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Addiction to street drugs is not something to be taken lightly. It is a chronic disease that changes the reward centers in the brain through dopamine and other neurotransmitters, making it extremely difficult to recover without help. Street drugs come in many different forms and names like opioids, heroin, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines, cocaine and steroids. All of these drugs are highly addictive and oftentimes require help to get and remain sober.

Opioids

Opioids are mostly referred to as prescription painkillers that are extracted from morphine. These drugs include hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Zohydro), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Oxyocet, Tylox), fentanyl, methadone, codeine and tramadol. This drug abuse typically starts with drug dependency after being prescribed by a doctor. Once a person can no longer get a prescription, they can turn to alternatives like heroin or fentanyl to achieve a similar high.

Heroin

This is a type of opioid drug that is usually injected into the vein. It does not take long to feel the effects of heroin as it usually takes effect within five to 15 minutes though the pleasurable part does not last very long. Roughly after an hour of injecting heroin, the side effects onset like an intense euphoria followed by reduced consciousness also referred to as “nodding.” This is when a person slips in and out of consciousness. A person that uses heroin is also susceptible to infections like hepatitis, HIV bacterial blood infections and myocardial infractions from sharing needles.

Benzodiazepines

This drug includes things like Klonopin, Xanax and Valium to name a few. Benzodiazepine addiction is commonly known as a shadow epidemic because it is not heavily discussed. Signs of benzodiazepine addiction and abuse include physical weakness, headaches, changes in appetite and weight, coma, confusion and cognitive impairment and an increased risk of developing seizures when the drug is not consumed. A person might also act drunk and exhibit signs like loss of coordination, slurred speech, reduced inhibitions, memory loss and blurred or doubled vision. The withdrawal symptoms of this drug mimic the very psychological syndromes that it is prescribed to treat like anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks and insomnia.

Methamphetamines

This is a highly addictive drug that can be difficult to overcome without help. It can cause extreme side effects like changes in reflexes, depression when the initial euphoria wears off, hallucinations, tremors, headache, jaw clenching, dehydration, excessive excitement or talkativeness, and reduced need for sleep and food just to name a few.

Cocaine

This drug can also become addictive as its half-life is very short and the body quickly builds a tolerance to the drug. Because of these factors, a person using this drug has to use ever-increasing doses in order to achieve the similar high from the first time. Some signs of drug use and addiction include aggression, intense cravings, performing risky behavior, raised heart rate and blood pressure and dilated pupils to name a few.

If you or someone you love is abusing any street drugs, contacting our facility is a great first step.