Substance abuse treatment in arizona
Alcohol may be both legal and socially acceptable in our society, but excessive consumption can easily lead to addiction. Known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcohol abuse is defined as the inability to stop consuming alcohol despite negative effects on one’s personal life, social and employment obligations, financial situation, and overall health.
Benzodiazepines, or “benzos”, are prescription tranquilizers that have a sedative effect on the body, depressing the nervous system to produce muscle relaxation. When used as directed, benzos can effectively treat seizures, insomnia, and anxiety, but can also be easily abused and highly dangerous when mixed with other substances, such as alcohol.
Opioids are a class of drug used to relieve pain and produce pleasurable feelings by binding to dopamine receptors in the brain. They can be legally prescribed to relieve severe pain from chronic conditions or injuries but, as they are highly addictive, they can easily be abused if their consumption is not overseen by a doctor, leading to physical dependence.
Heroin is an opioid, and like other drugs of its class, it reduces feelings of pain and increases feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Because it is more potent and addictive than most other opioids, it’s illegal, so any use of this drug is considered abuse. The different methods of using heroin can also cause lasting damage to the mind and body.
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Methamphetamine, or “meth”, is another illegal and highly addictive substance. Meth is a stimulant that causes the brain to flood with dopamine, creating a euphoric feeling. It was derived from amphetamine, a prescription drug that’s used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy but is far more potent. The consequences of meth addiction can cause serious harm to a person’s health.
Cocaine is an illegal stimulant derived from the coca plant and usually comes either as a white powder or processed into rocks, in which case it’s called “crack.” It can cause a person to feel alert and excited by triggering a dopamine rush to the brain, but the short duration of this “high” commonly causes a user to reach for the drug again, often resulting in addiction.
Prescription Drug Abuse
Some drugs can be prescribed by doctors for medicinal use, but if these substances are not used as directed, they can lead to addiction. The three most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids (usually prescribed for pain relief), depressants (usually prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (usually prescribed to tread ADHD).
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is typically used to treat pain but can also be used to treat opioid addictions — especially heroin addiction — by binding to the same receptors in the brain, lessening withdrawal symptoms. However, when methadone is used to curb addiction, individuals run the risk of becoming addicted to this substance, too.
Psychedelic Drug Abuse
Psychedelic drugs alter perception and cognition as well as cause hallucinations. Psychedelic substances include LSD (acid), PCP (angel dust), MDMA, ecstasy, salvia, mescaline, DMT, mushrooms, and more. They create an immersive high, but can also put users at risk because they alter the perception of reality, which can lead to serious injury and even death.
Marijuana is not commonly thought of as being addictive, but rather than creating a physical dependence, heavy marijuana usage can lead to an emotional dependence. This is because marijuana creates feelings of contentment and relaxation, as well as increased appetite, but it may also affect memory, critical thinking, and motivation.
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Substance Abuse Recovery in Arizona
At The River Source, we believe that education is a key part of reclaiming your life from addictive substances, and we’re committed to being a resource that you and your loved ones can trust to provide it. While we encourage you to explore this section of our website in detail to learn all you can about the effects of substance abuse, we also welcome you to reach out to us directly if you have any questions.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, click below to start a conversation – we’re here to help!