Illegal Drug Addiction
Illicit drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and hallucinogens, are highly addictive substances, and after extended use, will become part of the physical makeup of the user. On top of this, illegal drugs are also, of course, illegal, and in the UK, anyone caught selling or possessing them can face jail time. This means that not only will a person have to struggle with changes in brain chemical systems but also the criminal activity needed to acquire illegal substances. The process required to get illicit drugs results in unlawful activity, further getting the addict involved in a damaging and dangerous lifestyle.
Illegal drug use
Whilst cannabis is the most common depressant drug used in the UK, cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs and also the most prevalent stimulant, and the second most common drug used.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant with a short-lived high that often makes users feel wide awake and overconfident. Following the high is usually a crash or a ‘comedown’, which can make users feel depressed and run down. This crash can sometimes last for days. A cocaine addiction may not necessarily be taking the drug every day. A sign of addiction may be that users’ happiness depends on it or that they are unable to cut down. This is when it is time to seek professional advice and get help for cocaine addiction.
Another common addictive drug used in the UK is heroin. During a heroin high, users may feel a sense of warmth and well-being, and the drug essentially works as a powerful painkiller. The effects can last for hours at a time. Despite users feeling relaxed whilst on the drug, the risks are quite high, and an overdose can result in a coma or even death. When heroin users become addicted and dependent, after extended use, changes to their brain chemical structure will take place, meaning they will be entirely dependent on the drug. At this point in a heroin addiction cycle, long-term users become numb to the effects of the drug and are unable to feel any pleasure.
Not only are the dangers of the drug itself high, the process involved in taking heroin also carries high risks. Injecting heroin can damage veins and cause blood clots, and sharing equipment can cause the user to catch viruses like HIV. Like cocaine, heroin is an illegal class A drug, with only possession of the drug causing you to spend a lifetime in prison. Even if a user does not use the drug every day, it may still be time for heroin addiction treatment.
Treatment for drug addicts
There are many therapies designed to help addicts overcome their drug problems; yet, some drugs carry higher risk from withdrawal than others. If a user is dependent on a drug, detoxification may need to take place. Self-withdrawal from a class A drug, such as heroin, can result in extremely unpleasant side effects and can be dangerous. Addicts should only undergo the process of detoxification in a safe environment, whilst under medical supervision. Unlike heroin addiction treatment, other class A drugs may not have medical substitutes, so medical professionals will provide medication to help with withdrawal symptoms instead.
After the body is completely clear of any remaining drug residue, patients should take part in rehabilitation to aid in the recovery back to a healthy life and prevent relapse in the future.
For more information on the treatments services offered by Charterhouse Clinic for drug addiction, please visit our drug addiction treatment page.