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Amphetamines
Amphetamines (am-FET-a-meens) are powerful stimulant drugs. Because of the intense high caused by amphetamines, they've become extremely popular street drugs.
Barbiturates and tranquilizers
Barbiturates and tranquilizers are depressants often prescribed to relieve anxiety, tension, or high blood pressure, or to induce sleep. They're also commonly abused because of their euphoric effects.
Behavioral signs of drug abuse
Since drug abuse can have devastating consequences, it's important for friends and family to recognize the symptoms of a drug problem. Many experts agree that early detection and intervention can greatly reduce the chances of a life-long addiction.
Causes of drug abuse
Although medical experts have been unable to conclusively determine what causes people to abuse drugs, there have been a number of explanations offered.
Cocaine
Cocaine has been called the 'champagne' of drugs because it tends to be very expensive. It's also one of the most addictive drugs in existence. Cocaine produces a temporary increase in energy and a sense of euphoria followed by depression.
Crack
One of the most recent and least expensive methods of using cocaine is in a form known on the street as 'rock' or 'crack'. Crack is highly addictive and fast becoming the most popular form of the drug.
Dealing with substance abuse
When a person develops a problem with drugs or alcohol, family members are usually affected as well. Family members in alcoholic or drug-abusing households often feel isolated and ashamed, and are unable to confront the problem that affects them.
Depressants
Depressants are drugs that slow down the central nervous system, brain activity, and normal bodily functions. The most widely used depressant is alcohol, but barbiturates and tranquilizers are also extremely common.
Heroin
Heroin comes from the opium poppy. It's a powerful central nervous system depressant that can be used to relieve pain without causing a loss of consciousness.
Ice
'Ice' is a street name commonly used to refer to methamphetamine (meth-am-FET-a-meen), a stimulant drug that can be smoked like crack cocaine. In the purest form, ice crystals resemble rock salt, rock candy, or ice chips, but a yellowish tint may indicate poor quality or low purity.
Long-term dangers of crack
'Crack' is a common street name for a highly refined form of cocaine that's smoked. It's almost six times stronger than standard cocaine, and there are a number of serious physical and psychological dangers associated with its long-term use.
Marijuana
Marijuana, also known as 'pot', 'grass', 'weed', or 'dope' is a drug made from the hemp plant. It's usually dried and smoked in a pipe or rolled into a cigarette called a 'joint' or 'reefer.
Morphine
Morphine is a narcotic that's extracted from the opium poppy. It's used in medicine as a pain reliever, but is popular as a street drug because of its euphoric effects.
Physical signs of drug abuse
Although some of the most obvious signs of drug abuse are behavioral, there are also a number of physical signs to watch for. However, like behavioral clues, physical signs will vary greatly depending upon the individual and the type of drug being used.
Prescription drug addiction
Although drug abuse is commonly associated with the use of illegal drugs, a growing number of people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs. Prescription drug addiction tends to be a physical rather than psychological dependence, and painkillers such as barbiturates and tranquilizers are the most frequently abused medicines.
Symptoms of drug abuse
The symptoms associated with drug abuse are generally both physical and behavioral, and can vary greatly depending upon the person and the type of drug being used.
What is N.A. (Narcotics Anonymous)?
Narcotics Anonymous, or NA (N-A), is a program that uses a combination of counseling and group therapy to help people recover from drug abuse. Like similar self-help groups, NA encourages members to admit they have a problem they can't control, and uses a twelve-step program to help guide participants down the road of recovery.
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