Drugs and Cigarettes
The Consumption of drugs and cigarettes
Drug abuse has a wide range of definitions related to taking a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or non-medical effect. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, methaqualone, opium alkaloids, and minor tranquilizers. Use of these drugs may lead to criminal penalty in addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, both strongly depending on local jurisdiction.
Depending on the actual compound, drug abuse may lead to health problems, social problems, physical dependence, or psychological addiction.
Some drugs that are subject to abuse have central nervous system (CNS) effects, which produce changes in mood, levels of awareness or perceptions and sensations. Most of these drugs also alter systems other than the CNS. But, not all centrally acting drugs are subject to abuse, which suggests that altering consciousness is not sufficient for a drug to have abuse potential. Among drugs that are abused, some appear to be more likely to lead to uncontrolled use than others, suggesting a possible hierarchy of drug-induced effects relative to abuse potential.
Benefits of stopping consuming drugs and cigarettes
– 20 minutes: Blood pressure and pulse return to normal
– 8 hours: Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood are halved, oxygen levels in the blood return to normal
– 24 hours: Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and the lungs start to clear out the build up of tar
– 48 hours: There is no nicotine left in the body. Taste and smell are greatly improved
– 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier, bronchial tubes begin to relax, energy levels increase
– 2 – 12 weeks: Circulation improves, making walking and running a lot easier
– 3 – 9 months: Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as the lungs have room for up to 10% more oxygen
– 1 year: Risk of heart attack is halved
– 10 years: Risk of lung cancer is halved
– 10 years: Risk of heart attack is at the same level as non-smokers
– Medium to long-term: Risk of developing lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic lung disease is reduced – the sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your risk starts going down
– Medium to long-term: Stopping smoking at any age increases your life expectancy, provided that you stop before the onset of serious disease. Even if you have developed a disease, you can benefit from stopping as your body will be under less strain and be able to fight it more easily
– Medium to long-term: A smoker who has suffered from a heart attack can halve the risk of a second heart attack by stopping smoking
– Medium to long-term: Ten years after quitting smoking an ex-smoker’s risk of lung cancer is reduced by 30 – 50% compared with that of a continuing smoker
– Medium to long-term: Smokers who stop before the age of 35 have a life expectancy not significantly different from that of a non-smoker
– Medium to long-term: Smokers who give up smoking between 65 and 74 years of age have a better life expectancy beyond 75 than those who continue to smoke
– For life: Reduce stress, Any physical activity is easier, Don’t tire as quickly, Improve sense of taste and smell, and Improved skin
Drugs and cigarettes adiction
The phenomenon of drug addiction has occurred to some degree throughout recorded history, though modern agricultural practices, improvements in access to drugs, advancements in biochemistry, and dramatic increases in the recommendation of drug usage by clinical practitioners have exacerbated the problem significantly in the 20th century. Improved means of active biological agent manufacture and the introduction of synthetic compounds, such as methamphetamine are also factors contributing to drug addiction.
The addictive nature of drugs varies from substance to substance, and from individual to individual. Drugs such as codeine or alcohol, for instance, typically require many more exposures to addict their users than drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Likewise, a person who is psychologically or genetically predisposed to addiction is much more likely to suffer from it.
Drug addiction has two components: physical dependency, and psychological dependency. Physical dependency occurs when a drug has been used habitually and the body has become accustomed to its effects. The person must then continue to use the drug in order to feel normal, or its absence will trigger the symptoms of withdrawal. Psychological dependency occurs when a drug has been used habitually and the mind has become emotionally reliant on its effects, either to elicit pleasure or relieve pain, and does not feel capable of functioning without it. Its absence produces intense cravings, which are often brought on or magnified by stress. A dependent person may have either aspects of dependency or both.
There are anecdotal reports of psychological addiction to recreational stimulants such as MDMA (ecstasy) and a dissociative psychedelic ketamine. Pills sold on the street as “ecstasy” often contain adulterants, which may be the addictive compound.
Mechanisms of effect
The mechanisms by which different substances activate the reward system vary among drug classes.
Depressants such as alcohol and benzodiazepines work by increasing the affinity of the GABA receptor for its ligand; GABA. Narcotics such as morphine and methadone, work by mimicking endorphins chemicals produced naturally by the body which have effects similar to dopamine or by disabling the neurons that normally inhibit the release of dopamine. These substances typically facilitate relaxation and pain-relief.
Stimulants such as amphetamines, nicotine, and cocaine, increase dopamine signaling, either by directly stimulating its release, or by blocking its absorption. These substances typically cause heightened alertness and energy. They cause a pleasant feeling in the head known as a high. This high wears off leaving the user feeling depressed. This makes them want more of the drug or the addiction.
The most common drug addictions are to legal substances such as:
– Nicotine in the form of tobacco, particularly cigarettes
– Caffeine in the form of pills, tea, coffee, and caffeinated sodas
Many prescription or over the counter drugs are extremely addictive or can become so if misused. Steroidal medications, for example, are extremely addictive as well as benzodiazapines occasionally prescribed as sleeping tablets e.g valium. In addition, a large number of other substances, which are are currently considered to have no medical value and are not available over the counter or by prescription. Depending on the jurisdiction, these drugs may be legal only as part of a government sponsored study, illegal to use for any purpose, illegal to sell, or even illegal to merely possess.
Recovery from drug addiction
Methods of recovery from addiction to drugs vary widely according to the types of drugs involved, amount of drugs used, duration of the drug addiction, medical complications and the social needs of the individual. Treatment is just as important for the addicted individual as for the significant others in the addicted individuals sphere of contact.
One of many recovery methods is the 12 step recovery program, with prominent examples including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. They are commonly known and used for a variety of addictions for the individual addicted and the family of the individual. Substance-abuse rehabilitation (or “rehab”) centers frequently offer a residential treatment program for the seriously addicted in order to isolate the patient from drugs and interactions with other users and dealers. Outpatient clinics usually offer a combination of individual counseling and group counseling. Frequently a physician or psychiatrist will assist with prescriptions to assist with the side effects of the addiction (the most common side effect that the medications can help is anxiety).
Residential drug treatment can be broadly divided into two camps: 12 step programs or Therapeutic Communities. 12 step programmes have the advantage of coming with an instant social support network though some find the spiritual context not to their taste. In the UK drug treatment is generally moving towards a more integrated approach with rehabs offering a variety of approaches. These other programs may use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy an approach that looks at the relationship between thoughts feelings and behaviours, recognising that a change in any of these areas can affect the whole. CBT sees addiction as a behaviour rather than a disease and subsequently curable, or rather, unlearnable. CBT programmes recognise that for some individuals controlled use is a more realistic possibility.
Other forms of treatment involve replacement drugs such as methadone. Although methadone is itself addictive, opioid dependency is often so strong that a way to stabilise levels of opioid needed and a way to gradually reduce the levels of opiod needed are required. Other treatments, such as acupuncture, may be used to help alleviate symptoms as well. However, In 1997, the following statement was adopted as policy of the American Medical Association (AMA) after a report on a number of alternative therapies including acupuncture:
There is little evidence to confirm the safety or efficacy of most alternative therapies. Much of the information currently known about these therapies makes it clear that many have not been shown to be efficacious. Well-designed, stringently controlled research should be done to evaluate the efficacy of alternative therapies.
Factors of recovery
Determining the best type of recovery program for an addicted person depends on a number of factors, including: personality, drug(s) of addiction, concept of spirituality or religion, mental or physical illness, and local availability and affordability of programs.
Ibogaine is an (unpleasant) psychoactive drug that specifically interrupts the addictive response, and is currently being studied for its effects upon cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and SSRI addicts. Alternative medicine clinics offering ibogaine treatment have appeared along the U.S. border.
Many different ideas circulate regarding what is considered a “successful” outcome in the recovery from addiction. It has widely been established that abstinence from addictive substances is generally accepted as a “successful” outcome.
___________.WEBSCOLAR. Drugs and Cigarettes. http://www.webscolar.com/drugs-and-cigarettes. Fecha de consulta: 2 de marzo de 2019.