Nearly all types of drugs when abused can lead to chemical changes in a person’s brain. Willpower, decision-making, memory, and mood regulation can all be affected with drug abuse. Not only that, but drugs can also impact the brain’s reward system by interacting with the production and absorption of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in stimulating pleasure and motivation, which explains why most people find it difficult to quit drugs once they get hooked.
Different drugs impact the body in different ways, with some worse than others. Learn how these 6 drugs affect the human body and why people find it hard to quit once they become addicted to them.
Cocaine is a powerful drug that creates intense feelings of pleasure when snorted, injected, or smoked. The “high” it produces is characterized by having a short, yet extreme euphoria that increases the person’s alertness and excitement. Basically, cocaine floods the brain with dopamine and once the user stops, they may find it difficult to feel pleasure at all.
To keep the pleasurable effects going, cocaine users binge the drug by taking multiple doses back to back. Once they come down from the high, they tend to “crash” where they feel mentally exhausted, fatigued, and depressed. This can lead to intense drug cravings, anxiety, restlessness, nightmares, and a prolonged feeling of discomfort.
- Opioid drugs
Opioid drugs like heroin are one of the most abused drugs in the world. It’s a fast-acting opioid that is taken by either injecting, smoking, or snorting the drug. Heroin abuse creates a rush of pleasure accompanied by pain relief and relaxation. This feeling can be immensely desirable, causing opioid users to take more of them in order to numb the pain and prevent withdrawal from happening.
Other examples of opioid drugs that are commonly abused are oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, methadone, and morphine. Withdrawal symptoms from opioid drugs usually include chills, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and decreased mental clarity.
Sedatives like Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam) are examples of prescription medication that are highly addictive when abused. These drugs are designed to reduce anxiety levels, provide a relaxing effect, and induce sleep. When taken excessively, these medications can produce a “high” that’s similar to alcohol intoxication. Because of their sedative effects, benzodiazepine drugs can be habit-forming and contribute to drug dependence.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines range from mild to severe like muscle pain, sweating, and nausea to hallucinations, sensory sensitivity, and even life-threatening seizures.
Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant drug that delivers a rapid and powerful high. Users often abuse this drug in powder form (called meth) and in crystal form (crystal meth). These forms of methamphetamine can either be injected, snorted, or smoked. Once the drug enters the body, the user experiences a rush where their heartbeat races and their blood pressure skyrockets. Methamphetamine creates a false sense of energy and well-being, thus making the user feel smarter and more aggressive when interacting with other people.
Meth withdrawal is extremely painful and difficult. The person may experience psychosis, causing them to hallucinate and seeing things that aren’t actually there. Some users even turn suicidal and become extremely violent and aggressive.
It’s no surprise that nicotine is on this list simply because it’s a leading cause for preventable death. Nicotine is a stimulant that’s present in cigarettes and can be highly addictive. It only takes 10 seconds for the nicotine to alter a person’s brain chemistry after inhaling it, thus putting them in a relaxed mood. The effect wears off after a few hours, prompting the person to grab another cigarette.
Because smoking is considered legal, it doesn’t have to be performed in a clandestine manner, meaning it’s much easier to get addicted to. When a person stops smoking cigarettes, they may experience intense cravings, irritability, increased appetite, and even anxiety.
The most widely abused psychoactive substance in the world is none other than alcohol. It’s a socially accepted substance that anyone above legal age can get their hands on. Once consumed, the alcohol races towards the person’s brain and immediately slows down the pathways and chemicals used to send messages. This elevates the person’s mood, slows down their reflexes, and throws both their memory and decision-making off-balance.
Like with benzodiazepine withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal happens when the brain tries to regain control over the body’s central nervous system. The most severe form of withdrawal associated with alcohol is called delirium tremens (DT). If not attended to immediately, the condition may prove fatal.These 6 drugs are known to be some of the most addictive substances out there. Along with being accompanied by difficult withdrawal symptoms, their impacts on the human body make them highly addictive. Avoid exposure to these substances as much as possible to reduce the risk of developing an addiction. Should you feel like you require any further assistance or information then do not hesitate to get in touch with Calm Rehab today who are a leading rehab in Bali.