Addiction - Causes, symptoms and treatment. MF.
Jun 08, 2018
Since ancient times, mankind is familiar with narcotic substances. They were also used in medical( as anesthetics, stimulants or hypnotics), and for ritual purposes - with the help of mescaline and psilocybin, for example, the priests of South America changed their mental state and made predictions. Also, drug abuse began long ago. Every year, the scale of drug addiction increases, new more aggressive drugs are synthesized, and more and more young people( and this mostly young people are affected by this destructive passion) instead of creating a successful career, a possible happy family life, an active and useful holiday roll down to the very bottom. It can be said that drug addiction is not so much a medical one as a social problem with a long history and has not been solved to date.
Doctors describe drug addiction as a disease resulting from the systematic abuse of various drugs. Obligatory signs of drug addiction are the patient's addiction to intoxication, which gives the use of a drug, other than a healthy person's, the reaction of the body to a drug( for example, the dose at which a drug addict experiences "kicks" is often fatal to other people, or a drug with a stimulating effect on a drug addicttime acts as a sedative).If the drug addiction stops the drug, then "withdrawal" - the state of withdrawal, which often has pain in different parts of the body, anxiety, fears, insomnia, cardiovascular disorders( tachycardia, irregular heartbeats).There may be hallucinations, misconduct. In severe cases, convulsive seizures are possible.
Causes of addiction.
The reason for drug addiction is drug use, i.e.a substance that can cause a painful attraction and the desire to increase the doses taken. But the question is why not all people take drugs, and moreover, why not all people who have ever used narcotic drugs become addicts remain open. There are opinions that the formation of drug addiction requires the presence of certain personality characteristics, and in support of this there are facts of predisposition to addiction to patients with psychopathic traits of character, as well as mentally unhealthy people. Also, there is evidence of a more likely development of addiction in people who have grown up in an unfavorable family setting. Fashion trends play an important role in the spread of drug addiction. There is evidence of the inheritance of a propensity to this disease.
Symptoms of addiction
How to suspect drug use? When you need to sound an alarm and go to a specialist? These questions are of concern to many parents whose children enter the time of their youth. Depending on the drug, the appearance and behavior of the patient may be different.
The most popular in the youth environment are drugs based on hemp .This type of drug addiction is called hashishism. When using cannabis drugs, behavior does not change dramatically. The patient feels a sense of delight from the animation of external images, he increases appetite, sexual desire, there is a noise in the ears. Possible aggressive actions. Sometimes, on the contrary, there is drowsiness, apathy. With prolonged use of cannabis, indifference to the environment, passivity, decrease of intellect. Morality, conscience, shame are lost, which often entails illegal actions of the patient.
Another "trendy" and popular in the youth environment drug - cocaine .This is a narcotic of vegetable origin, but it has been learned to synthesize. An artificially produced analogue of cocaine is called " crack ".It has a more toxic effect on the body. A person who abuses cocaine is usually pale, exhausted, irritable. His pupils in the state of "high" are expanded, he often coughs, the pulse is increased, blood pressure is increased. He often suffers from insomnia, depression. With prolonged abuse, specific hallucinations develop - it seems to a person that many insects creep under his skin. It is also possible the appearance of convulsive seizures.
The abuse of by psychostimulators is quite common - this kind of drug addiction was especially popular in our country in the late 80s.last century. Usually, drug users use ephedrine, phenamine, and pervitin. In the state of intoxication, stimulants, irritability, agitation, and abnormal behavior are observed in psychostimulants. Possible hallucinations, nonsense. After intoxication, there is a feeling of shattering, lethargy, melancholy. With a systematic use of reduced appetite, often there is a delay in urination. The person is exhausted physically, looks emaciated: deeply sunken eyes with feverish shine, pale skin with a grayish hue, thinness.
No less common and dependent on hallucinogenic drugs. This is ecstasy, LSD, phencyclidine ( "angel dust" on the slang of drug addicts).When drunk with these drugs, there is euphoria, bright hallucinations, increased mood. After intoxication, amnesia is possible( the person partially forgets his experiences).With prolonged use of hallucinogens, absent-mindedness increases, and the function of controlling behavior is lost. Externally, drug addicts look pale, their hands are shaking, sweating is marked, and vision is often reduced. A feature of this type of drug addiction is the almost complete absence of "breaking".
The most severe form of drug abuse is the abuse of opiates. The most famous drugs of this group are heroin, morphine, codeine and synthetic drug methadone .Opiates are used in medicine for the treatment of cough( codeine) and diarrhea( imodium), as well as for analgesia( promedol, tramadol).After taking opiates, a generous, dreamlike state appears. The person is relaxed, inhibited. With prolonged use of opiates on the contrary, there may be a surge of energy after the introduction of the drug. The pupils are narrow, the skin is pale and dry, constipation is often observed. The arterial pressure of such addicts is reduced, the pulse is slowed down. With the use of drugs of this group, respiratory depression often occurs, which along with overdose is a frequent cause of death of patients. Especially difficult is the "breaking" with this form of drug addiction - pronounced twisting pains in the whole body, the temperature rises, the patient is tormented by anxiety, insomnia. During the "breaking" is very likely the development of exhaustion and dehydration, tk.decreases appetite, when you try to eat or drink water in your stomach, spasms begin. The type of heroin addict is specific: the patient looks older than his years, is depleted, the skin is pale with icteric tinge, scaly. Teeth are affected by tooth decay, characteristic of tooth loss, even in young addicts. Hair also falls out, becomes brittle, dull. Patients are deceitful, indifferent, without moral and ethical principles.
High probability of drug use if:
1. There are traces of injections, which can not be explained by medical manipulations, often inflamed, becausedrug addicts usually do not follow the correct technique of intravenous administration.
2. Personal belongings contain cigarettes( like "Belomorkanal"), syringes( usually insulin), bundles for intravenous injections, strange pieces of paper that resemble stamps, tablets of incomprehensible origin, ampules of unknown substance, powders. Cigarettes are used to smoke cannabis preparations, and special devices resembling a small smoking pipe can be used for these purposes.
Syringes and strands are used for intravenous injection of a drug( heroin most often).
LSD is sold in the form of "marks" - a piece of paper on which a layer of narcotic is applied. This brand is placed under the tongue, where the concentration of blood vessels is high and due to this the drug is quickly absorbed.
Hallucinogenic substances are commonly used in the form of tablets and powders. Cocaine and heroin are also powdered substances of white color.
Cannabis products look like shredded parts of a plant, or oily balls are also clearly of plant origin.
3. The behavior of a person has changed: there was aggression, inadequate gaiety or vice versa, a depressed, moody mood, inhibition. There are new friends, lost interests. Studying, work, family relations are deteriorating.
4. There are health problems: frequent infections, fatigue, weight loss, insomnia, blood pressure jumps, stool disorders, a persistent runny nose.
If you have these signs, you should not postpone treatment to a doctor! In the case when it comes only to health problems, first you need to visit the therapist. But if there are violations in the behavior or found narcotic substances, or devices for their use - it is advisable to come to the psychiatrist-narcologist.
Survey on suspicion of drug addiction.
When referring to the therapist, analyzes will be assigned to allow the doctor to draw conclusions about the overall health of the patient. These are blood tests, urine tests, electrocardiograms, ultrasound examinations of the internal organs( liver, thyroid), x-rays or lung fluorography. When applying directly to a psychiatrist-narcologist, it is still desirable to have the data of these examinations and the conclusion of the therapist on hand. This will help the specialist to choose the most optimal treatment tactics taking into account the patient's physical condition. It is also necessary to donate blood to infections that are common in drug addiction - hepatitis, HIV, syphilis. Consultation of an ENT doctor will reveal the thinning of the nasal septum, which is often found when using the drug through the nose.
If there is at least one case of convulsive seizure, it is necessary to visit a neurologist and make an electroencephalogram, and possibly other examinations as directed by a doctor( CT, MRI).The psychiatrist-narcologist can additionally recommend a psychologist's consultation for revealing the state of intelligence, memory, determining the characteristics of the patient's personality. To determine the time of the last use of the drug, there are special tests of urine, blood, sometimes using drugs-drug antagonists( naltrexone), which do not cause reactions in a healthy person, and the drug addicts cause a "breakage".
Treatment of drug addiction.
Treatment of a drug addict is a long, multi-stage process, and the success of treatment depends not so much on modern drugs as on a patient's desire to get rid of addiction and cooperation with a doctor. Usually treatment is stationary, becausea necessary condition is to stop taking the drug, and do it on an outpatient basis to the patient, as a rule, fails. In addition, the "breakage" that occurs when a drug is abolished in a hospital is easier to tolerate, thanks to treatment.
Droppers with vitamins( groups B, C, PP), strengthening agents( glucose, nootropil), means that restore the water-salt balance in the body( sodium chloride, potassium, magnesium) are used to remove the withdrawal syndrome. In addition, depending on the symptoms of "breakage", analgesics( analgin, tramal), hypnotics( radedorm, imovan, phenobarbital), anticonvulsants( carbamazepine), anxiety can be used with tranquilizers( elenium, diazepam, phenazepam).When excited, use antipsychotics( tizercin, etaperazin, neuleptil, tiapridal).If there is a decreased mood - prescribe antidepressants( paxil, heptral, coaxil, pyrazidol).To improve the general condition of the body, the patient is given essential( normalizes liver function), cardiovascular drugs( enap, anaprilin and others).
After relief of withdrawal symptoms, the struggle with mental dependence on drugs begins. Here the main component of treatment is psychotherapy. It can be group( for example, meetings of clubs of anonymous drug addicts, conditional reflex therapy) and individual( auto-training, hypnosis).
The third stage in the treatment of drug addiction is the admission of maintenance therapy. This happens outside the hospital. It is necessary to visit the narcological dispensary and follow the recommendations of the doctor in charge. At this stage, for the prevention of breakdowns, it is possible to take drugs-antagonists drugs( naltrexone).If the patient admits the use of the drug against the background of taking the antagonist, then he will not get euphoria, but the physical condition will worsen. Thus, the main motive of drug use disappears - getting "high".
During the treatment, close people need to provide all possible support to the patient. This does not mean that they should take on his problems. It is desirable to protect the addict from meeting with friends who continue to use drugs, if possible, completely change the environment. It would be nice to follow the medication, visit a doctor. Every effort should be made to support the patient's desire for useful activities, to strengthen his faith in himself. It's great if the patient can find a job for himself - be it a job or a hobby.
Nutrition for addiction
Separately it is necessary to tell about a delivery of patients with a narcomania. Since these patients are often depleted, preference should be given to a high-calorie diet, but it should be so that it does not give unnecessary strain to the gastrointestinal tract and liver. It is not desirable to overload food with spices, fats. Even though the patient is depleted, do not encourage overeating. In general, it is sufficient to be guided by the basic principles of healthy nutrition. If there is a long experience of drug addiction and the patient is exhausted, and his organs are in a deplorable state, the diet should be discussed with a specialist( therapist, gastroenterologist, nutritionist).
Independently to make attempts to diagnose addiction, and, especially, to be treated, it is extremely dangerous. The behavior of the patient with certain mental illnesses can be taken for the behavior of the addict( for example, in schizophrenia, the circle of communication and interests may change, closure may appear).In addition, drug addiction can only be a concomitant symptom in diseases such as schizoaffective disorder, depression, psychopathy and many others. In this case, the treatment of the underlying problem is of paramount importance. Physical exhaustion and other bodily symptoms may not necessarily result from the use of the drug. Perhaps the cause is a serious illness or infection. So, correctly to qualify a status of the patient under force only to the expert. In addition, the drug used to treat addiction is unlikely to be purchased without a doctor's prescription. If only folk medicine, like soothing herbs( valerian, yarrow, motherwort), but they, unfortunately, have little effect on addiction. In addition to the basic treatment in consultation with the doctor, it is possible to use these medications, but in the best case, there will be only a placebo effect.
Rehabilitation after drug treatment
Rehabilitation of drug addicts is very important. Here the main role is played not by the intervention of the doctor, but by working with psychologists, social workers, communicating with peers who have a positive experience in solving the problem of addiction to drugs. The greatest effect should be expected from the rehabilitation program, which is held in a special center. There, the patient has the opportunity to do occupational therapy, attend classes with a psychologist, form a new social circle. The duration of a truly effective rehabilitation program is unlikely to be less than 1.5 years. Short-term programs, designed for 1.5-2 months, can benefit only if further regular admission of maintenance therapy and observation in the narcological dispensary.
Complications of drug addiction
With disregard for treatment, the problem of drug addiction is aggravated in a geometric progression and entails severe consequences. The personality of a person is disintegrating - moral and ethical fundamentals are disappearing, pathological lies, cynicism, indifference to relatives appear. The intellect, memory, down to dementia decreases.
Physically, the body also suffers: vital organs are depleted, immunity is reduced, which leads to a tendency for infectious diseases and their more severe course. Among addicts suicides are not uncommon, they often fall into criminal reports as criminals or their victims. Often when a technique of intravenous injection is violated, the addict becomes infected with HIV infection, hepatitis. Among the girls-drug addicts, prostitution, promiscuous sexual intercourse is widespread, which also creates a fertile ground for these infections, and also increases the likelihood of criminal abortions and the birth of sick children. The more time a person is under the pernicious impact of a drug - the less he has the chance to change his life. Often an overdose of a drug carries a fatal outcome.
Prevention of drug addiction
The best protection of a child from this terrible disease is warm and confidential relations in the family, education of the moral standards in the younger generation, and the organization of leisure time for children and adolescents. Everything is in your hands, parents!
Doctor psychiatrist Bochkareva OS