Dangers of Bath Salts Abuse in Teenagers

bath salts abuse

Bath salts have become extremely popular among teenagers in recent years. Despite its name, this is not the kind of substance that you use for bathing. They have similar effects as that of the other illegal substances, which are covertly sold at parties, concerts and music festivals.

Bath salts are synthetic cathinones that act similarly as a khat plant. They are usually sold as a white or off-white powder, placed in small plastic or foil packages, and labelled as “not for human consumption”. The substance may be injected, snorted, ingested, or mixed with other liquids.

The drug may be referred to by drug dealers as jewelry cleaners, plant food, or phone screen cleaner, and can be bought online or in headshops. They carry different street names to deceive non-users and authorities alike from getting then caught. Some of the common street names of bath salts are:

  • Bloom
  • Blue Silk
  • Cloud Nine
  • Cosmic Blast
  • Flakka
  • Ivory White
  • Lunar Wave
  • Red Dove
  • Purple Wave
  • Scarface
  • Vanilla Sky
  • White Lightning

Using bath salts can produce an extreme euphoric feeling, which may lead to dangerous behaviors.  They act on the brain the same way as other types of drugs like amphetamines and ecstasy. Bath salts are made from a variety of chemicals which include mephedrone, pyrovalerone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). It is said that MDPV is 10 times more potent than cocaine.

There are several variations of bath salts that contain different ingredients. The most commonly found synthetic cathinones in bath salts are:

  • Butylone
  • Ethylone
  • MDPV
  • Mephedrone
  • Methcathinone
  • Methedrone
  • Methylone
  • Naphyrone

These are strong stimulants that may be sought by users who have tried taking methamphetamine and cocaine. It is highly addictive and can trigger an intense craving for the drug.

Why are Bath Salts Abused?

Being a stimulant, it is a drug of choice among people who want to get “high” to clear their thoughts from any pain, disappointment or fear. Some individuals may feel that they could not go on with their lives having to deal with the everyday stress, leading them to turn to drugs with the hope of being relieved from all the negativity.

It is quite common among teens to use bath salts since it can be a more inexpensive option compared to other drugs. Users may find it easier to purchase bath salts since they can only be bought online at $20 per gram, compared to other drugs that are sold as high as $80 per gram.

Facts and Figures on Bath Salts Abuse

It was in 2010 when bath salt addiction became known in the United States. Several reports revealed that there were people having unlikely behavior such as eating other people’s faces and all other erratic behaviors. Prior to this, bath salt addiction was never a public health concern nor any parent’s nightmare.

Here are some facts about bath salts abuse:

  • Over 22,000 ER visits in 2011 were reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) due to the use of synthetic cathinones.
  • It significantly dropped to 2,691 in 2012 and 996 in 2013. The decline continues to this date.
  • In 2012, 91 people were arrested and there were 167,000 bags of synthetic cathinone seized from the government operation.
  • There are over 150 new types of cathinones developed in 2012.
  • Bath salts use is common among people in their twenties, although there are also reports that at least 1 percent of high school students are addicted to bath salts.

Dangers of Bath Salts Abuse

Baths salts are addictive and dangerous, and may cause unfavorable signs and symptoms. The short-term effects of bath salts use usually last for 3-4 hours. These are manifested by the following symptoms:

  • agitation and irritability
  • decreased ability to think clearly
  • delusions and hallucinations
  • depression
  • distorted sense of reality
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • mood disturbances and psychosis
  • panic attacks
  • paranoia
  • suicidal thoughts

Some of its physical effects are:

  • brain swelling
  • chest pains
  • decreased muscle and body control
  • feeling sick and throwing up
  • heart attack
  • increased blood pressure and body temperature
  • irregular heartbeat
  • nosebleeds
  • seizures
  • stroke

Bath salts users may eventually develop dependence with the said drug. Because of this, they may feel the need to take frequent large amounts of the substance until they attain the kind of euphoric feeling that they want. Long-term effects of bath salts use are:

  • depression and other mental health issues
  • dizziness and blurred vision
  • headaches
  • higher chances of getting sick because of malnutrition
  • insomnia and restlessness
  • physical exhaustion
  • reduced appetite and health problems from not eating properly

A person who uses bath salts may experience intense heat, which would make them almost tear off their clothes to help them cool immediately. Their extreme behavior may lead to aggressive and extremely uncontrollable attacks or cause self-inflicting pain.

It is possible that long-time bath salts users may cause their muscle tissues to break down, which can result in kidney failure or even death.

It can significantly cause damage to the whole well-being of an individual. Because of this, heart problems are also likely to happen with frequent use.

Synthetic cathinones are the known components of bath salts. However, there are other mixtures of chemicals that are now used, which only the drug manufacturers themselves know about. The mixture of these unknown chemicals can be deadly which increases the risk of developing lethal side effects.

Individuals taking other medication along with bath salts use such as sleeping aids, antidepressants, and painkillers.

Mephedrone and MDPV are two chemicals found in bath salts that are classified as Schedule I drugs in der the Controlled Substances Act of the Drug Enforcement Agency. All substances under this classification have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use.

bath salts powder

Incidents of Bath Salts Abuse

In 2012, a homeless man was viciously attacked along MacArthur Causeway in Miami by someone who was reported to be taking bath salts. Reports revealed that the attacker was found eating the face of the homeless man. Despite the man being demanded to stop by police authorities, the man just growled and bared his teeth, almost like a wild animal, which eventually forced authorities to shoot at him. The incident was named as the “Causeway Cannibal” case.

[Authorities for the above case has since ruled out any links to bath salts abuse. The violent outburst of the said user was caused by marijuana. Evidently, the outrage may be brought about by taking large amounts of the drug that lead to paranoia.]

Another incident involved a 35-year old woman from the U.K., wherein she admitted to using bath salts as her means of losing weight. She did shed off some pounds, but it turned her into a paranoid and aggressive insomniac. She later on developed brain damage, which caused her early death.

In Washington state, a couple figured in a high-speed chase. After they crashed, the man shot his wife and then himself. Their child was also found dead in their home, where packets of bath salts were also found by police authorities.

These are all brought about by substance abuse that has caused the lives of innocent people. You can just imagine how people under the influence of bath salts can act like wild beasts, zombies, vampires, and murderers.

How To Deal With A Family Member with Bath Salts Addiction

It is crucial that family members should be aware of the possible signs of drug abuse. Most often, the cause of drug addiction is when users would turn to drugs instead of facing their problems. Parents in particular should always spend time to talk to their children, especially their teens. Adolescent life can be a confusing stage for teens wherein they need more love and support from the family.

Drug addiction is not only a problem of the user but can also affect the lives of the people around him. If you suspect a member of the family to have an unusual behavior, immediately keep an eye on the family member and start an intervention.

Effects of Quitting Bath Salts Use

Turning away from any form abuse or addiction can have a positive impact on any user. Quitting can reduce their risk of developing any mental health problems. Bath salts are mind-altering drugs that may affect the behavior of anyone who uses it. Being a stimulant, one may experience extreme euphoric feelings, which may lead to hallucinations and paranoia.

Not using any kind of drug can significantly increase productivity at work, leading a person to experience better performance.

Taking bath salt may likely to develop an aggressive behavior. Therefore, quitting can result to more harmonious relationships with people around him.

Diagnosis and Testing

Synthetic cathinones can stay in the body for a period of 24-72 hours. Unfortunately, standard urine drug tests may not detect the presence of this drug. Most drug tests cannot detect the various ingredients found in the drug. There are now more drug testing laboratories that offer specialized synthetic cathinone testing.

The factors that influence drug testing are:

  • The amount of drug used
  • User’s metabolism
  • Height and weight

Treatment for Bath Salts Addiction

It is possible that one can quit using bath salts on his own. However, it could be difficult to deal with the cravings most especially without the support of family and friends.

The type of treatment is determined by a specialist based on the severity of the addiction.  There are options available for treatment:

Inpatient treatment

This is a rehabilitation center that needs the user to be admitted for several weeks until he recovers. It is more helpful for patients to be in this kind of environment since the user will be surrounded by therapists, physicians, and nurses who can protect the user from having a relapse.

Outpatient treatment

This kind of treatment involves sessions made once to several times a week. The downside of this option is not having a 24-hour supportive environment.

Final Word

As one of the most vulnerable sectors of society, teenagers need to be in the company of people who are after their welfare. If you have a teenager in the family, all it takes is to build and nurture your relationships with them. Not only will they be more open to talk about their feelings and confusions, but they can also ask some of the toughest questions in life – and this includes drug abuse.

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How To Protect Kids From Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse among kids has become one of the common problems that parents are currently facing. Thousands of families are affected by this kind of abuse each year, which has led to illegal drug use, frequent emergency room visits, overdose deaths and an increase in the number of crimes related to drug use. Parents are losing their children at such an alarming rate that unless parents do something about it to prevent their children from succumbing to such abuse, then the rates would continue to increase.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), majority of prescription drugs that are abused come from homes. This means that the children have easier access to these prescription drugs in which their parents are taking. Unknowingly, parents would just let these prescription drugs stay inside their medicine cabinets without any fear or doubt that their children would ever think of using them.

Statistics on Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription drug abuse kids

Prescription drugs have been developed with the intention of helping people who are in need of treatment for their medical conditions. Unfortunately, along with the good comes the bad; these prescription drugs, which are potent when used inappropriately, may cause more harm than good. Nevertheless, when these drugs are used accordingly, it is safe. However, with improper storage and disposal practices, this increases the risk of leading to drug abuse, accidental poisoning and environmental harm.

The amount of drugs that a person takes determines its effect – small doses act as a stimulant while large doses act as a sedative. Massive doses can actually kill a person in a matter of minutes.

Listed below are statistics regarding prescription drug abuse:

  • Unintentional drug overdose from prescription drug abuse causes one American to die every 15 minutes.
  • 70% of those engaged in prescription drug abuse get them from family or friends.
  • In 2010, there were more than 22,000 overdose deaths involving prescription medications.
  • Surprisingly, there are more deaths recorded from prescription drug abuse than inhalants, cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogen combined.
  • In 2011, an average of 13 prescriptions for every person in America has been given by physicians.
  • The cost of prescription opioids reached $78.5B in 2013.
  • At least 2,500 youths abuse a pain reliever for the first time.
  • According to a survey, 50% of teenagers believe that it is safer to use prescription drugs than street drugs.
  • Teens who abuse prescription drugs are twice as likely to use alcohol and five times more likely to use marijuana.
  • Fentanyl, an opioid painkiller, killed more than 1,000 people in 2007.

Why are kids using drugs?

teen prescription drug abuse

The reasons why children are using drugs may differ from one another. But more often than not, drugs have become their best friend without them knowing that it has become their silent killer.

It is important for parents to understand the behavior of their children and not to ignore or underestimate the impact of stress or personal problems. Parents should always have a watchful eye over their children, especially children in their teens. In addition to being a vigilant parent is the need to provide necessary information for the children to understand why they are educated not to get involved with drugs.

Some of the reasons why kids fall for drugs are:

Used as a stress-buster

Parents may not realize that stress can also get in the way of the life of their children. Most often, we associate stress with adults who face more challenges every day. But children, too, do find themselves all stressed out because of a number of reasons: homework, new lessons to study for tests, projects, teen problems, etc.

To be part of a group

Teens, most especially, want to feel that they belong to a group. They want to fit in to avoid being made fun of by others and become a part of a “cool” group. Moreover, teens want others to see them as a worthy being; however, sometimes, with their desire to be accepted, notwithstanding the potential harm, it can drive them to engage in such hostile or dangerous behavior. One study shows that 65% of teens use drugs to help them feel better about themselves; these teens have low self-esteem and they are likely to become a part of the wrong crowd.

Used as self-medication

Teens think highly of themselves during adolescence that they feel like they do not always need to seek advice or help from their elders. Accordingly, during this stage, they undergo a transition period that makes it difficult for them to truly find themselves when their elders expect them to act like adults yet still treat them like children. Therefore, sometimes, they undergo depression without them truly knowing what is happening to them and that reaching for a drug to help cope with the symptoms has become an easier solution.

To look and feel like a grown-up

Teens want to be treated like adults as they no longer see themselves as the kids who would always be playing at the park with their mommies. They want to be given more privileges. With the thought that they are no longer kids, they start to seek for things that would make them feel like adults. Sadly, they are often caught up in their own web of unrealistic expectations that they end up doing inappropriate things such as drinking alcohol and taking drugs.

Looking up to their parents’ behavior

No one is perfect and each one of us may have some issues of our own. As adults, we sometimes act without truly thinking if it shows a positive effect towards others or not. Grabbing a drink after coming home from work may have become a habit, which is unknowingly being picked up on by children who then start to consider it normal. Consequently, kids mimic their parents’ behavior no matter if they are right or wrong; for as long as they know that their parents have done it, they think that it is always right.

Out of curiosity

Teens are naturally bold and thrill-seeking; the more that they are cautioned from doing something, all the more that they will find ways on how they can be able to experience something they were told to avoid. Trying new things is among the characteristics of teens. Being teens, they have more freedom since they are less supervised and when parents are away, they just might sneak into their parent’s room and try whatever they come across with. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol can be among them.

As their means of rebellion

Parents and teens often collide even because of the small things. And being teens, they feel that they should be treated differently. When they do not end up coming up with a compromise and teens refuse to see things the way their parents see them, teens may turn to drugs because they know that it will infuriate their parents.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse or Misuse

prescription drug abuse

Parents should be aware of the different behaviors of their children, most especially if they notice anything unusual that their children may be involved with. Some of the signs that your kid might be using drugs are:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Mood changes – gets irritated easily, lacks interest in activities
  • Withdraws from any form of gathering
  • Decreased focus on school work
  • Missing prescription medicines
  • Changes in the relationship with other family members

Tips To Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are about 6 million Americans who abuse prescription drugs – usually with their homes as the source of these drugs.

The most commonly abused drugs are opioids. When these are used along with other prescription medications such as muscle relaxers, stimulants or antidepressants, they can provide a cocaine-like effect.

To reduce the risk of drug use, the following should be done:

  • Always keep drugs out of reach. Medications should always be stored in a locked cabinet out of children’s reach. Some small children can accidentally swallow these drugs which can lead them to dangerous situations such as increased heart rate, decreased respiration or even death.
  • Keep a list of all your medications. Always make an inventory of all your medications, whether they are prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications. Make it a habit to track down the medications that you are taking. Count the medications remaining in the container and ensure that it’s the correct amount. About 64% of kids aged between 12 and 17 years old were discovered to have abused pain relievers. According to them, they acquired the drugs from their own homes or from their friends without their parents’ knowledge.
  • Properly dispose of unused medications. It is unsafe to just throw them in the garbage bin because there might be others who would see them and use them. Instead, take it out from its original container and mix it with sawdust or used coffee grounds and place it inside a sealed bag that can be disposed of in the trash. You can also inquire from the DEA for any drop-off areas or takeback initiatives where these unused medications can be brought for proper disposal.
  • Some medications have instructions that suggest having these drugs flushed down the drain. Examples of these medications are Duragesic Transdermal Patch, Avinza, Percocet, Fentora, and Oxycontin.
  • Never become too comfortable leaving potentially addictive drugs lying around. Always keep them in a locked cabinet.
  • Be vigilant during trips to visit relatives and friends, most especially when visiting the elders. They are most likely taking quite a number of medications which can be left lying around in their houses.
  • It is not advisable to keep unused medications and save it for future use. There are certain types of medications that are not supposed to be stored. Such medications can only be used with a proper prescription.
  • Never make it a habit of offering your medication to others because only a doctor can determine the kind of medication needed by a person. There are certain drugs that can produce allergic reactions to others which can lead to unfavorable circumstances. To be safe, let your friend or anyone who asked helped from you to seek for medical advice instead.
  • Even over-the-counter drugs, such as cough syrups, can become a source of addiction.
  • It is extremely important to talk to your children about the dangers of using prescription drugs. Let them know that taking medications without any doctor’s advice can be potentially lethal. Clearly, instill in their minds that the medications are not prescribed for them.
  • If there is a need for your children to take these medications during school hours, inform the school about it and work out a plan with the school nurse or principal on how the medications should be given to your child. Demand that any unused medications should be returned to you.

Conclusion

The safety of children should always come from the parents’ effort. This includes providing kids the knowledge about the dangers of engaging in prescription drug abuse. When children are well aware of these facts, they are less likely to use them as much the same way when parents provide quality time to be with their children.

These children are unlikely to feel the need to use drugs or alcohol when they feel that the whole family have their love and support all the time.

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Alcohol Abuse Treatment: How To Handle Teen Drinking

An estimated 10 million underage drinkers were reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2010. Although the rate of teen drinking has gone down over the past years, still there are millions of teenagers who are regular alcohol drinkers in the United States. Among them, 2 million are considered heavy drinkers.

This can be very alarming considering how it is likely that these teenagers are also engaged in other forms of substance abuse.

beer teen drinking

The Impact of Teen Drinking

Teens are likely to drink alcohol because of how their brain develops during that stage. They are still unable to control their urges, and the pleasure center of their brain matures quicker than the part of the brain responsible for proper decision-making. Their inability to fully understand the possible consequences of drinking leads them to get hooked on the substance at an early age.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Drinking alcohol is legal in almost all countries, but individuals need to adhere to the rules with regards to age, culture and place. However, some teens may have easier access to alcohol when their parents store a few bottles at home or when adult friends can easily purchase booze for them.

alcohol abuse signs

Here are some of the most common signs of alcohol abuse in teenagers that parents should know about:

  • Coming home late at night even during school days
  • Waking up with an unpleasant mood
  • Sleeping during class often
  • Grades declining
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Memory loss
  • Getting into accidents often
  • Rebellion
  • Low energy level
  • Change of group of friends
  • Problems concentrating
  • Coordination problem
  • Slurred speech

Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Teens see alcohol as just any kind of substance that are pretty normal in parties or any kind of gathering among friends, without them realizing that they are slowly getting hooked on the substance. It may start out as casual drinking, but then later turns into a habit to the point of getting into an actual dangerous situation.

The consequences of teen drinking can affect everyone. It has become a nationwide concern that leads to property damage, injuries and violence. Intoxicated teens can make impulsive decisions, thereby making them more prone to situations that may not only endanger their health, but can also lead to their early demise.

Assault and sexual activity

Being under the influence of alcohol makes a person feel less inhibited. Therefore, teens who drink heavily are more likely to be involved in sexual assaults and fights. It is also likely for these teens not to use any protection during sexual activity, which may lead to unplanned pregnancy and developing sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS and genital herpes.

Brain damage

Earlier studies prove that heavy drinking in adolescents can impair normal brain function, which can be evident when they grow older. This causes learning and cognitive problems. Coordination, memory and motor skills are also likely to be affected.

Vehicular accidents

Car mishaps are the leading cause of death in teens. It has become a huge factor affecting both driver and passenger.

Involvement with other Illicit Substances

It is also likely that teen drinking can become a gateway to being addicted to other substances like marijuana, meth and other illegal substances.

Teen Drinking Statistics

Here are some alarming statistics on teen drinking:

  • At least 33% of teens by the age of 15 years old have had at least 1 drink.
  • At least 60% of teens by the age of 18 years old have had at least 1 drink.
  • It was reported in 2015 that 7.7 million teens aged 12-20 have ingested alcohol beyond a few sips in the past month.
  • Roughly 1.3 million teens were reported to engage in binge drinking for five or more days in the past month.
  • Prevalence of drinking by both boys and girls is similar, but boys binge more than girls.
  • Based from the data given by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is the leading cause of teenage deaths each year. Out of 4,358 deaths, close to 1,600 deaths were caused by vehicular accidents linked to alcohol abuse.

Causes of Teen Drinking

causes of teen drinking and alcohol abuse

Adolescence is a life stage when people may feel stuck between crossroads. Teenagers may feel the need to be allowed more independence and yet the people around them see them as children who still need more time to mature. However, some teens fail to see that their parents are just guiding them to become better persons.

As innocent and as vulnerable as they are, some teens may be corrupted by others, thereby making them feel stronger to do things against their parents’ will.

Adolescence is the time when teens want to explore the world. They may want to try to do things that they see in adults thinking that they are already capable of doing them. Unfortunately, due to their anatomical framework still undergoing development, teens are unaware of the consequences that can follow.

Most teens would experiment with alcohol and drugs at some point in their early lives for different reasons.

Peer pressure

This may be the most common reason for teens to start getting hooked on substances like alcohol and drugs. They see their friends doing it, and they feel that it is necessary to do the same thing in order to conform or belong. They fear being rejected or bullied, and teens want to feel that they are part of a group that they can relate with.

Unfortunately, their means of having fun may no longer revolve about playing ball or hanging out at the mall. For some teens, being together may mean taking a few rounds of beer.

Ignorance

Teens don’t know as much as adults do, and this insufficiency in information may lead them to situations that could lead to trouble. Not knowing the effects of taking these substances can cause them harm.

Seeing other people do it, some teens would think that it is something that they are expected to do as well. Unaware of the consequences of how they would end up after, they may just one day find themselves locked out or mourning over a friend who has succumbed to an early death.

To feel like a grown-up

Teens seem to be in a hurry to get old and would no longer want to be treated like a kid. They want independence. They want to do whatever they want, and so they are drawn to certain ideas that make them feel like an adult. As a result, they get involved with drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco and/or taking drugs.

Monkey see, Monkey do

Teens look up to their parents, Therefore, no matter how bad the actions that they see from their parents, they have a tendency to imitate. A child born from parents who are smokers or alcohol drinkers is more likely to become one themselves when he/she grows older.

Many teens have easier access to these substances because their parents keep a few bottles of beer or wine at home.

Curiosity

Teens often want to try to do something new and explore the world around them. Since teens are less likely to be supervised unlike when they were younger, they are often left alone when parents are at work. It is during these times when they are able to freely do their experimentation.

Boredom

When people are left with nothing to do, the mind may harbor thoughts and lead to some unlikely situations. A restless teen can get himself into all kinds of trouble. He may ask his friends to come over and have a few drinks to cover up their boredom. Unfortunately, this can slowly lead to addiction.

Self-medication

Teens who may be going through some difficult times may resort to alcohol because they know that getting highly intoxicated can make them feel numb and temporarily forget all their problems.

Some shy teens would also want to fit in, and they may think that alcohol is the solution to their problems.

Sign of rebellion or aggression

Troubled teens may become hooked on either drugs or alcohol to show their parents that they are mature enough to do whatever pleases them. Nagging and overprotective parents may be unaware of how they are slowly pushing their teenagers into such situation.

Teens may not find themselves to be worthy of being listened to by their parents. As a result, instead of taking time to sit down and talk to their parents, they may rebel by using drugs or alcohol.

How to Handle Your Own Kids Who Abuse Alcohol

addressing teen drinking

It is important to talk to children all the time and establish that connection so that they feel free in saying whatever comes to mind and share their thoughts. This way, they can seek guidance from their parents anytime.

If you find out that your teen has alcohol problems, the first thing that you have to do is to find out the cause that lead to the addiction. Sometimes, teens feel that they are alone in this world and that opening up their feelings to their parents can be extremely difficult.

Moreover, showing anger may make your teen all the more become distant. Show compassion and let your teen kid feel that you will always be by his side no matter what happens. When he has finally opened up himself, let him understand the consequences of having this kind of situation. There may be a need for him to be admitted into a rehabilitation center to help him to completely recover from the addiction.

To say the least, all efforts should be made by the whole family. First and foremost, the family should make the teen feel that he is loved.

All signs of alcohol should be eliminated from the house. This also includes the parents having to refrain from taking alcohol at home.

Treatment of Alcohol Abuse

If you suspect teen drinking in your children, immediately send them to a health professional for proper assessment. Should the health professional find your child to be positive for alcohol abuse, your teen may be requested to undergo therapy for a few weeks to a couple of months until he/she completely recovers.

Therapy would include completely taking out alcohol from his/her system and to have a psychological evaluation. This will help your teen face the problem that has caused him/her to get into the said addiction. Hopefully the issue can be resolved in a few months without any recurrence.

It is also a great help to make your teen join support groups to help him to realize that what has happened can also happen to other teens, and that getting back to their old life is always possible.

What Else Can We Do To Prevent Teen Drinking?

Teen drinking is something that can be prevented. It will need the help of both the government, society and families to make this possible. One possible way is to increase the cost of alcohol and maintain the minimum drinking age at 21. There should also be zero-tolerance policy when it comes to driving after any amount of alcohol. This would ensure a lesser possibility of having car accidents.

Schools should always provide a program that will let the students be informed of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. Having a clear knowledge of these substances would make them aware of the dangers, and avoid alcohol intake at all costs.

The most important action is for parents to establish a good and healthy relationship with their children so that they may avoid hiding things from their parents. Parents should always provide quality time for their family. No matter how much the children have all grown up, guiding them will always be important.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Safe Partying for Teenagers

Being a parent is never an easy task. From conceiving until the children grow older, the parent’s love and affection remains the same. Through the years, there are certain stages that every parent should deal with, and one of the biggest periods include teenage partying.

Teenage Years: The Period of Experimentation and Identity Crisis

teen partying outside

Being a teenager opens up a whole new world for children. This is the stage when they want to explore a lot of things, which sometimes leave us with sleepless nights.

Raising children in a very loving environment isn’t an assurance that everything will turn out well for them. Sometimes, it gets to a point where teenagers question the reason for their existence. The absence of parents may have a very huge impact on the behavior of teenagers, because they want to have answers to all of their questions.

Part of any teenager’s life is to become very sociable. While some parents can be too strict by not allowing their children to be with fellow teenagers, this may not result to something positive. In fact, this may lead kids to become rebellious.

Parents should understand that there is a need to provide balance in caring for teens. They are no longer small children, but they’re not adults either. These facts should be clearly emphasized to teens so that they will know what are expected of them and what their responsibilities are.

Putting trust on teen kids is something that parents should have. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Fears of Parents Regarding Teen Partying

A lot of things may cause parents to be fearful in teen partying. These include:

  • Drug overdose
  • Drunk driving
  • Unprotected sex
  • Fighting
  • Sexual assault

Any of these situations may lead any parent to feel uncomfortable letting their teenagers join any party. However, preventing teenagers from partying with their peers may result to a negative feeling for them.

Teenagers and the Society

No parent is assured that their teenagers will lead a life according to how they want them to be. This is probably because parents aren’t beside their teen children 24 hours a day. Moreover, the influence of fellow teenagers can be too strong that teenager who may be facing certain issues with their families may turn to friends – regardless if they are good or bad influences.

Some of the factors that influence teenagers to get hooked on drugs and/or alcohol include the following:

  • Friends who are into drinking alcohol and taking drugs
  • Television and social media exposure
  • Role models such as actors, singers, and artists
  • Parents or family members who are drinking alcohol and taking drugs

How Parents Should Handle Teen Partying

partying teen peer pressure

Find below how parents should be able to handle their teen children’s partying, and how to let their kids enjoy their young lives without fear and worry:

Alcohol Abuse

Statistics have shown that kids as young as 8th grade may already be exposed to social drinking. What influences them to try drinking different kinds of alcohol is primarily the fact that they see the act from their own parents.

Parents should always provide open communication between them and their children. This is a good way of knowing each other’s feelings and thoughts, which could potentially strengthen the bond between them.

When parents fall short of providing quality time, children would seek answers from other people. Unfortunately, not everyone can be trustworthy. In fact, some people would intentionally harm others.

Having frequent family conversations is a must. This gives the opportunity for children to tell everything to their parents. As a parent, you should make your children feel that you are all ears for them and that you are always there to provide love and support.

Inform your children about what alcohol can do to them. Alcohol drinking may be a form of socializing but it should be taken in moderation. Teenagers still have young bodies which are still going through development. As parents, you need to provide information on the repercussions if they became habitual drinkers.

If you happen to be a parent who often drinks alcohol at home, maybe it’s time for you to stop the habit. If you have difficulty in completely stopping alcohol consumption, seek professional advice on how you can slowly turn yourself away from alcohol. Teenagers may not find what you tell them to be true unless they see that you no longer take a bottle or two of beer every night while watching your favorite TV show.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

A large percentage of road accidents are caused by individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have teenagers who are already driving their own cars, let them know that they need to be responsible while driving. Meeting an accident is unpredictable, which is why there is a need to always take precautionary measures.

Aside from self-protection, being watchful of DUI prevents teens from hurting other people or damaging property. You can just imagine the extent of loss that a DUI accident can bring to anyone.

There’s absolutely no excuse to be unaware of the dangers of what DUI can do. If your teenager cannot avoid having a drink while partying, at least inform your teenager to either avoid driving or make a call so that somebody can pick him up. These tips are not meant to encourage your son or daughter to party and get drunk and high, but rather to teach him / her how to be careful.

Then again, it boils down to teaching your kids what to do if they find themselves in that situation. Make sure to emphasize the fact that apart from being charged for possible damages, his life or another person’s life is at stake.

One effective way for DUI to be avoided is by letting someone come with your teen child to the party, or someone to drive him to where he is going. By doing this, someone can be there to remind him on how he should behave.

Party drugs

This may be the most popular trend among party goers these days, but taking party drugs is definitely something that people can live without. For starters, party drugs will never be something that the government would allow to be used for fun.

A lot of lives have been claimed because of party drugs and date rape drugs. What makes it worse is that some individuals aren’t even aware of the kind of drugs sold to them because some of these drugs are not labeled.

It becomes frightening when teenagers become curious to try party drugs. Some of them were made to believe that drugs can make their problems disappear or that they can be whoever they want to be without fear of being judged.

Parents should let their children be more aware of the dangers of having to deal with strangers during parties or sticking with people who are hooked on drugs. It is every parent’s responsibility to be the first people to provide such information to their children rather than let their children get false information from others.

Some of the most common party drugs that teenagers have been reported to be using include methamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis, heroin, fentanyl and ecstasy. These drugs are dangerous on their own, and the risk of potential health hazards are increased when taken with alcohol.

Being teens, your children may feel like they own the world when they’re with friends. On the flip side, they may feel invisible and do whatever they do. This vulnerability is the reason why teenagers should learn to open up to their parents if they feel that they have to say something.

There are also some thrill seekers who want to know the effects of party drugs. Letting your teenagers know the dangers of these drugs would enlighten them that to enjoy a party, drugs doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of it.

Peer Pressure

Teenagers want to belong to a group in order to feel accepted. At times, though, too much pressure from the world may turn them into personalities whom they are really not. This, in return, would lead to the stigma of trying to prove their worthiness to belong to a group, which may lead them to drink alcohol or take drugs as part of an “initiation”.

What happens next is that once they are in the clique, substance abuse can be part of their regular group bonding, which eventually becomes habitual to the point of becoming addictive.

Parents should always know the people that their children are hanging out with most of the time. It is best to know where their friends live as well. This information will give the parents some idea where their teenagers are more likely going to.

What should parents do?

teen partying pool

First and foremost, make a rule that no one can be allowed to stay out late especially during school days. If they need to go to a party, you should know who they are going with and where the party is going to be held. Complete information about the party should be provided; otherwise, you should not allow them to go out.

It is a great idea to be friends with the parents of your teenager’s friends. In that way, you are more confident that you will know what is going on with the party and have the assurance that no drugs or alcohol will be used by the teenagers.

If your teenager would be staying at a friend’s house after the party, make sure that you verify the arrangements with the parents and ensure that they are home in a previously agreed schedule.

Children who have open communication with their parents are at least 42 percent less likely to use illegal substances. This is because children will most likely to believe what their parents are telling them.

When parents spend more quality time, children will feel that they are loved. It is not enough to tell them that you love them. You should assure your kids that you want what’s best for them, and that you will do everything to keep them safe.

If the party is happening at your place and one of your teenager’s friends comes to your home intoxicated, immediately inform the parents. Also make sure that the friend goes home safely. Let your teenager know his responsibility as a host and as a friend.

Hosting a Party for your Teenager and his Friends

You may feel safer hosting the party instead of allowing your teenager to go partying in another place. The best way to make the party successful is by involving your children in the preparation. However, let them and their friends know that they can enjoy the party with fun activities but without having to deal with alcohol and drugs.

Here are some more partying tips when you plan to have your teen child’s friends over at your home:

  • Plan the event with your teenager.
  • Invite only a few friends over. There should be an adult present all the time. You may ask a parent to help you with the preparation should you need some extra hands.
  • The party should not allow people who are not in the guest lists to avoid gate crashers and other people who might be bringing in illicit drugs.
  • Set the rules during the party.
    • Drugs, alcohol or tobacco are absolutely not allowed.
    • Once a guest leaves, he could no longer return to the party.
    • Lights should never be turned off.
    • Certain rooms are off-limits.
  • Be on the lookout but not to the extent that you are making your teenager and his friends uncomfortable.

Helpful Links and Resources

https://responsibility.org/get-the-facts/research/statistics/drunk-driving-fatalities

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/underage-drinking

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/teen-abuse-cough-medicine-9/peer-pressure

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/abuse-international-statistics.html

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Dealing With Teen Steroid Abuse

Parents are normally faced with teen problems because it is at this stage that children would be exploring so many things. They may feel they are old enough to do certain things, and peer pressure is an even bigger problem to deal with. As a result, many of them succumb to teen steroid abuse and other forms of addiction.

In this article, we will discuss teen steroid abuse, and how to deal with it, in case it happens to a teenager in your family or community.

teen steroid abuse body image

Background on Teen Drug Abuse

Most often, teens would come to their friends for comfort and acceptance because they do not feel the sense of belonging in their own families. Venting out their problems to friends gives them a feeling of satisfaction and greatness.

Being around people that could be a positive influence to these teens will definitely help enrich their lives. But sometimes, what happens is otherwise. When teens hang out with the wrong kind of group, they end up as delinquents.

On this day and age, we know how young as 13 years old are already hooked on certain types of drugs. They may either be unaware of the ill effects it would do to their bodies, or they choose to ignore the truth. Either way, long-term use of any kind of drug will affect their overall well-being.

What are steroids?

Steroids are organic compounds that the body normally produces. They act by helping organs, tissues and cells to do their specific functions.

Steroids, however, can also refer to man-made medicines. These may be categorized under two kinds:

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are generally used to treat asthma, arthritis, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus, some forms of cancer, and skin disorders such as rashes and eczema.

The risk of having side effects would depend on the type of steroid, dose, age and length of treatment. There are different forms of corticosteroids with varying side effects:

Oral Steroids

This type of corticosteroid may be used for less than three weeks without causing any side effects. However, there are certain conditions which might require taking them longer.

Oral steroids that have been taken for more than one week may cause:

  • Acne
  • Increased appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rapid mood wings
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Easily bruised

Steroid Injections

There is usually pain and swelling on the area where the steroid has been injected but usually disappears within two days. It is because of these side effects that steroid injection is given at 6-week intervals and only with a maximum of three injections into one area.

Application of steroid injection may cause any of the following:

  • Muscle and tendon weakness
  • Blushing
  • Thinning and lightening of the skin on the injected area

Steroid Inhalers

A very common side effect after using steroid inhalers is the formation of oral thrush or fungal infection in the mouth cavity. It is advised to rinse the mouth with water after using steroid inhalers.

Some of its side effects include:

  • Cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Minor nosebleeds
  • Sore mouth and throat

Most of these side effects usually stop as soon as you have lowered the dose or have completely stopped taking them.

anabolic steroid injection

Anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances usually given as treatment for delayed puberty and to those who have difficulty in producing testosterone.

These are also commonly referred to as performance-enhancing drugs, often used by athletes. It works by increasing muscle strength and mass and enhances bone strength.

Anabolic steroids are currently classified as Schedule III controlled substances. Anyone caught using steroids without a prescription or those who may be using steroids with an expired prescription may be labeled as a steroid abuser. This has been reinforced in 2004 by the Anabolic Steroid Act of 1990.

Long-term use of anabolic steroid may destroy normal production of testosterone. Its effect differs between men and women.

Decreased testosterone levels in men may lead to:

  • Lower sperm count
  • Infertility
  • Smaller testicles
  • Breast growth

Meanwhile, decreased testosterone in women may lead to:

  • Facial hair growth
  • Amenorrhea
  • Deeper voice
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Enlarged clitoris

When anabolic steroids are used in higher doses, it can cause damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys. It can also increase your bad cholesterol which can cause heart attack or stroke regardless of age.

Teens using anabolic steroids may experience stunting of bone growth and height.

Commonly abused steroids other than testosterone are:

  • Androstenedione
  • Boldenone
  • Decanoate
  • Methandrostenalone
  • Mestanolone
  • Methyltestosterone
  • Nandrolone
  • Oxandrolone
  • Oxymetholone
  • Stanozolol
  • Trenbolone

A number of common street names for anabolic steroids include the following:

  • A-bomb
  • Arnolds
  • Gear
  • Gym candy
  • Pumpers
  • Stackers
  • Test
  • Weight Trainers
  • Winnie

Why are steroids being abused?

Anabolic steroids are given as treatment only with a doctor’s prescription. However, some individuals would use illegal anabolic steroids as a means to increase their muscle mass, lower body fat, and increase strength. It has become a means for athletes to improve on how they play the sport.

An earlier study discovered that females who are taking anabolic steroids were rape victims in the past. Since the assault, they wanted to increase their strength and build bigger muscles to intimidate any possible perpetrators.

From a series of interviews conducted on bodybuilders, it was known that at least 25% of the bodybuilders have encountered physical or sexual abuse during their childhood.

Another group of steroid users are those who want to lose body fat. These people are actually looking at themselves as fat and weak but in reality, they have normal-looking bodies. This is a behavioral condition called muscle dysmorphia.

Steroid abuse can cause the following:

  • Very bad acne
  • Fluid retention
  • Jaundice
  • Trembling
  • Halitosis
  • Aching joints

teen body image steroid use

Facts and Figures on Teen Steroid Abuse

The number of teens who may be involved in illegal drugs may have significant decreased in the past two years. However, teens account for the 75% steroid users in the country.

According to the 2016 Monitoring the Future Study, a stable or slight decline of anabolic steroid use in teens was observed, except for 12th graders.

Here are the rates of steroid use among middle school students:

  • 1% among 8th
  • 2% among 10th graders.
  • 3% among 12th graders.

Steroid use among these teens are no longer much involved with sports as they have seen that teens use this substance as a means of enhancing their looks. These adolescents want to feel accepted by others that they go to such great lengths just to make themselves look and feel good about themselves.

Here are more statistics and figures on teen steroid abuse:

  • It has been estimated that about 1.5 million kids in the U.S. have tried steroids. In some cases, these teens may be using more than one steroid at a time. This is a very dangerous process called stacking.
  • Anabolic steroid users are 12 times more likely to have used cocaine.
  • Alcohol is the most common substance mixed with steroid use.
  • Boys are more likely to use anabolic steroids than girls.
  • Teens who have been prescribed with steroids to help them with their growth would sometimes resell these steroids to their classmates, which is a common way for teens to earn some money to buy illegal drugs.
  • About 2.5% of females have tried anabolic steroids at least once.
  • Females use steroids as weight loss supplement.

Effects of Steroids on the Brain

Steroid use can affect the brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for controlling mood. It has been observed that long-term steroid use may lead to the inability to control mood, thereby resulting to mood swings, as well as increased levels of hostility and aggression.

Long-term teen steroid abuse may also cause the following psychological conditions such as:

  • Delusions
  • Feeling invisible
  • Jealousy
  • Paranoia

Signs of Possible Steroid Abuse

It is likely that a teen is taking steroids when you suddenly see these changes:

  • Severe acne
  • Short temper and aggression (also called “roid rage”)
  • Mood swings
  • Stunted growth
  • Hallucinations
  • Missing school
  • Unhealthy amount of competitiveness
  • Abnormal increase in muscle mass

To check if someone is using steroids, check on the person’s bag or bedroom drawers for vials, resealable plastic bags or hypodermic needles. Steroids can be bought from the internet or acquired from friends.

steroid abuse fitness

How to Approach a Teen Suspected of Steroid Abuse

If you hint that your teen may be abusing any substance, it is best to talk to him/her calmly rather than become hostile. It is in no way an appropriate approach to anyone, regardless of what kind of issue that needs to be resolved.

Most often, teens turn to drugs because they feel lost and unloved by the family. Sometimes, we could not blame them for feeling that way because some parents have become awfully busy with their jobs that they barely have time to check on what is happening to their children and just rely on the fact that they know that the kids are home. More often than not, children just need their parents’ affirmation to make them feel secure.

When talking to them, here are some basic things that you can start asking or telling your kids:

  • Ask your teen what could be causing him/her to be doing drugs or if there is something that he/she would want you to know about.
  • Provide solutions to the problems presented.
  • Know the extent of involvement of your teen with the illegal substance.
  • Inform him/her about the consequences of his/her act – physically and psychologically.
  • Make your teenage children aware of the laws and penalties governing teen steroid abuse.

If in case your teen is heavily hooked, let him know that he needs the help of a rehabilitation center so that he may be completely treated and return to his normal life once again.

Treatment for Teen Steroid Abuse

The treatment for teen steroid abuse is the same as treating those who have had other forms of substance addiction. The help of a rehabilitation center is needed most especially that withdrawal symptoms may be unbearable to be treated at home.

Such withdrawal symptoms may last for weeks. Unfavorable symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings

Clinical depression is linked to steroid withdrawal. This is a very difficult stage wherein the individual has the possibility of harming himself to the point of committing suicide.

Depression may remain for a time even after years of stopping steroid use. During this stage, it is important that the individual continues to undergo psychological treatment from an addiction counselor. A very effective way in helping recovering addicts gain their lives back is for their families and friends to show love and support.

Helpful Links and Sources

http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-steroid-use

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Corticosteroid-(drugs)/Pages/Sideeffects.aspx

http://www.medicinenet.com/corticosteroids-oral/article.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/monitoring-future-2016-survey-results

http://www.anabolicsteroids.net/roid-rage.php

https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/house-bill/4658

https://www.anred.com/musdys.html

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Most Addictive Drugs Based on Dependence Rating

Depending on the design and intended purpose, drugs may leave significant effects on the central nervous system, resulting to abnormalities in other body systems. When abused, these addictive drugs are known to cause a negative impact in society, and have become one of the most pressing concerns of governments around the globe.

most addictive drugs in the world

For the longest time, the issue on drugs has been connected to a great number of crimes, alarming results in medical history, and damage on families and relationships. Based on the World Drug Report 2016 of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drugs have figured in almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals at the individual, community and national levels.

Drug addiction has undeniably become a bane of society for so many reasons, one of which is the youth’s curiousity on drugs, encouraging drug sellers to provide easier access to these dangerous substances. This results to an even greater desire for people – especially the youth – to experiment on addictive drugs.

The ever-changing composition of drugs these days have made it difficult to set the exact standards that determine how addictive a given substance is. While there’s a lack of research in the area of drug addiction in general, several studies provide greater understanding on the issue.

Most Addictive Drugs Ranked

Below is a list of ten most addictive drugs arranged according to the addiction rating:

10. Buprenorphine

With an addiction rating of 1.64, buprenorphine is known as an opioid agonist and serves as a vital drug for the replacement treatment for opioid addiction. Given as a prescription medicine for people who have previous opioid addiction, buprenorphine allows addicts to feel less euphoric, causing the patient to have easier withdrawal.

Furthermore, the drug lessens the patient’s physical dependence on the drug as it blocks most of the major impacts of opioids in the human body.

Usually, the reason why people get hooked on a particular drug is because it significantly eases the treatment of opioid addicts by serving as a transition medication. The result is that instead of completely overcoming drug addiction altogether, most of the previous opioid users who have been prescribed with this drug end up using buprenorphine and become addicted to the stimulation it causes.

It is also worth mentioning that the drug is also used as off-label treatment for depression. The drug is said to cause positive feelings to the person using it as a depression medication. It has also been found out that the drug is difficult to withdraw from, once a person has been addicted to it.

9. Standard Amphetamines (Pure or Mixed Salts)

Commonly used as a treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the feeling of restlessness and wakefulness, amphetamines have been generally marked with an addiction rating of 1.67. The drug is known as a mixture of various stereoisomers. The primary effect of the drug is that it increases the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, depending on the dosage one takes in.

Because the drug directly acts on neurotransmitters, people who use amphetamines generally feel an overall improvement in their well-being, specifically in their moods and level of energy. The primary reason why people get addicted is because of the energy boost the drug causes, resulting to a feeling of elation and intense stimulation of the senses. When a person takes in a very high dosage of the drug, it it is highly probable that he or she will feel euphoric because of the increased production of dopamine.

Since the euphoria depends on the drug, the feeling quickly fades with time. For it to be maintained, the person will take in more. The cycle, then, will stick to one’s system and will eventually become an addiction to the drug.

8. Benzodiazepines

Commonly represented by Valium and other similar sedative hypnotic drugs, benzodiazepines ranks eighth on the addictive drugs list, and has an addictive rating of 1.83. This drug acts on the neurotransmitters in the brain by decreasing the overall activity in the central nervous system.

The reason why people get addicted to the drug is because it stimulates the body to relax. The drug has a strong anxiolytic effect, and causes a person to feel mellow, calm, and intensely chill. Most of the recorded benzodiazepine addicts start taking the drug as a medication taken in on a daily basis to help them deal with the stressors they encounter.

Addiction to this drug is a difficult one to overcome because the withdrawal process causes anxiety usually worse than the one experienced prior to taking benzodiazepines.

7. Alcohol

As a substance that ranks the highest in the frequency of intoxication, alcohol only ranks seventh on the list and comes with an addictive rating of 1.93. Because of its legality, the use of alcohol has been accepted and has become part of events and happenings in almost all parts of the globe. In effect, people are usually blinded from the fact that alcohol in general has a very high potential for addiction.

People try alcohol because it is usually readily available, except in cases wherein liquor ban is being implemented. Furthermore, the presence of alcoholic beverages in events and people’s homes have resulted to the increased urge to try it.

Despite having a relatively low ranking, alcohol addiction or alcoholism is regarded as one of the most harmful issues in society as it causes high rates of crimes and accidents in communities.

6. Barbiturates

With an addiction ranking of 2.01, barbiturates are addictive drugs that primarily decrease the cental nervous activity. Usually, the drug causes sedation of the body, while in some cases it results to anesthetic or pain-relieving effects. However, medical experts have stopped prescribing barbiturates as medication because of its potency to yield negative effects on the body.

Similar to benzodiazepines, barbiturates act on the GABA receptors in the brain and can also cause euphoria. Because of its stimulating ability, people can have very rapid addiction or tolerance on the drug.

In higher doses, the drug can cause a person to have slurred speech and disoriented sense of decision-making. Treatment of barbiturate can be difficult because the withdrawal process usually includes restlessness, tremors, and insomnia.

5. Crystal Meth (d-methamphetamine)

Although an addiction rating wasn’t mentioned in earlier studies, the drug was placed on the fifth spot because of the similarities in data found in other research, implying that it can be strategically put in the said spot.

Known as a synthetic stimulant, methamphetamines can cause a person to feel intense happiness and elation. Compared to methamphetamines in powdered form, the crystal formulation is said to have a higher potency.

The effect of the drug is that gives people a state of mind that they are strong and that they can endure anything, and this is because of the increased production of dopamine in the body. Users of this drug get used to this feeling and drown in the cycle, causing them to rely on the drug to prevent themselves from the scenario of having really low dopamine level.

4. Street Methadone

Also known as one of the common opioid replacement medication, street methadone has an addiction rating of 2.08. This drug differs from other replacement medications because it is only used for cases of extreme opioid addiction like heroin.

The drug acts on the normal process of the body to produce endorphins and dopamine. In most cases, methadones become an addictive drug in the process of treating opioid addiction. The usual scenario is that during the treatment, the patient will literally just replace opioid with methadone as his or her drug because of the feelings it causes.

The feeling of “high” that addictive drugs usually give is also caused by methadones, and creates an addiction for the one using it.

3. Nicotine

Commonly represented in the form of cigarettes and other tobacco products, nicotine ranks third on our list and has an addiction rating of 2.21. Nicotine is known to cause several illnesses like cancer and failure of the body organs.

Despite this, people keep puffing it into their systems. One reason is that although there have been efforts to control smoking, nicotine is not prohibited, at least for those at a legal age.

The potency of this drug has been proven over the years, shown by the increased of number of deaths related to illnesses which are caused by smoking. One of the reasons why nicotine is highly addictive is that it gives the body a relaxing effect.

Nicotine addiction is difficult to overcome because puffing a cigarette signals body receptors to cause cravings for the chemicals that nicotine is composed of. Withdrawal from it also causes one to be hypersensitive, resulting to wild mood swings.

2. Cocaine / Crack Cocaine

Filling in the second spot on our list, crack cocaine has an addiction rating of 2.39. This drug is smoked, causing the drug to reach the brain faster than its other forms.

Because cocaine acts on the body’s natural production of dopamine, a person who is taking crack will feel lively, active, energetic and powerful. This rewarding effect is the main reason why people get easily hooked to the drug. The usual capacity of the body to take on daily tasks is increased by crack cocaine in intense levels.

The body becomes easily tolerant and immune to the drug, and this causes people to take in larger amounts each time they use it to prevent dopamine levels to drop dramatically.

1. Heroin (diacetylmorphine)

At the highest rank on our addictive drugs list, heroin has an addiction rating of 3.00. Known as a drug with similar effects to morphine, the drug stimulates numbness from pain and also from reality. This causes one to feel that psychologically high and physically powerful.

The usual reason why people try and get addicted to drugs is because they want to escape from their realities. Heroin is an effective ingredient in a person’s escape plan since the drug goes into the bloodstream and binds with receptors, causing a person to feel deep relaxation and intense feeling of high.

Addiction to heroin generally changes a person’s control of his or her psychological well-being. Those that are in the process of treating heroin addiction often feel anxious, tired but restless, and hypersensitive.

About the Addiction Rating

The ratings for addiction was first used by David Nutt, a researcher from London’s Imperial College. He ranked the addictive drugs based on the degree of pleasure, physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Although these findings weren’t recognized as sound research at the time of its release, Nutt’s study paved the way for better understanding about the potential addictive effects of the most commonly abused substances.

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