Drug Abuse and Addition

The world today has become surrounded by drug abuse as well as drug addiction. This escalating disorder has become so common, that its truth is based on misconceptions that people have concerning drug abuse as well as addiction. This paper briefly provides an overview of drug abuse as well as addiction, and at the same time looks at the aspects of epidemiology, social problems, pathophysiology, as well as ethical issues that might arise with medical emergency responders.

Drug abuse and drug addiction; exactly what does that mean and who is affected by it? There is a confusion between drug addiction and abuse. Drug abuse happens when there is usage of a substance, generally illicit drugs or alcohol, while drug addiction takes place in a broad variety of substances and activities. Addiction can be termed as the compulsive need for usage of substance forming habits, such as alcohol, nicotine and heroin, of which is eventually characterized by obviously physiological signs upon withdrawal as well as tolerance; widely: insistent compulsive use of known substances that are harmful to the user. Drug addiction is usually not a substance forming habit, it also includes things such as gambling, sex, video gaming, and even internet. All the same, the primary focus of society is still to do with drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Several characteristics of pathophysiology and epidemiology will be discussed together with the social implications that addiction causes as well as any ethical problems that lie with addiction and medical emergency service providers.

The addictive behavioral study is relatively new. Science just started to study behavioral addictiveness in the 1930. Prior to this, studies were being carried out by scientist on drug abuse that were plagued by misconception shadows as well as nature addiction. But with present day discoveries as well as information on how brain chemicals work and the methods of alteration, there is now a deeper understanding of alcohol and drug addiction. Drug addiction, according to Dr. Dryden-Edwards also referred to as chemical dependency or substance dependence, is an illness that is described by a destructive drug abuse pattern that leads to major problems which involve tolerance towards or substance withdrawal and other problems arising from substance use that could have implications to the sufferer, either by school performance, socially or in terms of work. More than 2.5% of humanity suffer from drug addiction at some point in their lives. Some of the commonly abused addictive substances are alcohol, anabolic steroids, amphetamines, cannabis, caffeine, ecstasy, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, nicotine, phencyclidine, opiates, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, and or hypnotic. Despite the fact that alcohol and drug addiction is viewed as a mental health issue, there is no one particular determinant cause. However, several people believe that drug addiction and abuse is a genetic disease of which is a false fact. A person’s environment is cause for the development of a predisposition dependency drug.

Epidemiology

The socially associated risk factors of drug addiction and drug abuse encompass the male gender, between the age ranges of 18 and 44 years, heritage of Native American persons, low socioeconomic status as well as the marital status of the unmarried. State statistics reveal that residents from the western U.S are more at risk to substance dependency as well as abuse. While males are very prone to alcoholism development, females seem more vulnerable to alcoholism at fairly lower amounts of alcohol consumption, this is because females have a much lower body mass as compared to males. The combined medical, criminal, economical, as well as the social implications costs American taxpayer more than half a trillion dollars annually. Each year drug and alcohol abuses contributes to 100,000 American deaths, with tobacco contributes approximately 440,000 deaths annually. Individuals of all ages suffer the damaging consequences of drug as well as alcohol addiction and abuse. Babies can get affected while within the mother’s womb if the mother is to engage in drug or alcohol use, which as a result causes defects in birth as well as slows down the intellectual development in the later years of the child. As for Adolescents, they usually perform poorly in school and usually drop out while they are abusing drugs. Adolescent girls stand the risk of having unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and violence. In addition, parents and adults are also affected, usually by having their cognitive abilities clouded. With all the vast exposure, the stage has easily been set for the next generation to simply step into the addictive lifestyle.

Pathophysiology

Drug addiction primarily affects the brain, but also affects the flow of a person’s organ systems. Drugs as well as mind changing substances which can be abused usually target the body’s natural system of reward either willingly or unwillingly causing entire euphoric effects for the drug user. These effects arise from the dopamine, which is a regulated neurotransmitter movement, emotion, cognition, motivation and pleasure feelings. The release of Dopamine is naturally rewarded to the body for natural behaviors as well as initiations for the cycle to repeat the behavior all over. The dopamine neurotransmitter fills the reward system that is often concealed in restricted amounts from routine activities such as sex or eating. The brain perceives this as a life-sustaining action as a result of the activated reward system. On introducing the chemical substance within a person’s system and the euphoric effects are realized, a person’s brain takes note of several significant happening events and teaches itself to do this action repeatedly until it is a habit. The consumption of illicit drugs can cause an individual to impulsively act when the brain’s reasoning system would normally delay or prevent a form of given action.

This reasoning system is circumvented, hence leading to the undesired action that can possibly have negative consequences on the drug user’s life. However, several drug effects as well as chemical substances are at times euphoric, and other times the substance causes depression, suicidal thoughts, and paranoia. Continuation of the drug causes the brain to become acclimatized to the surplus of dopamine within the reward system. This then leads to the decrease of dopamine release as well as the dopamine receptors numbers within the system itself. In turn, this affects the user’s ability to attain the desired effects of the drug usage. This response from the person’s brain causes the person to try and reactivate the receptors by adding the dosage or amount of the drug in order to attain the same dopamine high. This effect process is referred to as a tolerance. Long term drug abuse causes changes to occur to other systems parts within the brain. The neurotransmitter glutamate of which is a part of the reward systems can be changed and hence cause learning inability. When the brain reaches the maximum level of glutamate, it causes an off balance and the brain tries to compensate, of which as a result affects the drug user’s cognitive ability. Once the brain accustoms to the drug effects, dependence is made and drug abuse cessation causes a result known as withdrawal. While most withdrawal signs are very uncomfortable for the drug addict, there are several serious signs such as seizures, strokes, myocardial infraction, delirium tremens, and hallucinations.

Social, Ethical issues as well as the impact on emergency medical services (EMS)

The consequences of drug abuse and addiction are very evident in an individual social life. The addictions destructive behavior affects every area of their personal life, right from the genesis of the drug abuse. The addictions symptoms from a physical perspective include alteration of sleeping patterns as well as eating habits, which in turn contribute to both weight gain as well as loss. Frequent drug abuse tends to lead to failure in meeting important responsibilities at work, school or even home. Other drug addiction effects include domestic violence, family disintegration, child abuse, employment loss, and failure in school. People with addiction engage in risk taking, and with alterations in the reward system within the brain, the drug users expect positive reactions prior to them taking the substance that would satisfy their needs for the risks they take. Impulse control is difficult when drug choice is available to people with addiction. As a result this fuels the addiction even more.

The effect of the emergency medical service is immense. The calls from addiction range from medical overdosage to trauma. The emergency medical provider’s obligation in response to overdosed patients requires paramedics to find out how much as well as what the patients took, and what is the correct medication to give in order to reverse the condition that is being experienced by the patient or drug user. With the various emergency responses comes danger, with the possibility of violent outbreaks by the addicts or users. Therefore, paramedics must be aware of their surroundings while handling the patients. In addition, patients who experience withdrawals tend to hallucinate a complete event as well as incorporate the paramedics, thus causing the patient to react violently towards the care provider. Drug addiction is a very serious condition that can be considered as a psychiatric problem, of which needs to be treated with a sure diligence as well as suspicion.

Within the realm of the emergency medical service, the response rate of addiction is not considered an emergency condition. The incident will arise if an addict is experiencing withdrawal violent signs or has substance overdose, and the patient would appear in a state of agitation or even unconsciousness. There is no prearranged method in handling a patient that is experiencing problems related to addiction. The key element is in treating the symptoms of the patient. All patients require supplementary oxygen through non rebreathe if tolerance is acceptable. To assist in flushing out a normal saline of infusion, obtaining of intravenous access is a must. Should a patient or addict be in a state of agitation or seizure, administration of a sedative is required, such as versed or valium. Caution must be taken when administrating benzodiazepines because of the risks regarding failure or respiratory depression is present. Should a patient experiencing an opiate overdose as well as low breathing, Narcan 0.4 – 2 milligrams must be administered, but caution must be observed when administering the drug of which is done slowly in order for the patient to breathe sufficiently so as to sustain life. Should breathing and airway problems continue then intubation must be considered in order to secure the airway of the patient. Quick transport with due concern is suggested in order for the patient to be evaluated so as to have the hospital staff commence detoxification.

Conclusion

The drug abuse and addiction world is unforgiving and harsh, especially if an addict or user is unwilling to leave it behind. A number of people claim that the addiction is all within the head, and research has verified this notion. The brain effects from a formed learned pattern is similarly rewarded to such activities like drinking or eating.

A lot of people do not comprehend as to how and why other people become drug addicts. It is wrongfully presumed that drug users have no willpower or moral principles and cannot stop using drugs simply by choosing to alter their behavior. The reality is, drug addiction and abuse is a complex illness, and quitting it requires lots of good intentions. In actual fact, because drugs alter the brain in ways that raise drug abuse compulsiveness, quitting becomes hard, even for the willing addicts.

A lot of drug users also believe that they can control their drug abuse and addiction. Having a drug habit is a costly affair that leads to loss of belongings, money and even self-esteem. Curiosity is what drives some people abuse drugs, while others it is peer pressure, and another group of people become addicts of prescription drugs. While drug abuse normally leads to drug addiction, overcoming drug addiction is no easy task. So the question begs, is this drug abuse or is this drug addiction? These are two completely separate paths that lead to the same depressing outcome. In addition, the consequences of drug abuse as well as drug addiction become noticeable after a given period of time whereby compulsiveness and violence take over, furthermore, the physical toll which includes illness and depression at times could be debilitating. Therefore, the only method to reducing drug abuse as well as addiction is through educating or sensitizing the public. Avoidance is viewed as the best prevention.

The Insider’s Guide To Antihistamine Clarinex

Clarinex is a medication which can be taken year-round by those who suffer from allergies. It is also effective at treating those who suffer from hives or rashes. The active ingredient in this medication is desloratadine, which is an antihistamine. This blocks the immune system’s production of the natural chemical histamine, which is produced when the body becomes sensitive to something.

Clarinex is effective at treating allergy symptoms produced from contact to both indoor allergens and outdoor ones. Anything from dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores, to pollen, grass or weeds can cause allergies.

Clarinex is widely used and popular because of its non-drowsy characteristic. Many antihistamines tell users to avoid machinery or driving while taking it, but Clarinex does not. This drug was also the first to boast that grapefruit juice did not affect its absorption.

It is also safe for most people who suffer form asthma to use this medication, although it is recommended that one contacts their doctor before mixing medications of any kind. Reported side effects include dry mouth, fatigue and a sore throat.

This medication comes in many forms which are taken according to age group, severity of symptoms, and other factors. The regular Clarinex tablets relieve symptoms for up to 24 hours and are safe for ages 12 and up. Clarinex 24-hour combines the power of antihistamine and decongestant for people with seasonal rhinitis and congestion. Children as young as 6 months of age can receive relief from indoor allergies, while children 2 and over can experience relief from outdoor ones, with the bubblegum flavored Clarinex syrup.

The syrup formula can also reduce the appearance of hives in children. Because many people are unable to easily take pills or tablets, Clarinex has provided a solution. For those who need another method, Clarinex Redi-tabs melt easily in the mouth. These also provide 24-hour relief and come in a fruit flavor.

The makers of Clarinex, Shering-Plough, claim that taking this medication in the morning will relieve symptoms all the way into the next morning when one awakes. This is a benefit, since many 24-hour solutions seem to wear off while one is sleeping.
Clarinex-D is a stronger formula which does require a prescription.

This also claims to have 24-hour relief all the way through to the next day. This member of the Clarinex family is for moderate to severe allergy sufferers.

The Facts On Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is sweeping the nation. It affects people from all walks of life and this epidemic is growing. A study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control showed that visits to the ER that were related to the misuse of prescription pain relievers more than double between 2004 and 2008. Unfortunately, teens make up a great portion of this number.

In fact, a recent survey taken by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that 6,000 Americans a day begin to abuse prescription drugs. More than 1/3 of these new abusers are under the age of 18.

Many people believe that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs because doctors prescribe them. This may be a reason why kids try them in the first place. Another reason is that they are fairly easy to get a hold of, as they are commonly found in most people’s homes in America.

Abuse of Prescription Drugs May Lead to Heroin Use

Many heroin addicts have reported that they turned to heroin when the prescription painkillers became too expensive to support their habit. As with all drugs, a tolerance begins to build over time with frequent use and the addict has to take more and more of the drug to feel the desired effects. This can become very expensive with prescription drugs. Someone addicted to prescription painkillers may need to take around six or seven pills per day in order to keep their high. Surprisingly, this same amount of pills can be sold for a gram of heroin, which can supply an addict with a high for three to four days.

A recent change in the formula of the painkiller Oxycontin leaves the pills crush-proof, and therefore difficult for abusers to snort or inject. This also has many painkiller addicts turning to heroin, as the pills are no longer an option. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 people with opioid dependence found a 17 percent drop in Oxycontin abuse with the 2010 arrival of the new formula. During the same time period, heroin abuse doubled. This may seem a bit radical for a teen to become involved in, but it is a very real possibility in the future if he stays down this road.

Why Teens Make Up Such A Large Percentage

Kids are often confronted by many challenges during their teenage years. These challenges may include problems at home, social acceptance and peer pressure. Peer pressure may take place at school as well as in their own homes by way of the Internet. Digital peer pressure is something that is sweeping the nation and affecting teens tremendously.

With the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, there is an overload of photos and conversations based with partying and hooking up being the main topic. By talking with your teens about these topics and keeping them busy with extracurricular activities, they may pass on the drugs for a more promising future.

Allergies – Antihistamines Part II

In this article we’re going to discuss the possible dangers and side effects of antihistamines and what people should be aware of when taking antihistamines to treat their allergies.

For the most part, antihistamines are safe. Having said that, antihistamines can have side effects which, if the antihistamine is not properly administered, can be serious.

The truth is, all medications have side effects. Some are mild, as in the case of an aspirin, unless you have stomach ulcers or aspirin sensitivity and others are more serious such as the side effects from chemotherapy, but for the most part, antihistamine side effects are fairly mild. The newest antihistamines are probably about the safest medications that there are. But there are differences between the various antihistamines and their side effects.

The older antihistamines have the most serious side effects. Because technology wasn’t where it is now, older antihistamines can make you very sleepy, even to the point of falling asleep behind the wheel of a car. The harsh truth is, antihistamines have the same effect on your brain as alcohol. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news you’ll notice that people seem to be driving around in a drug induced haze. This is becoming a very serious problem in itself as there are no laws against driving while under the influence of prescription medication. That is most likely going to change very soon. According to experts, there is no doubt in their mind that older antihistamines can cause traffic accidents.

But that isn’t where the effect of older antihistamines ends. They also affect learning and exam performance. Studies show that children with allergies who go to school after taking an antihistamine have poorer test scores than children who are not on antihistamines.

Another problem with older antihistamines is that one of the side effects is that people who use them sometimes have difficulty in passing water. or have increased pressure in their eyes. These symptoms, however, are very rare.

With the newer antihistamines, most, if not all of these side effects are a thing of the past. We have certainly come a long way. Therefore it is no longer necessary to use the older antihistamines.

Many people ask, how do we know the newer antihistamines are better? Actually, there are studies that clinically show that they are.

For starters, road safety studies were done. Two control groups were used. The one group was given older antihistamines and the other group was given the newer improved antihistamines. The results were staggering. The reaction time of the old antihistamine group was slower, their turning was more erratic, their attention was poor and in general they did not drive as skilfully. In some cases their driving was so bad and so dangerous that the test itself had to be stopped.

Another study was done on children going to school. Two control groups were again set up. The group that was given the older antihistamines had much lower test scores, sometimes as much as 20 to 30 points lower. Many of the students couldn’t even finish their exams.

The only downside of the newer antihistamines, and for that matter any treatment of this sort for allergies, is that they are not a cure and over time a person can build up a resistance to a particular antihistamine where it no longer works. A new one then has to be given. The average length of time that a person can take a particular antihistamine before they have to move on to a new one is between 3 and 6 months.