Drugs are powerful and dangerous if not used as prescribed because of their ability to alter the central nervous system or the bodily functions. In other words, the use of drug can interfere with the body chemistry of the drug users which could lead to bodily function and behavioral changes. There are diverse definitions for drugs based on their uses. A drug can be called a pharmaceutical preparation or a naturally occurring substance used primarily to bring about a change in the existing process or state (physiological, psychological or biochemical) (Addictionindia.org.) When drugs are used to treat diseased conditions, they improve health conditions to bring about physical or mental well-being. But if drugs are used other than for the medical purposes in such a way that affects mental or physical functioning, it is termed drug abuse.
It is worth noting that any abuse can lead to addition. Drug addiction can also be referred to as chemical dependency or substance dependence, as a matter of fact it is a chronic diseased condition characterized by a compulsive pattern of drug abuse that significantly results to health problems involving withdrawal from or tolerance to the substance. It is a relapsing brain disease that makes the addicted individual to compulsively use drug notwithstanding devastating consequences attached to its usage.
Ways of Using Drugs
There are different ways of using drugs and all these ways have their own risks attached to them. The major ways of using drugs are by injecting, swallowing, smoking, snorting, sniffing or inhaling
Classification of drugs
There are diverse classifications of drugs but most drugs that are highly abused fall into prescribed and recreational drugs. Users of these drugs can easily get addicted to them if they are not monitored. Below is a simple classification of Drugs
Stimulants: These drugs speed up the central nervous system to cause excitation. Common drugs that fall in this classification are cocaine, nicotine, amphetamines and caffeine
Depressants: Depressants slow down the functioning the central nervous system. Examples alcohol, opioids, barbiturates, tranquilizers, opiates and benzodiazepines
Cannabis: They produce mild euphoria with long-term decreased cognitive activities and psychosis Common names in this classification are Ganja / Marijuana or Hashish / Charas
Hallucinogens: Hallucinogens have profound effects on the mental processes, emotion and perception. Examples LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), this is orally taking, PCP (Phencyclidine) is being snorted or smoked, Mescaline, this is taking orally and Psilocybin which is being smoked.
Other drug classifications that are subject to abuse are anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, Pain killers and anti-emetics
Drugs are also classified legally as Schedule. The legal classification was set up by the Controlled Substances Act of 1990 based on their use, abuse and how save they are considered, some of these schedules are listed below (Treatment4addiction.com).
Schedule 1: High Abuse, no known medical use, Lack of Safety
Schedule 2: High Abuse, some medical use, high risk of dependency
Schedule 3: Lower Abuse, medical use, use moderate dependency risk
Schedule 4: Limited abuse, high medical use, limited dependency risk
Schedule 5: Minor problems
Factors Responsible for Drug Addiction
Surprisingly, no single factor can pinpoint whether an individual will become addicted to a particular drug. There are many combination factors that can predispose an individual to drug addiction. These factors among others may include genetic factors, environmental factors and developmental factors. The genetic factors in combination with the environmental factor are responsible for most of the drug addition. Environmental factors may include the family environment, stress, trauma and peer pressure. The genetic and the environmental factors can influence the developmental stages to predispose people to addiction vulnerability.
Treatment of Drug Addiction
In conclusion, the good news is that drug addiction is treatable and preventable. There are many medical professionals who can help addicted people to recover from their addictions. This usually involves a personalized treatment, a comprehensive care and expertise. The combination of behavioral therapy with medications is the most suitable treatment option for most addicted patients.
Addictionindia.org. “Drug of Abuse -Classification Effects” Web.17.Nov.2012
Treatment4addiction.com. “Drug Classification” Web.17.Nov.2012