Rehab & Treatment
|Changing How Addiction is Perceived|
|Gateway Drugs: What You Need to Know: Part I|
|Gateway Drugs: What You Need to Know: Part II|
|Signs of Narcotics Addiction|
Yellowstone Recovery in Southern California is a trusted narcotics addiction rehab facility. If you or a loved one are addicted to narcotics, the information on this page may give you more insight into the issue.
The DEA has primarily defined narcotics as the category of opioid drugs—powerful substances used to relieve pain and dull the senses. Under this definition, narcotic drugs would include things like painkillers prescribed for severe pain and illegal opioid drugs like heroin.¹
In colloquial usage, however, the term “narcotics” goes beyond painkillers to include a much wider range of mood- and mind-altering drugs. Amphetamines, benzodiazepines, stimulants, sedatives, and hallucinogens are all commonly considered narcotics. As we use the term today, almost any substance of abuse can be referred to as a narcotic.
- Methamphetamines (meth)
- MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly)
- Cocaine/crack cocaine
Because narcotics can be almost anything, the risk of addiction depends on the type of drug being abused. In general, opioids like painkillers and heroin are some of the most addictive substances, while hallucinogens like LSD and mescaline are not necessarily physically addictive, but can create a strong psychological dependency.
The Physiological Cause of Narcotics Addiction
The exact mechanism of addiction varies by drug, but most narcotic addictions begin with changes in brain chemistry. Once the drug has interrupted the brain’s natural chemical processes, it ultimately makes the brain physiologically dependent upon the substance to function normally and avoid discomfort. For narcotics that don’t cause a true chemical addiction, a person may become dependent on the drug as a coping mechanism or spiritual aid.
Narcotic drugs can have a variety of positive and negative effects, such as the following:
- Pain relief
- Relaxation, drowsiness
- Pleasurable feelings (the “high”)
- Nausea, vomiting
- Distorted senses
- Extreme body temperatures
- Changes to breathing and heart rate
- Anxiety, paranoia
- Slowed or impaired movement
Several signs that can serve as red flags of narcotic addiction:
- Agitated, erratic behavior
- Deterioration of health and appearance
- Visible signs of use (track marks, sores, tooth damage)
- Seeing several doctors (to obtain prescription pills)
- Problems with work, relationships, and finances
When narcotics are withheld, uncomfortable symptoms begin to occur. Different types of drugs have different withdrawal experiences, but the following are some common symptoms:
- Sweating, chills
- Nausea, vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
No matter what kind of narcotic a person is addicted to, it is extremely difficult to quit without professional help. Even for the most strong-willed of individuals, the discomfort and cravings of withdrawal can be incredibly difficult to withstand. Unfortunately, willpower is often insufficient.
With the help of a narcotics addiction treatment program, you can go through narcotics detox in a safe, medically monitored environment and receive the expert guidance and resources you need to be free from addiction and start a new life of sobriety.
It’s time to stop the cycle of cravings and illness. At Yellowstone Recovery in Southern California, our addiction recovery experts can help you break free from narcotic addiction and get back to living your life. Call us today at (888) 418-4188.
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