Top 7 Causes of Substance Abuse

1. Opium drugs

Opium drugs are derived from poppy. When opiates are purified, more than 20 drugs, including morphine, are extracted. Some people even make synthetic drugs, but the most problematic is heroin. Other major opioid drugs include:

  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

Opioids are used in medicine for the purpose of pain relief, anesthesia, antidiarrheal drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs. When opioid drugs are used, it can cause mood changes, mainly pain relief, sedation, consciousness cloudiness, emotionlessness, concentration disorder, heightened mood, euphoria, decreased anxiety, and increased self-esteem. It is said that addicts who take heroin can feel hot, short-term pleasure, relaxation, satisfaction, and sexual climax. This feeling only appears early. When used repeatedly, the effect is reduced by resistance. When stopped, it causes withdrawal symptoms.

Overdosage of opiates causes coma, respiratory problems, bradycardia, reflexes, pulmonary edema, cyanosis, constipation, cramping, hypothermia, and, in severe cases, shock. Typical symptoms of poisoning are diminished pupils, coma persists, and in some cases, breathing is difficult.

Withdrawal symptoms occur within 6-12 hours of drug administration. Symptoms may vary slightly depending on the type of opioid, daily use, and health of the addict. In general, symptoms of anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, discomfort, cold sweat, tears, and runny nose appear in the early stages. Then, after about 12 hours, the pupils are enlarged, the body trembles, the skin feels creepy, the chills feel, and the appetite, abdominal pain, and muscle pain are felt. They also have a craving for wanting to take additional opiates. After about 24 hours, the addict’s pulse and blood pressure rise, the respiratory rate increases, and the body temperature rises. Other diarrhea, vomiting, muscle spasms, intestinal cramps, and more. These symptoms can last for about a week. In addition, addicts may experience long-term insomnia, hypersensitivity to physical symptoms, and easy frustration with stress, and may have a craving for medication for weeks to months. If the addict is physically sick, he or she may die of withdrawal symptoms.

For opiates, injection is common, and secondary infections, often due to the use of unsterilized syringes, are also common. Therefore, it can cause pulmonary embolism, myocarditis, endocarditis, tetanus, and sepsis. Although there is no definite statistical report in Korea, AIDS through injections is a serious social issue in foreign countries.

2. Stimulants-amphetamines

The stimulant, which is representative of amphetamine, has properties that stimulate the central nervous system. Metaamphetamine, commonly called Hiropon, is the most widely known drug. It is sometimes used in the name of obesity treatments, attention-improving drugs, and in rare cases for medical purposes, but it is mostly used illegally (it is different from the treatment drugs used in hospitals). The effect of stimulants can help addicts feel better, reduce fatigue and increase their energy.

When overdoses are administered, addicts experience increased activity while feeling โ€œelevated,โ€ hyperactivity, restlessness, excessive alertness, sensitive reactions, and increased anxiety and tension. Occasionally, they show excessive violence while triggering anger attacks. Others may feel a sense of well-being with a loss of judgment. However, chronic administration of stimulants is accompanied by feelings of fatigue and depression, and emotional feelings of dryness and social atrophy.

Symptoms of stimulants withdrawal include anxiety, tremors, nightmares, discomfort, helplessness, boredom, fatigue, sweating, irritation, pain, severe hunger and increased appetite. When withdrawal symptoms appear, the person sleeps continuously for 12-18 hours, and overall, withdrawal symptoms reach a peak on the 2-4 day after administration of the drug.

Amphetamines cause symptoms similar to other stimulants, but the extent and harm are even greater. If an addict overdose amphetamine, symptoms such as headache, increased blood pressure and pulse, sweating, nausea and vomiting may occur. In severe cases, breathing disorder, gait disorder, and sensory disorder may also occur. They are mentally sensitive, violent, unstable, unpleasant, insomnia, and confused. Physically, cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, and cerebral infarction can cause serious side effects and lead to death.
In particular, amphetamine can cause mental symptoms similar to schizophrenia. In particular, phenomena such as hallucinations and hallucinations are clear, and most of them appear as a projection of their situation. In other words, to complain to the police about fear of committing a crime, to appeal to the delusion that they are waiting, and related hearings. It is also characterized by being susceptible to surrounding changes and easily showing violent behavior.

The symptoms of withdrawal are similar to other depressions, but the pattern is more severe. Changes in mood can show signs of depression, attention and concentration with suicidal thoughts, weight loss, anemia, and other nutritional deficiencies. It may also lead to convulsive seizures.

3. Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug extracted from coca trees in Bolivia and Peru, where indigenous people have tried to chew it and enjoy happiness. In Korea, cocaine is not widely abused compared to metaamphetamine called hiropon, but in the United States, the problem of abuse is a serious drug. Cocaine has the effect of promoting a happy feeling. Therefore, people who have experienced this substance are in a state of dependence for a short period of time. In addition, cocaine has a short half-life, so it must be administered frequently to maintain mood elevation.

When cocaine is used, it usually feels elevated, and afterwards it seems to be lively and social, but it can be more talkative, anxious or tense. Fatigue, depression, and social atrophy may occur during chronic use.

If cocaine is used excessively, cardiovascular disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, convulsions, high fever, and respiratory disorders may occur. In particular, in young people, it often causes serious conditions such as myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, and stroke, leading to death. Mental symptoms can be extremely angry, sensitive to stimuli, and cause symptoms such as impaired judgment, impulsive sexual activity, aggression, hyperactivity, vision, and contact. This condition usually disappears within 24 hours, but at the time when the drug effect is low, addicts may experience extreme depression, discomfort, anxiety, and fatigue.

The symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are often not clear, but symptoms such as craving for the drug in the early stages, unpleasantness, fatigue, nightmares, and increased appetite appear. On the 3-5th day, symptoms of extreme depression appear. At this time, suicide is often attempted, so be careful. In order to overcome severe depression, the drug is searched again. Due to this effect, it is not easy to stop the drug compared to other drugs.

4. Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are drugs that affect perception, sensations, thoughts, self-awareness, emotions, etc., which cause sensations, delusions of time, and induce hallucinations such as vision, hallucinations, contact, and hallucination. It is used in relatively young people, and physical damage caused by drugs is less than other drugs.

Originally, psilocybin extracted from mushrooms native to the southwestern United States and mescaline extracted from cacti from Mexico were used by indigenous people, but in 1943 a substance called LSD was synthesized and became widely known. Another popular hallucinogen is PCP.

LSD is a very powerful hallucinogenic drug that can cause strong physiological and psychological changes in small amounts. When administered in small doses, tachycardia, hypertension, pupil dilation, high fever, or tremors may occur within minutes, and optical illusions, extreme mood instability, and various bizarre and contradictory perceptions and mood changes may occur within 30 minutes. LSD is a fast-tolerant drug that develops resistance by repeating the drug within 4 days, so more drugs must be administered to achieve the same effect. High doses of LSD may cause increased blood pressure, high fever, and enlarged pupils. More seriously, they are easily exposed to various accidents in hallucinations. Occasionally, an addict experiences unpleasant hallucinations, which can lead to extreme fear and anxiety. This is called a bad trip, and these hallucinations can be repeated even after the drug is stopped. Chronic use of LSD increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, which can lead to memory impairments or disorders of abstract thinking.

PCPs also show different patterns depending on the amount of similar hallucinogens or drugs. At low doses, addicts may show feelings of emancipation, floating in the air, and numbness. At high doses, excitement, confusion, and narcissism may occur, but muscle stiffness, speech disorders, and judgment disorders may be present. In particular, they can suddenly take offensive or violent behavior and sometimes act erratically. PCP is more likely to die of bizarre behavior and violent death than death due to pharmacological action. When taken in an overdose, it looks almost like a schizophrenia. In other words, symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and vision may occur. In case of overdose, it may show coma, cramping, respiratory depression, etc., and it is necessary to take measures to maintain life.

Both LSD and PCP are relatively inconspicuous withdrawal symptoms seen after drug discontinuation.

5. Marijuana

Marijuana is a substance obtained from the leaves and flowers of hemp, and a component called cannabinoid mainly has a pharmacological effect. In most cases, it is called ‘cannabis’ because it is used in the form of a pipe or cigarette. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the United States, and is used more often due to the misconception that it is cheaper and less dangerous than other drugs. Addicts who use marijuana initially feel aroused, experience inadequate laughter, elevated mood, and a relaxing soothing effect.

High doses of marijuana cause impairment of thinking, concentration, perception and psychomotor functions, and behavior. Addicts may fall into a dreamlike fantasy, or become sensitive to external stimuli. Visual images can be enriched and the appreciation for art or music can be intense. Physically, the conjunctiva is congested and the pulse becomes faster. Long-term addicts may experience โ€œasynchronous syndrome,โ€ which shows loss of motivation, lethargy, and indifference. Marijuana can also cause sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, asthma, etc. due to severe irritation in the respiratory system, and can cause cardiac hyperactivity, myocardial ischemia, postural hypotension, etc.

It has been reported that resistance is rapidly exhibited when used habitually, and withdrawal symptoms can cause eye tremors, trembling eyes, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excitement, loss of appetite, and sleep disorders. There is. However, most of the withdrawal symptoms are not as severe as other medications and often require no medical intervention.

6. Caffeine

Caffeine is a widely used drug for beverages. In general, a cup of coffee contains 100-150mg, 30-100mg for tea, 25-50mg for soft drinks, 25-100mg for painkillers or cold medicines, and about 5mg caffeine per chocolate bar. Caffeine is widely used in everyday life around the world, so its side effects are overlooked, but when abused, it can cause various side effects.

People who consume 50-100mg of caffeine have an increased arousal state, resulting in a clear head, feeling glad, and improving their language or movement. Because of this effect, many people use caffeine. In some cases, however, a small amount of caffeine can cause restlessness, irritability, excitement, and insomnia. The half-life of caffeine is about 2-6 hours, and it varies from person to person.

People who consume more than 500mg of caffeine can develop symptoms of addiction. These can include anxiety, insomnia, instability, irritability, muscle spasms, nausea, digestive problems, and insomnia. Although there are individual differences, addicts who consume more than 1,000 mg of caffeine per day may experience thought and speech confusion, arrhythmia, excitement, and muscle spasm, and tinnitus may occur in some people. In addition, caffeine can stimulate gastrointestinal movements and worsen stomach ulcers. People who take more than 10 grams may die of epilepsy and respiratory failure.

Withdrawal symptoms appear within 19-24 hours after taking caffeine. Mainly experiencing headaches, drowsiness, tiredness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, yawning, etc., and chronic caffeine use may cause depression, irritability, etc.

7. Organic solvent

Organic solvents are composed of chemical components that are harmful to the human body, and when used for purposes other than their intended purpose, they cause fatal harm to the human body. Organic solvents include glues used as adhesives, paint thinners, manicure removers, dry cleaning solvents, toluene, gasoline, acetone, and benzene.

Organic solvents act to suppress the central nervous system. Withdrawal symptoms are weak but resistant. When organic solvents are inhaled through the nose or mouth, they are absorbed through the lungs and cause a pharmacological reaction within about 5 minutes. In general, the effect is immediate, and it has a quick pleasure effect. It can lead to feelings of gladness, excitement, feeling of confusion, confusion, fear, distorted feeling of the body, etc. Inhalation of large amounts of organic solvents in a short period of time leads to loss of sense of direction, loss of self-control, unconsciousness, seizures, decreased muscle control, unpleasant breathing, headaches and hangovers for days.

Organic solvents are very dangerous because they often have a long recovery period or do not return to their minds and have cerebral destruction that is not seen in other drugs. In particular, direct damage to the brain can lead to decreased memory, reduced learning ability, emotional anxiety, and impaired judgment. It can also affect bone marrow tissue, causing permanent damage such as aplastic anemia or leukemia. Other kidney function and immune function may be impaired. Emotionally, it can create an aggressive or vicious character that can cause personality to ravage.

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