Support Group for Addiction to Illegal Substances (Drugs)
Understanding Illicit Drugs
One of the top problems facing modern societies is the scourge of drugs which is now one of the most important causes of morbidity and untimely mortality. It is a multidimensional problem, with serious implications for individual and public health, public safety and the well-being of social life. Most importantly, it is a problem that no country can exhibit indifference.
Not only do drugs have no borders, but their use is not limited to specific social strata. Instead, they threaten to invade all societies and haunt the lives of many families. That is why tackling the problem requires the awareness of the whole society, the participation of all of us, the effort of each citizen individually. Undoubtedly, methodology, planning, continuous effort and cooperation at local, national and international level are required in order to protect our young people from drugs.
Why do I invite you to join the Support Group for Addiction to Illegal Substances (Drugs)?
- Apart from the rehab programme which you have probably undergone, this Support Group will reinforce your efforts to stay clean and in balance, thus, enhancing your quality of life and that of your loved ones.
- The Support Group provides such a safe and warm milieu that encourages the sharing of thoughts and emotions amongst the participants, without experiencing the fear of being judged.
- Group members truly understand what everyone is going through
- Group members will embrace each other with unconditional positive regard as this is the spirit that I promote in all my Support Groups.
What are illicit drugs?
Illicit drugs refer to highly addictive and illegal substances such as Heroin, Marijuana and Meth. Even though, initially the decision to commence using one of these drugs is usually a voluntary one, an unexpected addiction can make the decision to quit later significantly harder.
What is the effect of an addiction?
An addiction to illicit drugs changes the way a person’s brain works and, consequently, the way they think and act.
When does tolerance occur?
The beginning of an illicit substance abuse disorder is marked by a physical dependence. This can be recognized by a tolerance to and withdrawal symptoms from the drug of abuse.
Tolerance occurs when the user needs more of the substance to get the same effects as when s/he started. When a tolerance is established, a person may experience withdrawal when they stop using the substance.
Withdrawal symptoms are severe and can include heart palpitations and seizures, depending on the type of drug used. The second part of an abuse disorder involves a psychological dependence on the substance. This is characterized by a subjective feeling that the user needs the drug to feel normal. There is often a desire to stop using the drug, as well as prioritization of its use over social and familial responsibilities.
While people suffering from an illicit substance abuse disorder recognize the negative consequences of their drug use, they feel unable to stop on their own.
Rehab and treatment centers can help give people the support necessary to stop this detrimental habit.
Types Of Illicit Drugs
Herewith important information on the most common forms of illicit substances:
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the South American coca plant, and normally comes in a powder form. Street names for Cocaine include blow, bump, coke, and snow. Cocaine is most commonly snorted or injected, and can also be smoked or administered to the skin.
Crack is the more pure and potent form of Cocaine, which typically comes in solid blocks or crystals. Crack Cocaine is usually smoked, allowing it to reach the brain faster and result in a short-lived – yet intense – high. It is also increasingly commonly injected.
Used by many high-schoolers and young adults, Ecstasy is considered a party drug or rave drug. Its psychoactive effects include enhanced sensory perception and can cause lowered inhibition. Ecstasy is most commonly taken orally in pill form or dissolved in water, but can also be snorted or injected.
The hallucinogens are a class of drugs that act on the Central Nervous System in such a way as to cause distortion in sensory perceptions, hence, their name, which means “hallucination producers”. They achieve their effect without substantial changes in the level of arousal. Tolerance develops rapidly to most hallucinogens.
There are many hallucinogens, including Mescaline, Psilocybin, PCP and, best known of all LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide). Apart from LSD or PCP rarely can any other be bought on the street.
Heroin is an extremely addictive substance that is synthetically derived from the Opium poppy plant. It comes in the form of white of brownish powder, or as a black and sticky substance known as “black tar.”
Heroin is very much desired by narcotic dependents for its potency, but the heroin on the streets today is much more pure than in the past. As a result, death from respiratory distress due to overdose is much more common than with previous generations.
Heroin is most commonly injected, though it can also be snorted nasally, smoked, or consumed orally.
- Volatile Solvents and Sprays
- Volatile Nitrites
Psychoactive Chemical: Acetone, Butane, Butane, isopropane and Gasoline (leaded or unleaded)
Inhalants and cleaning supplies which are inhaled through the mouth or nose in order to achieve a high. Inhaling certain types of these substances can lead to heart failure, resulting in death.
This substance is medically used as an anesthetic in veterinary practice. When abused, Ketamine can cause hallucinations, sedation, and confusion.
Marijuana and Hashish
Marijuana and Hashish seem to be the most commonly abused illicit substances. The main psychoactive ingredient, THC (delta 9, tetrahydrocannabinol), causes temporary euphoria followed by drowsiness, slowed reaction time, and increased appetite.
Meth is an extremely dangerous stimulant that can cause users to become instantly addicted. The short-term effects of Meth include alertness and euphoria. However, long-term use of Meth can lead to problems such as violent behavior, severe dental problems, psychosis, and severe paranoia.
Synthetic Marijuana refers to the growing number of manufactured substances that contain a chemical similar to THC. Although Synthetic Marijuana is marketed as a legal alternative, the substance’s effects can be unpredictable and more intense than its natural counterpart.