically based treatments for addiction can be effective as treatments for many other chronic illness.
How will this class contribute to my success upon release:
This class makes me aware of drug addiction and the negative consequences if causes. It will make me stay away from drugs and avoid run in with the law. I will also use the knowledge gained from this class to educate others of drug addictions.