The best time to start the road to recovery is NOW.
Addiction is still a societal issue not understood by many. People have this misconception that those who abuse drugs lack the capacity to distinguish what is morally right from wrong and that they could just simply stop the drug habit by just saying ‘No’. In reality, addiction is a complex disease with co-occurring mental health disorders.
Substance use disorder (SUD) changes people in many ways. It distorts their thinking, affects their behaviour right down to the body’s physical functions. The chemicals found in these substances alter the way the brain is normally wired. While on these substances, brain images would show changes in the areas that control judgement, behaviour, decision-making, learning, and storing memory. These changes can last long and can potentially be permanent.
Cocaine, or coke, as it is known in the streets, is a strong and extremely addictive stimulant. The raw material for cocaine is the leaves of the coca plant, native to South America. Once processed, coke can come in both powder (cocaine) or rock form (crack).
Disrupting a pattern in your life means that adjustments have to be made -- much like how our bodies work. If you use alcohol or drugs on a regular basis, your body becomes dependent on it. The longer you use these substances, it becomes increasingly difficult to go without it. Once you undergo detoxification and cut out alcohol or drugs from your life, the brain produces a surge of adrenaline which spurs a series of interactions in the body, causing the symptoms of withdrawal.
The problem of drug addiction affects many people in Australia, as well as the world. According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 15.6% of ages 14 and older had used an illicit substance in the year 2016. This amounts to over 3.7 million Australians identified as using cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines.
We define mental illness as an abnormality in cognition, behaviour, mood, or social function, which is severe in degree or duration. It affects the ability of someone to respond to and work with others every day, as we often associate it with distress and/or problems functioning.
Many people with mental illness are in denial or do not want to talk about it because of the social stigma. Yet mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of -- we should treat it like any medical condition.
Mental illness does not choose who it affects. It does not discriminate regardless of one’s age, gender, sexual orientation, social status, income, race or cultural uniqueness.
We should make an emphasis that mental disorders are treatable. Throughout their daily lives, the vast majority of people with mental illness continue to function.
Amphetamines are part of a drug group called stimulants. Amphetamines accelerate the signals between the body and the brain, resulting in a feeling of euphoria, higher energy, concentration, self-assurance, and dose-dependence.
Doctors legally prescribe certain types of amphetamines to treat disorders such as syndrome of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and narcolepsy, where a person's desire to sleep is uncontrollable.
Many people illegally use amphetamines to get intoxicated. In backyard labs, amphetamines are sometimes developed and combined with other compounds that may have adverse or harmful effects. Long-term abuse of amphetamines can result in large-scale problems including brain and heart damage, malnutrition, and psychosis.
Alcoholism is when, despite its adverse consequences, one can no longer regulate their use of alcohol, abuse alcohol compulsively, and/or experience mental distress when not drinking. The 5th edition of the Mental Disorders Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) has shifted from differentiating alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence to a single category of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
Substance abuse most often start in social situations where exposure to recreational drug use is prevalent. It can be a one-time experimental use for some yet, for others the abuse becomes more frequent. And then there are those who get hooked on drugs, particularly opioids, through exposure to prescribed medications.
I am an energetic and committed Senior Health Care Manager with a passion for developing staff through education and mentoring.