Illicit Drug Addiction
Illicit drug addiction can has become a serious epidemic. It can cause serious health problems. Addiction is a chronic disease. It causes users to become hooked on the mental and physical effects of the drug.
Drug addiction can be treated, but recovery can be a long and difficult process.
Illicit drugs are those that are illegal to make, sell, or use. They include:
Many illicit drugs are highly addictive and pose serious risks. Using these drugs usually begins as an experiment or because of curiosity. Other times, it may start from using prescription pain medication prescribed to treat an illness or injury.
Over time, a user may become hooked on the mental or physical effects of the drug. This leads to the user needing more of the substance to get the same effects. Without help, a person with an illicit drug addiction will often put their health and safety in danger.
It is important to remember that addiction isn’t a weakness or choice. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is a chronic disease that causes people to seek reward or relief through substances or other behaviors.
The effects of illicit drugs depend on the type of drug. Drugs are grouped into categories based on their effects:
Stimulants include cocaine or methamphetamine. They cause hyperactivity and increase heart rate and brain activity.
Opioids are painkillers that also affect chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. They can also depress or slow down the central nervous system and affect breathing.
Marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD are all considered hallucinogens. They alter the user’s perception of space, time, and reality.
Depressants or sedatives
These drugs aren’t always illicit. But people may get addicted to prescription medications of all kinds. If drugs are used in ways they weren’t prescribed by someone addicted to illicit drugs, they may end up stealing to maintain their supply.