Depressants slow brain function, they basically make you a zombie. They slow your brain function, cause confusion, disorientation, lower blood pressure and cause fatigue. When you start using higher doses you can get irritable, paranoid and even suicidal. These pills can have harmful long-term effects: depression, chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties, and sleep problems. Withdrawal from depressants can be very dangerous, unlike most other drugs; you could suffer from agitation, delirium, hallucinations, and convulsions. So is the next Xanax, Valium, or Ativan really worth that kind of risk?
Painkillers are derivatives of opioids and morphine; after extended abuse of opioids your body becomes literally dependent on these drugs to function every day. They have a range of harmless sounding side effects like drowsiness, constipation and nausea but they can also cause the person to slip into a coma if too much is taken. People take these risks every time they decide to use painkillers. The main long-term effect when using prescription painkillers is the physical dependence. When your body becomes dependent, you can suffer from withdrawal symptoms after just a few hours: muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold sweats.
Stimulants, or "Uppers," are prescribed to treat children with things like ADHD but have been used illegally to increase your energy level: like cocaine or amphetamines. What is so attractive about stimulants is that they seem to make you more alert, more focused and a give you a sense of euphoria. Stimulants also increase blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and decrease sleep and appetite. If these drugs are abused for too long a person can suffer from malnutrition, paranoia and become increasingly hostile.
Everyone has seen the commercials for the new slew of antidepressants that are on the market: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and more. We have also heard the list of side effects associated with each drug: insomnia, anxiety, agitation, suicidal thoughts, irregular heartbeat, aggression, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis and so many more. When I see those commercials I think to myself, why would anyone take these drugs? However, people do every day. They don't care about that disturbing list of side effects. The catch is that if you stop taking these pills, you start withdrawing off of them. The depression you were trying to treat becomes even worse than anything you could have imagined. Your brain starts screaming at you to get more of these pills, you start to build a tolerance for them, and before you know it, you're taking more than twice of what is prescribed to you. Abuse of antidepressants is dangerous, as is the abuse of any type of prescription drug. There are so many adverse effects for people who are prescribed these medications just think of how much worse they are if they haven't been prescribed to you.
WHEN TO SEEK TREATMENT:
Pills are very easy to become addicted to: they're prescribed by your Doctor so they must be safe, right? Wrong, pills are one of the easiest drugs to get addicted to for that very same reason. People don't realize that the little warnings on the side of their pill bottles are serious; they are there for a reason. Most pain killers are narcotic and they are addictive. Once you start building up a tolerance to the pills you are taking you decide to take a few extra, and then a few more, and before you know it, you can't go through a day without your brain telling you that you need those pills. That is dependence, and dependence is addiction. Soon you start doing anything to get the pills you need. You become reckless in the quest to get them back into your system, because if you don't, you will start withdrawals. Don't wait until you have completely alienated yourself to get treatment. You're no good to your family if the only thing you really care about every day is figuring out how you're going to get your pills.
There are so many types of rehabs for people addicted to drugs; 12-step, holistic, long-term, short-term, outpatient and so many more. You need to find something that will suit you: not all treatment programs are created equal. You have to do a lot of research on the facilities you're looking at, make sure you ask questions and don't let someone talk you into going to a facility that you're not sure about. Look at the success rate of a facility: I would much rather go to and treatment facility with a 7 out of 10 success rate than a 2 or 3 out of 10. Make sure the program focuses on YOU. You can't concentrate on your recovery if people are focusing you on the spa or the view: ask them how this will benefit your recovery; is it going to help or hinder you on your path to sobriety?
EFFECTS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE:
I'm sure the question "What am I doing to myself?" has crossed your mind a few times; the reality is that most people would rather not know. People don't want to feel bad about what they're doing because they think that they are only hurting themselves: they're wrong. Side effects differ depending on the type of pills you take: depressants (sedatives and tranquilizers), stimulants, painkillers and anti-depressants.
The thing people don't understand about taking prescription pills is that it does more than just make you feel good, they prohibit you brain from feeling good without the drugs. The levels of dopamine that enter the system when you use drugs is increased significantly: this is what produces the "high." After using drugs your brain gives up the ability to produce dopamine and other natural chemicals that your body produces as a reward for certain activities. Your emotions become dependent upon the pills you are taking: you can't feel happiness, pleasure, or euphoria without drugs in your system. This puts a strain on more than just yourself; it also puts strain on your relationships with other people.
WITHDRAW FROM PAIN MEDICATION:
Withdrawing from prescription pills is not one of the more dangerous withdrawals, but it is bad enough to keep people from wanting to come off their pills. Withdrawing from prescription pills can cause cold sweats, lack of sleep, eating disturbances, muscle and joint pain, paranoid thoughts, extreme irritability and agitation, nausea, black outs, extreme anxiety, itchy skin, and possibility of seizures.
Don't try to right all of your past wrongs the minute you start treatment. There is a time for it after you've recovered. You can't go into recovery and be worried about all the things you've done to the people in your life: you have to focus on yourself. The people who care about you understand that you need to focus yourself on the goal in front of you, but at the same time you can't feel good about recovery until you've made up for your past transgressions. You just have to remember that you can't help the people around you until you have learned how to help yourself. Take the time you need to get your life back on track and then see about how you're going to repair the damages you had created when you were living an addicted lifestyle.
More information on addiction.
This article is geared toward helping those who are addicted, use it as a resource when you come across someone who has an addiction so they can read it and see what is happening to them. If you know someone who needs help or you would like more information about addiction call 888-656-2111 and speak to a counselor today.