Substance Abuse Top Up

22 Oct

I think we are all aware that people use drugs and alcohol for a number of reasons, to self medicate, escape, experimentation, pressure, the high, because it is socially acceptable in some circles, to block out pain and a myriad of others specific to each individual.

This post is just a top of some of the types of substances and the effects on the body.

Drug categories:

  • Stimulants: e.g. – amphetamines, ecstasy, speed, cocaine, caffeine, MDNA, ephedrine, nicotine, taurine, crystal meth, Yaba, khat. They create fake messages in the brain, telling the body that it’s under stress. Blood to skin decreases, the body is less able to cool itself and overheating is a risk. Heart rate speeds up and blood vessels to the heart constrict. The liver releases sugar into the blood, reducing the body’s energy stores.
  • Depressants: e.g. – alcohol, heroin, cannabis, downers, GHB, opiates. They slow messages between the body and the brain. Signals from the eyes and other senses reach the brain slowly. The heart rate drops leaving the body with less energizing oxygen. Breathing rate decreases, risking lung infections. Messages to the muscles are slower, arms and legs unable to move well.
  • Hallucinogens: e.g. – LSD, magic mushrooms, toads (secretions). They cause increased heart rate, nausea, changes in sense or perception of time, intensified feelings and sensory experiences, seeing, hearing, touching, or smelling things in a distorted way or perceiving things that do not exist
  • Prescribed: diazepam, lorazepam, Valium, prozac, morphine, cough mix/codeine, methadone, paracetamol, risperidone, ritalin/stratoren, inhalant, opiate painkiller. These are prescribed for pain relief, drug replacement, anxiety, seizures, but as we know can be addictive and abused.
  • Legal highs: too many to name as they can be purchased from anywhere. This can include glue, paint etc.

Categories are based on what the substance does to the body not the effects or side effects.

For further information:

For children:

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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Social Work Practice


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