Drug and Alcohol Information Index

Alcohol Addiction

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Medical definitions describe alcoholism as a disease which results in a persistent use of alcohol despite negative consequences. Alcoholism may also refer to a preoccupation with or compulsion toward the consumption of alcohol and/or an impaired ability to recognize the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption....

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Alcoholim and Aging

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Over time, heavy drinking permanently damages the brain and central nervous system, as well as the liver, heart, kidneys, and stomach. Alcohol's effects can make some medical problems hard to diagnose. For example, alcohol causes changes in the heart and blood vessels that can dull pain that might be a warning sign of a heart attack.

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Club Drugs

Although users may think these substances are harmless, research has shown that club drugs can produce a range of unwanted effects, including hallucinations, paranoia, amnesia, and, in some cases, death. When used with alcohol, these drugs can be even more harmful. Also, there are great differences among individuals in how they react to these substances and no one can predict how he or she will react....

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Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. Cocaine's stimulant and addictive effects are thought to be primarily a result of its ability to inhibit the reabsorption of dopamine by nerve cells. Dopamine is released as part of the brain's reward system, and is either directly or indirectly involved in the addictive properties of every major drug of abuse....

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Codeine

Codeine is a member of the drug class opiates. Opiates include all naturally occurring drugs with morphine-like effects such as codeine and all semi and fully synthetic drugs with morphine-like effects. Opioids have stimulating effects as well because they block inhibitory neurotransmitters. Repeated use of these drugs can cause long-term changes in the way the nervous system functions....

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Darvocet

Darvocet is a relative of the synthetic narcotic, methadone. It's prescribed in two forms- propoxyphene hydrochloride and propoxyphene napsylate. Signs of Darvocet abuse can include: bluish skin, convulsions, decreased breathing, decreased heart function, extreme sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, pinpoint pupils becoming dilated....

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Dilaudid

Dilaudid is an analgesic narcotic with an addiction liability similar to that of morphine. Dilaudid is approximately 8 times more potent on a milligram basis than morphine. Dilaudid is an opiate in the same class of narcotics as heroin, methadone, propoxyphene, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, Demerol, opium, thebaine, and papaverine, and other opioids with morphine-like effects....

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Ecstasy

Brain imaging research in humans indicates that Ecstasy (MDMA), or "X," causes injury to the brain, affecting neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays a direct role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Many of the risks users face with Ecstasy use are similar to those found with the use of cocaine and amphetamines....

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Fentanyl

The Fentanyl patch is a painkiller. Typical side effects of Fentanyl abuse include abdominal pain, anxiety, confusion, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, euphoria, hallucinations, headache, impaired or interrupted breathing, indigestion, itching, anorexia, nausea, agitation, shortness of breath, sleepiness, sweating, urinary retention, vomiting, and weakness....

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Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens cause their effects by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. Distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, the serotonin system is involved in the control of behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems, including mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception....

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Heroin

Heroin is particularly addictive because it enters the brain so rapidly. Cardiac function slows. Breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes to the point of death. With heroin, the rush is usually accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and a heavy feeling in the extremities, which may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and severe itching...

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Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is one of of the main ingredients in Vicodin, Lortab, Dilaudid and Norco, as well as many other pain killers. Experts report that addiction to hydrocodone-based prescriptions, or "'scipts," can start in a little as one week at higher doses....

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Inhalants

Generally, inhalant abusers will abuse any available substance. However, some users will go out of their way to obtain their favorite inhalant. Some young people may use inhalants as a substitute for alcohol. Many suffer from mental impairment and other neurological dysfunction and may develop multiple psychological and social problems....

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Lortab

Lortab, one of many products that contain hydrocodone, is regulated by state and federal law, but it is not controlled as closely as other powerful pain killers. Subject to individual tolerance, many medical experts believe dependence or addiction can occur within one to four weeks at higher doses of Lortab. Abuse of Lortab can produce side effects....

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LSD, Acid

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user's personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. LSD produces tolerance, causing users who take the drug repeatedly to take higher doses to achieve the same level of intoxication that they had previously....

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Marijuana

In the United States, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. Marijuana use is widespread among adolescents and young adults. The percentage of middle-school students who reported using marijuana increased throughout the early 1990s. Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to produce its many effects....

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Methadone

Methadone is a synthetic narcotic that, when administered in adequate doses, can usually suppress a heroin addict's craving and withdrawal. People can become as dependent on methadone as they were to heroin or other opiates, such as Oxycotin or Vicodin. During detoxification there are symptoms such as tearing of eyes, runny nose, excessive perspiration, fever, dilated pupils, abdominal cramps, nausea, body aches....

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Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine abuse casues negative mental and physical health effects. In animals, a single high dose of the drug has been shown to damage nerve terminals in the dopamine-containing areas of the brain. The large release of dopamine by methamphetamine contributes to the drug's toxic effects on nerve cells in the brain. High doses raise body temperature to dangerous and sometimes even lethal levels....

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Nicotine

Recent research has shown in fine detail how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of behavioral effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure, the so-called reward pathways. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine....

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Norco

Norco one of several the brand names for the combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone binds to the pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of pain is reduced. Acetaminophen halts the production of prostaglandins which otherwise cause pain. Norco is prescribed for moderate to moderately severe pain, yet is highly addictive....

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Oxycontin

Over-use of such opioid pain-killers can result in rising tolerance to the drugs, so that higher doses must be taken to get the same effects. Long-term use also can lead to physical dependence, meaning the body adapts to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is abruptly stopped, or reduced....

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Percocet

Addiction to Percocet and other such opiates can effect you and those near you in ways that are extremely harmful to your physical health, ability to hold a job, your relationships with family and friends, legally, and psychologically. It is not always possible to quit using Percocet and without help....

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Prescription Drug Addiction

Among the drugs that fall within this class - sometimes referred to as narcotics - are morphine, codeine, and related drugs. Morphine is often used before or after surgery to alleviate severe pain. Codeine is used for milder pain. Other examples of opioids that can be prescribed as a painkiller include....

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Rohypnol

Rohypnol produces sedative-hypnotic effects including muscle relaxation and amnesia; it can also produce physical and psychological dependence. In Miami, one of the first sites of Rohypnol abuse, poison control centers report an increase in withdrawal seizures among people addicted to Rohypnol....

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Vicodin

Hydrocodone, the narcotic in Vicodin, is a Schedule II substance, closely controlled with restricted use. But very few prescription drugs, or "scripts," contain pure hydrocodone. Instead, it is mixed with other non-narcotic ingredients to create medicines like Vicodin and Lortab....

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Are you, or is someone near you, abusing or addicted to drugs or alcohol? If yes, then you are probably experiencing the damaging effects of substance abuse or addiction. There is a better way: start getting clean and sober now, by calling 866-323-5612