Drug addiction is one of the biggest problems in the world right now. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were over 70,200 deaths from drug overdose in the US alone in 2017. The ease of distribution for prescription medicine even made the situation worse. According to Addiction Blog, 6.2% per capita of the US is from prescription use. This number is still rising each year.
Drugs, legal or illegal, fall into two categories: depressants and stimulants. The two different categories are very different from each other, but both can destroy life by means of abuse and addiction. This article will feature the difference between the two categories and their causes of addiction.
If you feel like you’re falling into addiction and do not know who to turn to for help, please visit a recovery clinic for common depressants and stimulants near you and get the help that you need.
How It Works: Depressants Versus Stimulants
Depressants are drugs that inhibit the central nervous system, slowing all its functions such as the heart rate, the respiratory and the gastrointestinal system. It slows down a lot of body processes and is commonly used legally as sedatives. With the central nervous system and its functions slowing, this gives a feeling of relaxation, sleepiness, and peace to its users. However, when these drugs are abused, the user feels “intoxicated” which makes it addictive. The most common form of addiction using a depressant is the addiction to painkillers. Examples of depressants are alcohol, morphine, heroin, valium, codeine, and Xanax.
Stimulants, on the other hand, are drugs that speed up the process of the central nervous system. It speeds up the heart and respiratory rate as well as increasing the body temperature and blood pressure. When a user continuously uses stimulants, they will feel supercharged and full of energy and focus. In some cases, stimulant causes a rush of euphoria, which makes the experience addiction. However, appetite and sleep are suppressed. Stimulants are often used by snorting, injection, and smoking. The most common type of addiction via stimulant is the addiction to caffeine that can be found of coffee beverages. However, there are harmful stimulants such as nicotine, cocaine, methamphetamine or meth, and MDMA or ecstasy.
Side Effects Of Substance Overdose
The overdose of depressants is also associated with a case of overdose alongside another drug. This is because a lot of people mix depressants with other substances in order to intensify the euphoric effect or the rush and high from it. Because depressants slow down the heart and the respiratory system, one of the apparent effects that users get is the deficiency of oxygen in the brain and on other organs. This can lead to brain damage, being comatose, or even worse, death. Side effects include disorientation, cold or clammy skin, shallow breathing, bluish lips or fingernails, and no response to stimuli.
Stimulant users, on the other hand, suffer side effects that are brought to by the “crash” when the body leaves the system. As stimulants speed up the process of the heart and the respiratory system, a weak heart might be affected with increased risk in stroke or other heart problems. In addition, conditions which can be triggered by the rush such as anxiety and panic disorders can be worsened. Deaths by stimulants are often caused by heart attack, stroke, or hyperthermia (when the body temperature dangerously rises). In addition, stimulant users tend to have irregular breathing, severe headache, racing pulse, and tightness of the chest.
Battling Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
The first step in battling addiction is to recognize the addiction itself. A lot of people that suffer from drug addiction are not aware of the harm the addiction gives them. Help from friends and family will be crucial in this stage. What’s next is the battling of withdrawal symptoms, in which even more help from the victim’s loved ones, as well as accredited medical rehabilitation centers, are needed.
Each drug will affect users differently. Withdrawal symptoms can be emotional, physical, or both. Emotional symptoms include anxiety, depression, or problems in sleeping. Physical symptoms include headaches, difficulty in breathing, as well as sweating and muscle aches, tension, and tremors. Addiction from alcohol will have more dangerous physical withdrawal, which can include mal seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens.
Stimulants and depressants have benefits for certain uses and in some medical cases. However, an overdose of these substances can cause danger and death. Usage needs precaution and distribution needs further moderations from the authorities.