What is Cocaine, Opioid or Prescription Drug Addiction?

In this article we talk about three common additions. These are Cocaine, Opioid and Prescription Drug Addiction.

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Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction occurs when an individual develops a dependency on the drug. In many cocaine addicts, there is a propensity for abuse of more than one substance, and users may have a history of other drug use.

Chronic use of cocaine may lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and psychological dependence.

Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

There are multiple signs of cocaine addiction that manifest both physically and behaviourally. These may include:

  • Dry mouth and rapid breathing
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Tremors, nausea and vomiting
  • Paranoid psychosis
  • Anxiety, irritability and restlessness

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction may result in a number of serious long-term health effects. Chronic use can lead to erratic moods, sleeping and eating problems, heart problems, breathing problems, impotence, as well as birth defects in children born to pregnant women who use cocaine heavily.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Since cocaine addiction is a complex disease, treatment must be comprehensive, addressing both the medical and social aspects of the drug abuse.

Many providers offer comprehensive cocaine addiction counselling and rehabilitation programs to help individual’s and their family’s heal, regain control of their lives, and gain the support and confidence necessary to lead long, fulfilling lives.

What is Opioid Addiction?

In Canada, opioids are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Referred to in common vernacular as painkillers, the long term effects of opioid addiction can be severe, particularly since users tend to take higher than the prescribed dosage, misuse the medication, and use in conjunction with alcohol and other substances. Since people abuse opioids for a variety of reasons – to get high, get medical or psychiatric relief, etc. – opioid addiction can progress differently in different people.

That said, the following are common signs of opioid addiction:

These are often heightened when opioids are taken in conjunction with other substances, and in these situations the risk of overdose is substantially higher.

Treatment of Opioid Addiction

Withdrawal symptoms for people with opioid addiction can be quite severe. They range from cold flashes, to vomiting and diarrhea, to seizures and cardiac arrest, all of which can lead to medical complications. It is thus important to provide those in treatment with the correct medical care and supervision.

To a patient with addiction both the medical and holistic support is necessary in order for them to overcome their opioid addiction. Biological, social, cultural and spiritual roots of the substance dependency should be examined in order to help our clients beat their addictions and lead them on the road to sustained recovery.

What is Prescription Drug Addiction?

Prescription drug abuse is increasing and addiction to these types of medication is becoming more widespread. According to the Government of Canada, it is a growing health and safety problem, particularly among youth. The most common types of drug prescriptions abused include opioids (painkillers), benzodiazepines (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (for ADD).

Prescription drug addiction is particularly harmful because recreational users often take higher doses, misuse the medications, or use in combination with alcohol and other substances.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug addiction can result in serious health issues and put users at risk of overdose, and death.

Signs of prescription drug addiction are not always easy to identify, but may include the following:

  • Frequent visits for refills of medication
  • Crushing or breaking pills
  • Stealing or borrowing prescription medications from others
  • Forging prescription
  • Finishing prescriptions ahead of schedule
  • Mood swings
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Irritability
  • More frequent alcohol consumption

Treatment of Prescription Drug Addiction

While treating prescription drug addiction a comprehensive approach should be undertaken. A use of combination of traditional methods and a holistic approach is advised to help not only deal with the medical aspects of the addiction, but also the behavioral and social issues that contribute to the substance dependency.

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For any of the treatments above please consult a professional.

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