Spikes in Drug Overdose Cases Due to COVID-19

pikes in Drug Overdose Cases Due to COVID-19

Drug overdose in Ontario is not a new concept. All across Ontario, many people are still struggling with drug addiction and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be causing an increase in the number of overdose cases across the province of Ontario.

It is no longer news that the world is fighting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping across the globe. Today, many countries including Spain, Italy, and the US are on lockdown with many more joining the list by the day. Additionally, there isn’t a cure for Coronavirus. Right now, the global state of things can be described as unsteady as governments are scrambling to find a way to stop the pandemic. 

You may be wondering what COVID-19 has to do with addiction rehabilitation in Toronto and other parts of Ontario. The connection can be made with one simple word — anxiety. The rate at which Coronavirus is spreading is enough to induce serious feelings of anxiety in most people. The uncertain nature of the pandemic can cause panic attacks and intense feelings of anxiety. 

For people trying to get over drug addiction, these feelings of anxiety can be extra heightened. For regular drug users, anxiety and uncertainty are two feelings that can culminate in heavy drug use. 

This is the case in Belleville, Ontario where authorities are struggling with a spike in the number of drug overdose cases across the city. In this article, we will explore the drug overdose situation in Belleville and how public health officials are scrambling to protect the citizens.

Related article: Drug Abuse: How to Know If You’re Stuck Up Now

Increase in Drug Overdose Cases in Belleville

Addiction treatment is not a popular topic in Belleville. In fact, this city rarely makes the news for drug-related issues. However, the COVID-19 outbreak seems to have changed the situation of things. According to the local health unit in Belleville, there has been a definite increase in the number of fatal and serious drug overdose cases over the past week.

Information provided by public health officials in Belleville has shown that this spike in the number of fatal overdoses hasn’t been linked definitely to any particular causative factor. However, there are indications that this spike in drugs and substance abuse may be linked to angst and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Drug Overdose

This has been confirmed after two drug overdose cases that turned out to be fatal. During these times of stress and uncertainty, more and more people are turning to heavy drug abuse for comfort. Public health officials in Belleville are not the only ones having to deal with the effects of increased drug use and reduced rehabilitation efforts in the city. Belleville Police have also been dealing with the increased spike in drug usage within the city.

Over the past week, Belleville Police have had to deal with five drug overdose-related incidents. This is a huge spike for a city that barely sees a single drug overdose case over the same period. With increased anxiety comes an increase in the usage of drugs. Therefore, if the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t get better over the next several days, it is possible that the Belleville Police may have its hands full dealing with more drug-related overdose cases.

Increase in Drug Usage in Belleville: The Reaction From the Police Department

Increase in Drug Usage in Belleville

Dealing with drug addiction and having to administer on the spot rehabilitation efforts are a part of basic training for aspiring police officers. As such, you can be sure that the Belleville Police department is equipped with the skills necessary to save lives in the event of an overdose.

The Belleville Police department is encouraging residents in the city to call emergency numbers in the event of any drug-related situations. Instead of trying to deal with it by yourself, you are encouraged to call for help. Residents can choose to call the police or call for an ambulance and EMT professionals directly. This way, the number of fatalities resulting from possible ODs will reduce drastically.

On its part, members of the Belleville Police Department are fighting harder to stop the distribution and spread of drugs within the city. Although this is an uphill battle, any form of success will reduce the possibility of users getting more drugs.

What if drug users already have a substantial stash? The public health department has released a statement detailing safety guidelines for regular drug users over the course of the pandemic. In the next section, we will discuss how public health officials are proposing to stop the spread of COVID-19 among drug users as well as cases of overdose.

How Drug Users Can Protect Themselves From COVID-19 and Overdoses

Minimizing the effects of drug addiction can be especially hard with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the public health officials in Belleville did a great job by putting out a statement with helpful information. 

Public health officials are advising regular drug users to engage in harm reduction activities to prevent overdose. These harm reduction activities include:

  • Having a naloxone kit readily available 
  • Avoiding the mixing of different hard drugs and substances 
  • Avoiding the combined intake of hard drugs and alcohol 
  • Starting with a small test does that will gauge how your body reacts
  • Not using alone 
Drug Overdose

Other preventive advice put forward by public health officials include:

Limiting the number of users

Although you are encouraged not to use drugs alone, the department of public health is concerned about the spread of COVID-19. As such, it is important that you stick to a group less than three. This is important to stop the spread of coronavirus within the city.

Practice social distancing

Drug usage usually occurs in groups. However, as part of its efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, the city is encouraging users to practice social distancing. This means that there should be a distance of 6-feet between you and the next user. Since the virus isn’t spread by air, this will reduce the spread via contact cases.

Avoid sharing equipment

Drug addiction and COVID-19 exist in the same sentence because the disease can be spread via contact. Coronavirus can stay active on a metal surface for up to 12 hours. As such, it is very important to avoid sharing drug using equipment with friends. If you must use drugs, it is advisable to use personal equipment. This way, you can avoid contracting the virus via microbes already present on drug equipment.

Related article: The Frightening Truth about Prescription Drug Abuse that Will Smash You

Final Take 

Drug addiction can be managed excellently during the period of this COVID-19 pandemic. As long as you follow the guidelines listed above, you should be protected from contracting the virus.

With regard to drug overdoses, testing the drugs and using them with a partner should help protect you from fatal reactions. Addiction Healing Centre is available to receive your calls and concerns about drug overdose and addiction during this pandemic. We can be reached through 888.508.9802 or by emailing info@addictionhealingcentre.ca.

Are you worried about having to deal with drug addiction yourself over the course of this pandemic? You don’t have to be alone. Following strict social distancing and prevention steps, Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs. Speak with our experts today!

Why is Weed Addictive?: Important Facts Every Parent Should Know

Is weed addictive, or does it truly have benefits? Many people wonder about these things when it comes to marijuana. Weed has become more popular these days because of the studies that claim it has many beneficial qualities. While this could be good news for those who use medical marijuana, the fact remains that it also has chemicals that make it addictive. 

There is a growing concern among parents about the legalization and availability of marijuana to their teenage children. For sure, they are asking questions like is weed addictive, and will it lead to other substance abuse problems? All of these are valid concerns. 

If you are a parent and you want to know more about marijuana, its effects, and how you can protect your children from substance abuse, this article is for you. Let’s begin by what you ought to know as a parent when it comes to marijuana. 

Related article: Why Do Young Adults Use Marijuana?

What Parents Should Know About Weed

Our children are more exposed to illicit substances than what you might think. Drugs or references to them can be found everywhere. It could be on movies, television, songs, and the internet. Social influences and peer pressure can also lead to marijuana use. 

Kids today have so much exposure to drugs that it is frightening. It can make them become curious about trying the substances for themselves. It can lead to dependence and addiction. Parents should step in before any of these things can happen. 

Many teenagers will say that marijuana is easily available. It is often the first illicit drug that they will try in their lives. Hopefully, it will be the only one. However, weed abuse often leads to the use of other drugs that are stronger and more dangerous. Some people would claim that marijuana is harmless. Parents should never be complacent about this statement. 

Weed is just as addictive as other illegal drugs. During their teenage years, your children are vulnerable. The use of this drug can affect their health tremendously. That is why, as parents, you have to be able to offer the first protection for your children against the use of drugs. 

Related article: Important Facts You Need to Know About Marijuana Addiction

How Does Weed Affect the Well-Being of Our Children?

Marijuana can affect so many aspects of our children’s lives. It’s not just their health that is at risk. Their ability to focus at school, their relationships with family and friends, and their future are all going to suffer if there is no way to avert their drug use and addiction. 

Related article: Is Marijuana Addictive? What Happened to Users Will Shock You

Poor Grades

When your child begins using weed, he or she will have trouble thinking and concentrating. Learning lessons in school is going to be a challenge. As a consequence, they will have poor grades in school. It will become worse if marijuana use is not addressed. With heavier use of weed, kids may lose their interest in going to school altogether. They may drop out and ruin their chances for a good future. 

Higher Risk of Getting Into Accidents

Marijuana is a drug that can impair the judgment of the user. It can affect their motor skills and capacity to do things safely, such as driving. It is dangerous if your child is a marijuana user, and he or she also drives. 

The chances of them meeting an accident are high. It can lead to injuries and even death. Other than that, risky behaviour can also result from marijuana abuse. Your children may get into trouble with the law, cause accidents and injuries, and other unfortunate events. 

Sexual Health Risks

Teenagers who are abusing marijuana have higher sexual health risks. They may experience unprotected or unwanted sex. It may lead to contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and other consequences. All these can affect the future of your children. That is why it is crucial to know the people that your children are hanging out with. They can greatly influence the actions of your children, such as trying out drugs. 

Overall Health and Well-Being

During their teenage years, our children’s brains and bodies are not fully grown. Smoking marijuana or taking drugs won’t do any good for their lungs and other vital organs. Weed abuse can lead to dependence and addiction. Apart from that, the kids may be at risk of suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Using marijuana regularly can change the way that the brain develops among teenagers. 

Related article: Negative Effects of Marijuana and Why You Should Stop

How Weed is Commonly Used

The way that marijuana is used is by drying its leaves. Usually, it is mixed with tobacco to form joints. The user then smokes it. There are also other ways to consume marijuana. Some users mix it with their food. They also brew it like tea. It is possible for your child to consume foods or beverages without knowing that it has marijuana in it. 

What’s more dangerous is when weed and crack cocaine or other drugs are mixed. The effects of the combination of these drugs are more powerful. It may lead to overdose and other health hazards. It is crucial to remind your child about suspicious edibles because those may contain drugs in them. 

Why is Weed Addictive?

Is weed addictive? Yes. Weed or marijuana is like other drugs because it is addictive. In the same way that alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit substances can lead to addiction, your child may start using weed for fun at first. However, they can easily lose control of their use and develop a dependence and addiction to the drug. 

It is easy to overlook addiction to marijuana since the withdrawal symptoms may not be as intense compared to other substances. Nevertheless, weed is still dangerous. When your child develops an addiction to marijuana, they will smoke or consume it more and more. 

Users of marijuana think that they are still in control of their drug use. They think that they can quit whenever they want to. But the reality is that quitting becomes harder the longer they keep on using weed or other substances. 

Adolescents who are into heavy weed consumption usually do not perform well in school. They may start losing interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Their relationship with their friends and family will also suffer as they ten to isolate themselves. 

When teens are left to continue using marijuana, it can lead to trying out other stronger drugs. Their chances for a good future will suffer. They won’t get good jobs because of their poor grades. It is also possible that they won’t be able to stick to one job for a long time because they can’t function and perform well. 

School and work will certainly suffer because of drug use. The future of your children will be compromised. When they start having families of their own, their partner and children will be affected by the instability of the household finances. Marijuana addiction can start as a seemingly harmless source of fun. But it will create a domino effect that will ruin the lives of your children and their future families. 

Related article: Common Side Effects of Marijuana to Watch Out For

Why Weed is Dangerous for Teenagers

Marijuana’s stigma has been on a steady decline because it is now legal in many places. It has been made legal to use for both medical and also recreational use. However, studies state that marijuana use among teenagers and young children can affect their ability to learn. Not only that, but their decision-making skills, judgment, balance, coordination, memory, and attention will be affected. 

Teenagers’ bodies are still growing. That is why marijuana use can have negative effects on their growth and development. There are many other reasons why we should educate our children about the dangers of smoking or consuming marijuana. Even if it is already legal in some places, it does not take away the fact that it still has negative effects on the body, especially for growing kids. 

Related article: Various Health Effects of Marijuana on the Body

Understanding Why Teens Try Marijuana

There are plenty of reasons why teenagers and younger adolescents try weed. Not every case is the same. Some may try it out of pure curiosity. Others may try it because they were being pressured by their friends. Whatever the reason, if your child is using weed, it is best if you can talk to them and ask why they are doing drugs. Treating drug abuse will be more effective if the root cause as to why it started is known. 

Influence of adult family members 

The influence of family members plays a big role in what our children think of drug use. For example, if you have members of the family who smoke or consume marijuana and approve of its use, then the kids will think it’s okay to try it. 

You, as a parent, should be able to talk to the family member about how you don’t want your children to get the wrong idea that drugs are okay. Ask them not to do drugs when children are around or talk about drug use to the kids.

To escape problems

A lot of teenagers turn to drugs like the weed so that they can escape the problems they are currently facing. Somehow, it’s their way of making themselves feel better. The teenage years can be difficult. They may feel a lot of emotions, like anger, anxiety, and depression. 

Your responsibility as the parent is to be aware of what your children are going through. Don’t dismiss them if they try to express themselves about their feelings. They want to be heard, and they want an adult to tell them that whatever they’re going through will pass. 

Teach them other ways to deal with problems and emotions. For example, encourage them to take up the habit of journaling. It’s a good way to reflect on their days. It will help them identify the things that are bothering them and find ways to deal with those issues. 

They are misinformed about marijuana

There are some kids who try using weed because they don’t know the dangers of using the drug. It is your role as the parent to educate your children about the negative effects of drug use on their bodies, especially their brains. 

Share with them that the adolescent brain has not reached full development. Using drugs can affect their cognitive abilities. It means that they will most likely do poorly in school and ruin their chances of a good future. 

How to Tell if Your Child is Using Marijuana

When you know the signs of someone using weed, it will be easier to intervene and get them help. Once you confirm that your child is using marijuana, you can talk to them about the dangers of this drug. Remember that getting angry and disappointed with them are natural reactions. However, what should be your primary concern is to get them into the best rehab centre so that they can get the treatment that they need. 

Check these signs that we’ll provide below. You can then assess if your child is exhibiting any of them. You may also talk to your doctor so that you can plan for an intervention. Your physician may recommend a therapist or an addiction treatment expert who can help you further. Here are the signs of someone using marijuana: 

  • Your child starts to spend less and less time with the family and their friends. They prefer being alone or being out of the house. 
  • Observe if their behaviours have any changes. They may have become more irritable or moody lately. 
  • Check their performance in school. They may have been skipping classes. If their grades have been declining, there is usually a problem. One of those could be marijuana use. 
  • Take a look at their things. They may have been buying merchandise that has pro-marijuana symbols or messages on them.
  • Observe if your child hasn’t been doing the hobbies that they used to enjoy. If they were into sports before, check if they have lost interest in going out to play. 
  • One sign that you should observe is if your child comes home, and he or she is more talkative than usual. Your child may be giggly and have glassy or red eyes. These signs are indicators that they are high from marijuana. 
  • Lastly, if you see drug paraphernalia in their closet, bag, or in their room, then that is obviously a sign that your child is into drugs. 

What You Can Do As a Parent to Prevent Marijuana Use

As a parent, there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent your child from using drugs like marijuana. Before anything else, you should be well-informed about the facts. It is vital that what you tell your children is true. As the authority figure in the life of your child, you have the responsibility to share only the facts and not any myths just to scare them. Here are some of the other ways you can prevent your child from using drugs. 

Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?

Be clear about your expectations

It is crucial that your child learns strong values from you. Let them know that you expect them to be honest and to tell you things that are bothering them. For example, are they being pressured by friends to try weed? You and your child should have a relationship where you can openly communicate with each other. 

Teaching your children good values will also help them when it is time to decide what is right and what is wrong. Whenever they are exposed to drugs like marijuana, they will have the backbone to say “No.” They will be able to resist the temptation or pressure because you have planted in them strong values that they can use throughout their lives. 

Have open communication about drugs and its dangers

Many teens try using drugs such as weed because they are curious about it. When they don’t know the effects of the drug, they will want to try it out for themselves. See to it that you and your child have open communication so that you can talk to them about drugs and its bad effects. 

Don’t just say, “Don’t do drugs.” Explain to them why they should stay away from illicit substances. In fact, encourage them to ask you questions and raise any concerns that they may have. Make sure that you pay attention to your children when they are talking. Don’t get carried away and lecture. It should be a healthy conversation between two individuals.  

Watch the news or read the paper together

There are many ways that you can teach your children about the bad effects of drugs. For example, when you are watching the news together, pay attention to news about drugs. It could be a car accident because the driver was under the influence of drugs. Explain to your child that drug use is dangerous because it can cause harm, not just for the person using it but for others as well. Express your concern that you don’t want them to be in any kind of danger. 

Help your children in dealing with peer pressure

Your children’s friends can have a strong influence on them. Many adolescents try drugs because their friends are also doing drugs. But as the parent, your influence should be stronger. Help your children to become confident individuals who can make the right decisions. 

Teach your child that it is okay to say “No.” when they are being pressured into trying drugs. Remind them that there are better people who can be their friends. If the peers that they have now are forcing them to try drugs, then tell them that they are not good friends to have. And your children are better off with fewer but better friends. 

Help your children in dealing with emotions

During their teenage years, your children will become exposed to many things. It includes strong and intense emotions that they have never felt before. It is possible for your children to feel anxious and depressed. It may lead to drug use to cope with such feelings. 

As the parent, make sure that you are there for them during this challenging time. There are many things that they are yet to understand. Be there to guide them and explain to them that such feelings won’t last forever. Remind them that doing drugs is not the answer. In fact, drugs will only make problems worse. 

Introduce to your children healthier ways of coping. It is so that they will know that there are things that they can do about their situation. Get them into sports, volunteerism, or even therapy. 

Therapy isn’t just for people with mental conditions or addictions. If your child has trouble communicating with you, maybe he or she will be more comfortable with a therapist. Provide all the possible ways that your child can cope with their intense emotions. 

Be a great example to your children

Your children look up to you. That is why you should try your best to avoid showing them behaviours that you don’t want them to copy. For example, don’t smoke when your children are around. When it comes to alcohol, do your best to minimize consumption. Never drink and drive because you will be setting a bad example for your children. 

You have the responsibility to be a great role model for the kids. Show them that there are many ways that they can deal with problems and stress. Be expressive and do your best to communicate with them. Tell them that doing drugs won’t solve any problem. And then show them how things can be dealt with in healthier ways. 

Get professional help whenever necessary

If you suspect that your child is doing drugs, don’t hesitate to go to your family doctor. Express your concerns to your physician so that he or she can help your child. The doctor may refer you to an addiction treatment specialist or a therapist. Those experts will be able to talk to your child about marijuana use and its bad effects. You may also ask questions to the specialist about treating drug use among teens. 

Related article: Top Benefits of Quitting Marijuana

Takeaway

So, if you were wondering is weed addictive, the answer is a resounding yes. Not only is it addictive, but it is dangerous to the health of growing kids. Drug use at a young age can greatly affect the development of their vital organs, such as their brains. 

If you suspect that your child is into drugs like marijuana, you ought to step in and get them help as soon as possible. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs. Don’t hesitate to reach out for questions and queries. We’re here to help.

Related article: Marijuana Addiction Treatment: Most Important Things to Know about Weed

Understanding How Drugs Can Affect How the Brain Functions

Drugs Can Affect How the Brain Functions

Knowing how drugs can affect brain functions is an important step in recognizing the dangers that drug use can cause. People who are exposed to such substances are not safe from the risks they pose to the human body – from harming the unborn in pregnant women, appetite and weight loss, and even breast development in men.

In extreme cases, these substances can lead to severing one’s life. It gets worse. These destructive effects are not limited to the human body. They can seep through the very social fabric of any community. 

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime deems substance abuse as a threat to development and society. It robs every individual of their capacity to think right, behave correctly, and serve productively in the societies they belong to.

While illicit drugs can leave adverse dents on the human body and in society, this article aims to help you understand the threats they pose on one of the most important parts of the human body – the brain. Let’s take a look at how drugs can affect brain functions. 

How does the brain work its magic?

Before we delve into how drugs affect the brain, let’s take a quick review of our past biology classes. It is important to learn how the brain works in order to understand how drugs disrupt its normal processes. 

In movement and speech

Known to be the most complex part of the human body, the brain contains billions of nerve fibres (called the white matter) and approximately 86 billion nerve cells (known as the gray matter). It is found in the central nervous system together with the spinal cord. 

There are three main parts of the brain – the cerebrum, cerebellum, and the brain stem. The cerebrum is the biggest part of the human brain. Its primary function is processing information and voluntary actions. 

This part of the brain is further divided into two parts – the left and the right hemispheres. Connected by a collection of brain fibres known as the corpus callosum, each hemisphere is responsible for the actions of the side of the body opposite to it – the left controls the right and the right controls the left. 

The former hemisphere of the cerebrum controls your arithmetic, comprehension, writing, and speech. The latter hemisphere, on the other hand, is in charge of your musical abilities, spatial capacities, artistic skills, and creativity. 

It doesn’t come as a joke that the brain is the most complex part of the human body because the two hemispheres can be further divided into more parts called lobes. There are four kinds of lobes – frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal – each of which has its own special functions. These can be found below:

Frontal lobe

  • Cognition
  • Recent memory
  • Planning of locomotion
  • Some aspects of emotion

Temporal lobe

  • Hearing
  • Advanced visual processing

Occipital lobe

  • Vision

Parietal lobe

  • Senses of touch, temperature, and pain
  • Spatial projection

Found behind the top part of the brainstem is the cerebellum. Taking only about ten percent of the total weight of the human brain, the cerebellum is in charge of the coordination of fine muscle movement as well as balance. 

This part of the brain is not to be messed with. That’s why it’s important to understand how drugs can affect brain functions. Despite its minute size, the cerebellum contains approximately half of the brain’s neurons. Neurons are brain cells that specialize in sending signals to the brain. 

The cerebellum works its magic through the information received from other sensory systems of the body, in collaboration with other parts of the human brain. As soon as these pieces of information get processed by the cerebellum, it then regulates locomotion. 

Not only is this part of the brain responsible for movement regulation but as well as movement coordination. The ways you stand, sit, walk, dance, jump, swim, and even speak are all attributed to that small portion at the back of the brain. So, if you find yourself being able to do these and more, thank the cerebellum for it. 

Just like the cerebrum, the cerebellum is also divided into two hemispheres – the right and the left hemispheres. Both of these hemispheres work in tandem with the ones found in the cerebrum. 

The right cerebellar hemisphere functions jointly with its left counterpart in the cerebrum, while the left cerebellar hemisphere works in conjunction with the right side of the cerebrum. Altogether, they regulate and control the movements of the human body. 

Extra care for the cerebellum is needed. Damages to this part of the brain may cause loss of balance, tremors, and slower movements. In extreme cases, this can even cause intellectual incapacity or partial or total paralysis of the body.

The last major part of the human brain is the brainstem. This acts as a bridge between the spinal cord and the brain. It is the stem-like portion of the brain responsible for regulating the flow of signals from the brain to the other parts of the human body, and vice versa. 

Apart from this, the brainstem is also in charge of some vital bodily functions such as swallowing, blood pressure, respiration, heart rate among others. Just like the other two major parts of the brain, the brain stem also has smaller components – the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata

The midbrain is responsible for auditory and visual processing. The pons is in charge of sleep and awakening, and the medulla oblongata helps regulate vital functions such as breathing and blood circulation.

In hormonal secretions

The nervous system, through the human brain also functions in tandem with the endocrine system – the system in the body that takes control of the secretion of hormones through the bloodstream meant for the functioning and the growth of the human body.  

Hormones are chemicals that circulate the body. They are the reason behind our mood swings, our fight-or-flight responses, and our physical appearances. Below is a list of some of the body’s important hormones and what they are useful for.

  • Serotonin – the feel-good hormone responsible for mood regulation, memory, sleep, and learning
  • Oxytocin – the hormone in charge of sexual arousal, trust, and mother-infant bonding
  • Growth hormone – responsible for growth and development
  • Calcitonin – the hormones associated with the regulation of calcium and phosphate levels in the body
  • Cortisol – the hormone responsible for immunity and metabolism
  • Testosterone – the hormone that takes charge of the development of the male characteristics
  • Progesterone – the hormone involved in the development of female characteristics, especially in menstruation and pregnancy
  • Melatonin – the hormone responsible for sleep cycles
  • Adrenaline – the hormone that triggers the one’s fight or flight response in situations that involve stress
  • Insulin – the hormone that controls how carbohydrates are being utilized in the human body

Related article: What do Do if Your Child is Using Drugs?

Illicit Drugs: Their Kinds and Components

Illegal drugs come in many shapes and sizes in as much as they bring a whole spectrum of adverse effects on the human body. There are drugs that cause nosebleeds, serious tremors, stomach pain, or nausea. Let’s try to understand how drugs can affect brain functions. 

On the more extreme side of the spectrum, drugs can also lead to hepatitis, heart attack, unwanted abortions for pregnant women, and even death. This juncture of the article aims to discuss the most common kinds of illegal drugs and what they have that give them their addictive factor.

Heroin

China White, Smack, Brown Sugar, call it what you want. This drug comes from the opium poppy flower. Quickly and directly absorbed by the brain, this drug has proven to be one of the most addictive substances out there.  It is an example of how drugs can affect brain functions.

Just like any other drug that gives one a high-in-the-sky kind of sensation, heroin also has dangerous effects when taken in excess. Some of these effects include collapsed veins, kidney disease, and skin infections.

Marijuana

Perhaps the most common kind of illegal drug, marijuana comes in various names – weed, pot, smoke, boom, trees, blunt, dope, you name it. Marijuana contains THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, a crystalline substance that acts as its main ingredient. THC is what gives its smokers it’s mile-high feeling. 

Despite being known for its potential contribution to the medical field, marijuana still holds grave effects when taken excessively. Over time, this can lead to disruptions in brain development and a massive drop in one’s intellectual quotient. Severe conditions include schizophrenia, depression, heart attacks, and even death.

Ecstasy 

Taken through injection, snorting, or pill form, ecstasy is a man-made drug and hallucinogen. Also known as Molly, this type of illegal drug sends several chemicals in the brain (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin) resulting in mood altercations and immediate energy boost. 

However, this drug does not stay true to its promise for very long. Users of ecstasy usually feel nausea, anxiety, and sleep problems when the happy time wears off. When taken in prolonged excess, this can also cause blurred vision and increased heart rate and blood pressure – not so very ecstatic conditions.

Methamphetamine

More commonly known as meth, this variant of illegal drugs are procured from a mix of pseudoephedrine – a common ingredient in cold medications – and other toxic chemicals. Meth, or ice, chalk, crank, or crystal meth, gives its user an immediate high that fades quickly. 

As a result, its users usually take it in consecutive repeats making it one of the most addictive illicit substances there is. Meth gives off different results from other illegal drugs. Some of these include weight loss, skin sores, and severe dental issues and even increased chances of getting HIV. The severe ones are those that meth shares with other illicit drugs. These are anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and hallucinations.

Salvia

This medication is an herb in the mint family that is local to parts of Mexico. Also called as Sage of the Seers, Sally-D, Magic Mint, and Maria Pastora, the salvia can be used through smoking or chewing its leaves. 

The drug makes extreme, however fleeting impacts, which begin within five to ten minutes and last around 30 minutes. The psychedelic impacts incorporate changes in vision, disposition, feelings, and body sensations.

How do illegal drugs affect the brain?

Understanding how drugs can affect brain functions is important. It has already been established that illegal drugs bring adverse effects on the human body, especially the brain. When somebody puts these synthetic substances into their body, either by smoking, infusing, breathing in, or eating them, they tap into the brain’s usual framework and mess with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process data.

Various illicit drugs, on account of their concoction structures, work in various ways. A few drugs, similar to heroin, have compound structures that copy a synapse that normally happens in our bodies. Indeed, these medications can trick our receptors, lock onto them, and actuate the nerve cells.

Be that as it may, they don’t work a similar path as a characteristic synapse, and the neurons end up sending irregular messages through the mind, which can cause issues both for our cerebrums and our bodies. 

Other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine cause nerve cells to discharge an excess of dopamine, a characteristic synapse, or avert the typical reusing of dopamine. This prompts misrepresented messages in the mind, causing issues with correspondence channels. It resembles the distinction between somebody murmuring in your ear versus somebody yelling in a mouthpiece.

How does one become high?

It was assumed by researchers that the surge of dopamine, known as the reward chemical of the body, alone caused the sentiment of elation during drug use. Yet, they presently realized it is more entangled than that. Let’s take a closer look at how drugs can affect brain functions. 

Numerous medications—nicotine, cocaine, marijuana, and others—influence the cerebrum’s reward circuit, which is a component of the limbic system. Ordinarily, the reward circuit reacts to sound, pleasurable exercises by discharging the dopamine, which shows different pieces of the cerebrum to rehash those exercises. 

Medications assume responsibility for this framework, discharging a lot of dopamine—first in light of the medication yet later basically because of different signs related to the medication—like being with individuals you used these drugs with, or being in spots where you utilized them. 

The mind recollects this inclination and conveys a serious inspiration to look for and utilize the drug once more. Hence, dopamine does not cause the surge of sentiments; rather it fortifies the longing to utilize drugs.

Constant cravings

Our brains are conditioned to ensure we will rehash survival exercises, such as eating, by associating those exercises with a sense of bliss. At whatever point this reward circuit’s switch is toggled, the mind takes note that something significant is going on that should be recollected and instructs us to do it over and over, without even questioning it. Since these drugs come in and seize a similar circuit, individuals figure out how to utilize drugs similarly. 

After constant repetitions of drug use, the mind begins to conform to the floods of dopamine. Neurons may start to lessen the number of dopamine receptors or just make less dopamine. The outcome is less dopamine motioning in the mind—like cutting back the volume on the dopamine signal. Since certain medications are harmful, a few neurons may die. 

Therefore, the capacity to feel joy is decreased. The individual feels numb, dormant, and depressed, and is unfit to appreciate things that once brought delight. Dopamine urges the mind to rehash the pleasurable movement of medication-taking to have that feeling once more. This leads to the user resorting to drug use as a way of wanting to feel normal again.

Effects in the Long Haul

Every illicit drug rewires the brain to deliver its euphoric impacts. Be that as it may, some can likewise cause harm because of seizures, stroke, and direct poisonous impacts on the brain. Drug use can likewise prompt habit, a psychological issue that happens when rehashed drug use prompts changes in the capacity of numerous brain circuits that control delights, stress, basic leadership, motivation control, learning and memory, and different capacities. 

These progressions make it harder for those with a dependence on experiencing joy because of characteristic prizes, for example, sustenance, sex, or positive social collaborations—or to deal with their pressure, control their driving forces, and settle on the solid decision to stop craving for drugs.

Addiction is regularly entwined with other psychological wellness issues, yet this relationship doesn’t generally have a reasonable directionality. For instance, individuals who experience the ill effects of mood issues are twice as prone to experience the ill effects of a substance use issue, and individuals who experience these kinds of issues are roughly twice as liable to battle with a state of mind of uneasiness. It isn’t clear which issue is causing the other, yet the relationship is solid nonetheless.

The mental dilemma related to substance misuse can extend from mellow to genuine. At any dimension of seriousness, this trouble can have a significantly negative effect on the life of an addicted person. Among the most widely recognized long term emotional well-being issues related to drug misuse and dependence are: 

Depression

There is an unmistakable relationship between substance misuse and sorrow, just as other mood disorders. This relationship could be credited to previous melancholy that prompted medication misuse or it may be the case that substance use caused changes in the mind that expanded burdensome symptoms. 

Some individuals use medications to self-sedate side effects of gloom, however, this just lightens the indications while the client is high. It might even aggravate despondency manifestations when the client is working through withdrawal. Numerous medications have a withdrawal disorder that incorporates sorrow or other temperament aggravations, which can entangle recuperation. 

Anxiety

Drug addiction is likewise connected with nervousness and frenzy disorders. Again, the reason is hard to recognize and can be distinctive among people. For one individual, they could build up a manifestation of maltreatment in the wake of utilizing drugs to adapt to their side effects. 

Someone else could have a long-standing example of drug misuse and thusly create nervousness issues. Numerous substances, especially stimulants like cocaine, can cause uneasiness as a portion of ward side effects. Other drugs can result in severe anxiety as a feature of their withdrawal syndromes.

Paranoia

A few drugs, similar to cocaine, can cause sentiments of distrustfulness that may enhance with long term misuse. Apart from this, individuals battling with substance abuse may feel that they have to cover up or lie about their addiction, demonstrating a fear of being caught in the act. The way that numerous substances of maltreatment are unlawful can likewise add to mounting sentiments of suspicion among long haul drug addicts.

With that said, how do we get rid of it?

So much about illegal drugs and their adverse effects on the human brain have been laid out here – from the major components of the brain and their uses down to the mental consequences that are dealt with by drug addiction. 

But still, one question remains hanging – how do we get rid of it? Now that we understand how drugs can affect brain functions, the smartest phase of action that can be carried out is to not even try taking in any illegal drugs at all – not even a whiff, not even a taste. As what the cliché statement says, prevention is better than cure. Choosing to avert illegal substances such as these is the only sure way to never get caught in a dangerous addiction. 

However, not everyone is as lucky to jump over the rabbit hole. There are those, for numerous reasons, have found themselves entangled in the social ill that is drug abuse and addiction. And when they try to cut the perilous habit, they succeed in climbing up the hole. They take a few more steps up but only to find themselves rolling down the pit again. 

Putting an end to this addiction is no bed of roses. Whenever this mishap takes place, it is always best to seek professional help. Learn the tips to get your way out of drug addiction through people who specialize in these situations. 

And above all, surround yourself with people who truly care for your well-being. Seek out the people who are willing to see you out of the rabbit hole and finally into the light. After all, no one’s ever escaped from drug addiction alone. Call Inspire Change Drug Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.

Is Canada Drowning in Oxycontin Addiction? Looks Like the Truth Will Blow Your Mind!

Oxycontin Addiction

Canada is facing a deadly nemesis in the form of substance abuse. More and more Canadians are affected and the numbers are growing by the minute. One of the most pressing problems that people are grappling with, regardless of the age group, is oxycontin addiction. What is oxycontin and why is it adding to the pill-popping dilemma of most Canadians today?

Face-to-Face with Oxycontin Addiction

Oxycontin is the brand name of oxycodone which is a form or version of opioid. Opioid is a prescription drug and it is highly addictive. Thus, the incidence of oxycontin addiction is higher more than ever, especially in the Canadian communities. Substance abuse is increasingly problematic and opioid is on top of the list for the most commonly used and abused type of medication. The version of opioid called Oxycontin is a popular brand and contains numerous substances particularly morphine, opium, codeine, fentanyl, heroin, and Hydromorphone.

Oxycontin is not the only brand that contains the substance oxycodone because other brands including Percocet, Oxycocet, Endocet, and Percodan also have the same content. The semi-synthetic Oxycontin is basically utilized in the field of healthcare and medicine, especially for relief of acute pain due to surgery, injury, and disease.

Many Canadians fall into Oxycontin addiction simply because of its painkilling effects and the sense of relief that you feel every time it is administered. In previous years, Oxycontin is a popular drug of choice among physicians and is used to alleviate and manage pain in terminal ailments such as cancer. Nowadays, the drug is prescribed for almost all types of pain and the addiction to the drug has since become epidemic in Canada.

Related article: The Amazing Advantages of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment

Signs of Addiction to Oxycontin

Abuse and dependence on the painkiller, Oxycontin, have various effects to the user which may include pain relief, euphoria, vomiting, and respiratory depression. A person may also experience cough suppression, dry mouth, and constipation. Others who abuse the drug are susceptible to a sense of contentment and detachment from anything and anyone. Opioid dependents feel like they are free from any dissenting emotions.

The long-term effects of Oxycontin addiction are undoubtedly life-threatening and may lead to death when it goes out of control. Some of the bodily harms that are results of the oxycodone abuse include malfunctions of the brain, heart, liver, and lungs.

Treatment for Oxycontin Abuse

Oxycontin addiction is quite difficult to break and when the dependence has become increasingly high, the withdrawal could be excruciatingly difficult as well. Treatment programs and support from professional groups are vital in order to help the opioid addict put an end to his addiction. Treatment starts with proper facilitation of the withdrawal management program or the detoxification process. There is also aftercare support to prevent relapse.

The deadly grip of Oxycontin addiction in the very fiber of today’s Canadian society is quite difficult to tackle. The good news is that there are various drug rehab centers that are available for professional treatment and continuous support not just for the individual but the community as a whole. Call  Inspire Change Drug Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.

Drugs and Alcohol: The Staggering Truth that Will Make You Vulnerable

Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol misuse is an enormous issue in Canada and the figures are not slowing down. There are various initiatives through government-funded and private rehab and treatment facilities to address substance abuse and addiction. It helps to know the reality about alcohol and drug abuse in order to have a clearer view of what you are actually dealing with and how to combat this problem.

Drugs and Alcohol in Canada

According to the Council of British Columbia Health Officer’s report, there are 47,000 deaths that are linked to substance abuse in Canada and this is an annual basis. Previous statistical data showed that more and more Canadian youths and adults are falling prey to the gripping problem that is addiction and dependence on drugs and alcohol.

Based on the 2009 study on Ontario Student Drug Use as conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 42% of students in the Ontario region has used illicit substances while 83% of students who are in the grade 12 level has already tried alcohol. Up to 49% of these students that have tried alcohol admitted that they have been into binge drinking.

Related article: How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs | Pre-Teens | Teenagers

Substance Abuse and Economy

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse reported that the health care system has a total expenditure of $8 billion due to substance abuse. Marijuana crops on the other hand have generated an approximate amount of $5 billion to $7 billion worth of income from the drugs in an annual basis, according to Edmonton Journal.

Substance Abuse and Social Incidents

The misuse of drugs and alcohol has negative and at times, fatal impact on those that are entangled with the problem on substance abuse. For instance, Statistics Canada reported that up to 60% of illegal drug users are between 15 and 24 years of age and the figures are reaching a much lower age bracket. 54% of female addicts are most likely to prematurely die due to their substance addiction and dependence according to a University of Toronto study. Nighttime drivers are also susceptible to drug abuse especially in B.C. and 10% of these drivers are taking illicit drugs while only 8.1% of them have been tested positive for use of alcohol. Moreover, 12% of pedestrian or road deaths in Canada have been accounted for substance or alcohol abuse according to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation.

Treatments and Recovery Programs

The use and misuse of drugs and alcohol deeply affected the Canadian communities thus there are various initiatives taken to address and put an end to this problem. There are community based treatment and rehab centers which are also government-funded. Those who can afford a private rehab facility also have numerous options to choose from.

Drugs and alcohol have astounding impact in society and the results are increasingly haunting and frightening. Overdose, death, and crimes are almost always associated with substance abuse and it is destroying the very fiber of the society. The good news is that there are also available facilities and programs that are designed for support and treatment. Call Inspire Change Drug Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.