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Important Things to Know About Addictive Substances

Addiction ranks highly among the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdoses caused 52,404 deaths in 2015, with opioids accounting for about 40 percent of those deaths. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says drug addiction affects the brain’s functioning, which makes it extremely difficult for people to control their use of drugs without the help of addiction treatments. Let’s take a closer look at the four most-addictive substances as determined by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

1. Cocaine

Cocaine is an enduringly popular drug that stimulates the body and mind after snorting, smoking, or injecting it in its powder form or as crack cocaine. Cocaine increases dopamine output in the brain, which rapidly causes an intense feeling of euphoria, alertness, and excitement. The drug wears off quickly and often causes depression and physical and mental fatigue that trigger a strong craving for more. Many addiction treatments are due to cocaine use and especially crack cocaine, which is more readily available on the streets.

2. Opioids

Opioids, including heroin and fentanyl, are increasing in availability and accelerating addiction across the United States. The opioids block pain and induce relaxation and euphoria by increasing dopamine within the brain. The National Safety Council says the number of people dying from drug use has increased as fentanyl greatly accelerated the number of overdose deaths in recent years.

3. Alcohol

Its legal status for adults over age 21 and its widespread availability make alcohol a highly popular drug that depresses and slows the central nervous system while also affecting dopamine levels in the brain. Continual use can lead to alcoholism, which is a common component of most addiction treatments. Many people who are addicted to other drugs also struggle with alcohol use, which enables them to self-medicate.

4. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a highly toxic and manmade stimulant that users snort, smoke, or inject to deliver a very intense and euphoric high. The drug can deprive users of sleep and depress their appetites while making them more excitable. Meth addiction often causes psychotic and aggressive behavior that could lead to violence while exacting a serious toll on the addict’s health.

You can learn more about addiction treatments by calling or visiting our Fort Lauderdale office. Our services help people to overcome their dependencies and regain control of their lives. Don’t hesitate to give Peace Medical a call and ask any questions you may have about our facility.

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