World On Drugs

Two people sitting in a drug alley spray-painted by graffiti

Why You Should Not Try Drugs

The temptation to try substances stems from our burning desire to alter our consciousness and view reality from a different lens. The problem is not the alteration of consciousness, but the drugs themselves.

Other tools such as meditation and the emotion of happiness can also alter our consciousness; they provide non-harmful ways of viewing the world from a different lens. Meditation allows you to escape reality by directing your energy to your thoughts and presence, while pure happiness magnifies and enhances the present moment into something pleasurable.

Drugs, on the other hand, are tools with a high potential for developing psychological and physical addictions; some more than others. It is not worth exploring these tools for the sake of your sanity; losing touch with reality or becoming dependent on a substance defeats the whole purpose of your original quest to alter your consciousness.

The DSM Ready Movement is about promoting a natural and healthy lifestyle, where we come together to achieve happiness and success through the sharing of our experiences!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Drugs, Drugs And More Drugs

Melted building secondary to drug use

The Reward System’s Slippery Slope

A substance use disorder is a psychological disorder in which a person continues to use a substance despite the negative consequences. Substances are groups of drugs that have similar effects on your brain, body and behavior. The worldwide prevalence is around 16% and men are more likely to be diagnosed.

Examples of substances:

  • Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor)
  • Tobacco (cigarettes, snuff, cigars, e-cigarettes )
  • Caffeine (coffee, tea)
  • Stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine)
  • Cannabis (marijuana, hash oil)
  • Sedatives (benzodiazepines, barbiturates)
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, psilocybin, peyote)
  • Opioids (heroin, methadone)
  • Inhalants (markers, glues)

Substances are addictive because they activate the brain’s reward system. Your reward system makes you feel pleasure by releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine from the ventral tegmental area when you perform activities necessary for survival, such as eating, drinking and having sex.

When you begin to use a substance, your reward system releases much greater quantities of dopamine, hijacking your reward system and motivating you to use the substance again. Once a person’s reward system is hijacked and he or she turns into an addict, other important needs such as sleep, saving money and being responsible no longer matter as much.

Examples of negative consequences:

  • Tobacco (cancer, heart disease, lung disease, smoke breaks interfering with work)
  • Alcohol (liver disease, drunk-driving, embarrassments and hangovers)
  • Cannabis (lack of motivation, psychosis, social isolation)

Impaired control over substance use means that a person is taking a substance in larger amounts, has unsuccessful efforts to cut down, spends a large amount of time obtaining and using the substance and experiences cravings.

Social impairment means that a person may start to fail at work or school, have recurrent use despite social consequences and give up on recreational or occupational activities because of substance use.

Risky use means that a person uses a substance in dangerous situations and continues to use despite physical or psychological health problems.

Tolerance to a substance means that a person experiences diminished effects with use of the same amount and needs an increased amount to achieve the same effects.

Withdrawal to a substance means that a person experiences physical or psychological side effects when the substance is no longer in the body.

The causes of substance use disorder:

  • Genes (account for 60% of a person’s vulnerability)
  • Environmental (growing up in a drug-infested neighborhood, poor parenting, peer pressure)
  • Developmental (children or adolescents who use drugs have a greater risk because their brain is still developing until approximately age 25)

There is no cure for substance use disorder. The treatment is tailored to the individual depending on which substance he or she uses and what support is available. Examples include medication assisted treatments such as 12-step meetings, naltrexone for alcoholics, Suboxone for heroin addicts, nicotine replacement for cigarette smokers, inpatient rehabilitation and individual therapy with counselors and psychiatrists.

The goals for a drug addict are to establish a functioning role in society, maintain a drug-free lifestyle and most importantly, to stop using drugs! Because the disorder is chronic, most people require long-term or recurrent treatment to maintain sobriety.

The DSM Ready Movement is here to support anyone who is suffering from a drug addiction! Together, we can empower each other to maintain sobriety and lead a life of happiness and love!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Why You Are Stronger Than Addiction

Burning cigarette with ashes and defeating addiction

Unleash The Shackles Of Addiction

No matter what addiction you are suffering from, you can learn to defeat it with the power of belief. Feel it inside of you that you want to stop, change things and live a new life! It is not enough to think “yeah I’d like to stop!” Emotions and feelings can be more powerful than thoughts, so utilize them in addition to your thoughts.

Putting all science aside, addiction is nothing more than choosing to be irresponsible and disrespectful towards yourself. You are doing it to yourself; as soon as you come to terms with this fact, you will start to feel the chains of addiction break free.

Learn to surrender yourself to a higher power; doing it your own way has not worked; otherwise, you wound’t be battling an addiction! Allow God into your life and let him help you restore your purity and freedom! Let go of your proud ego, humble yourself and accept help; you will start to notice a feeling of peace overtake you when you allow your ego to dissolve.

Do not try to defeat addiction on your own; it’s doable but it is always more effective to receive help from others. Group think and energy gives all the members the power and will to defeat addiction together; it keeps the members motivated and determined to succeed. And lastly, always feel free to leave a comment so that we can help each other, here on The DSM Ready Movement.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Cocaine Cowboys

Human anatomy display of cocaine effects on the body

Why Cocaine Addiction Bites

The addiction to cocaine has never ended, despite an ongoing opioid crises. There is concern that cocaine use is on the rise and that a stimulant epidemic may be awaiting the end of the current opioid epidemic. Why is cocaine on the rise and what do people like about it?

Cocaine comes from the coca plant native to South America. It is considered a stimulant like coffee but much stronger. It has a strong psychological potential for addiction; no physical dependence is evident, meaning no physical withdrawal occurs when a user stops using the drug.

Why people like cocaine:

  • It provides a feeling of intense pleasure
  • You become more talkative and confident
  • It provides a full-body stimulation
  • It makes you feel more superior than others
  • It increases your self-esteem
  • You feel more energetic and sociable

Unfortunately, users experience many negative effects with cocaine:

  • Memories of euphoria increase the risk for psychological addiction
  • Anger, paranoia, anxiety
  • Nausea, increased body temperature, increased heart rate
  • Seizures, heart problems and death
  • Psychosis and hallucinations
  • Weight loss, high blood pressure, severe tooth decay

Cocaine has a very short-lived intense high. When users become hooked on the drug, the high is followed by depression and a strong craving for more. Tolerance then increases, resulting in higher doses of the drug needed to achieve a similar effect as before.

Overall, cocaine may see a resurgence in the near future. If you or anyone you know is suffering from cocaine addiction, seek help as soon as possible. With mental health and addiction support services, a place in your heart to stop and The DSM Ready Movement here to listen and provide a caring environment, you can defeat cocaine addiction today!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Why E-Cigarettes Have Hit A Left Turn

Person in black hoodie surrounded by smoke

Smoking Mirrors

E-Cigarettes were never meant to be targeted towards the adolescent population. They were in fact designed to be a replacement of cigarettes for long-term smokers. But somewhere along the lines, adolescents started to get their hands on them, resulting in a massive epidemic. Adolescents see these devices as fun, easy to use and easy to hide; vaping can be done in bars, restaurants, malls or even in schools. The vapor has no smell and it disappears within seconds.

Vaping also is considered cool in the adolescent world: teenagers learn to do “vape tricks” and even get paid on Instagram for advertising the different types of E-Cigarettes. What do these companies get out of it? A large growing, vulnerable and immature portion of our population who is throwing money their way and helping the industry strive! It is unfortunate that this industry is taking advantage of our youth, despite the health consequences that come along with vaping.

The FDA recently reported that 35 people have had seizures from E-Cigarettes by accidentally or intentionally ingesting the liquid cartridge. 35 is a minuscule number, but will this be the beginning of a large study proving that E-Cigarettes decrease the seizure threshold in its users? And what consequences will this have on users who have a family history of seizures but are too addicted to stop vaping? In addition, vaping does not mean that one’s lungs are not harmed.

E-Cigarettes may be slightly safer than cigarettes due to the lack of combustion which results from lighting up the tobacco in cigarettes; however, they still contain a number of harmful chemicals: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, acetaldehyde, acrolein and formaldehyde. These chemicals are toxic to cells and can cause lung disease as well as cardiovascular (heart) disease. Acrolein is a herbicide used to kill weeds; it can cause COPD, asthma, lung cancer and acute lung injury.

E-Cigarettes have not been found to be effective in helping smokers quit. Nicotine is the addictive culprit. E-Cigarettes have only replaced the mode of inhalation, from smoking to vaping, but nicotine is still present when one inhales vapor; hence, the addiction never clears the smoke. The DSM community is about promoting excellent mental and physical health, and with knowledge and honesty, we can lead the way on promoting a healthier and more vibrant society.

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The Addiction Epidemic Of K2

A man lighting up a k2 joint

K2: A Parasite Of The Brain

K2 or Spice is a drug sold in convenience stores across the United States. It is made up of synthetic cannabinoids that bind to the same receptors in the brain that THC in Marijuana binds to. It is mass produced by chemists in China and other countries, resulting in mass-importation on the black market.

However, this garbage of a drug causes seizures, bizarre behavior, psychosis and even death. This is because the chemists alter the chemicals after the DEA bans the last batch’s chemical properties. In return, users never know what they are inhaling.

The drug continues to remain easily accessible because of the changed chemistry of new batches that enter the market. It is very unfortunate that people lower their standards and use drugs that are chemically manufactured and which serve no purpose. Supposedly, the high is similar or more intense than Marijuana, but why do people choose to smoke a fake version of Marijuana that can cause them to have seizures?

The answer is because addiction comes in many shapes and forms; it is like a demon creeping in the alleyway, waiting for its next victim to terrorize. That is why we must come together and better understand how to defeat addiction. Consciousness may be universal, and by coming together, we can create a better and more thorough understanding of our thoughts; sort of like a “world wide consciousness.”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

What Is Gambling Disorder?

People gambling on a poker chip table

When Casinos Hijack The Reward System

Imagine coming from a successful family: your dad is a lawyer, your brothers are physicians and you’re spending endless nights in Atlantic City gambling your life away, hoping to earn more money . . . deciding at 5am that you no longer have energy and you run back to your hotel to crash, only to wake up at 6pm and start all over again. In addition, you consume alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine; anything that can give you that extra edge. Welcome to Gambling Disorder.

Gambling Disorder is a real diagnosis experienced by millions of people worldwide:

1) Gamblers need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to experience a desired excitement. $100 dollars no longer does it. $1000 dollars no longer does it. $10,000 is the next magic number, until they crash and burn.

2) Gamblers become restless and irritable when they crash and burn. They attempt to stop but can’t. The loss is on their mind. They believe that next time will be different. And so they return back to gamble more hours of their life away.

3) Gamblers have made many unsuccessful attempts to cut back. The virus has struck their mind and their circuity has been hijacked: they need to win more money so they can feel good again. Not gambling actually makes them sad.

4) Gamblers think of ways of obtaining money for which to gamble with. Some forge checks, some steal, some use all their money from their jobs. It’s a never-ending cycle.

5) Gamblers gamble when distressed: anxiety, guilt, helplessness, depression. Their mental health takes a toll; they will sacrifice their well-being for the hope of winning money.

6) Gamblers “chase one’s losses.” They will return the next day to make up for what they lost. Say goodbye to your job, your family and your friends.

7) Gamblers lie. They cannot reveal to people that they have an issue. The only people who know at first is the employees at the casino. But they don’t care. It’s a business.

8) Gamblers lose relationships. Their friends and families give up on them. They have a failed marriage, a failed career. Their addiction as taken over them.

9) Gamblers have desperate financial situations. They ask others for money. They do anything to go back to the casino. They have lost it.

This is the life of a person with Gambling Disorder. We must come together and help these people live a normal life again. Stigma and pointing the finger are not the answers. This is a mental disease that needs grave attention. We are in this together.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Turn Your Addiction Into Self-Love

Two addicted burned out females smoking

Your Antivirus Is The Power Of Love

That bottle of Jack, that pack of Camels, that hit of a Fattie . . . all tempting compulsions that have been integrated into your daily habits as a source of pleasure; your brain releasing increasing amounts of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Your consciousness suddenly enters the state of mind that you have been waiting for; you’re on Cloud 9! Now you ask yourself, “which enjoyable activity do I proceed to?”

The above statement is a typical mindset of a user abusing substances. And this pattern repeats itself for years, even decades for some. The problem is that the mind of the user, the brain per-say, has been hijacked; the reward system of the brain called the Nucleus Accumbens is in love with this new source of pleasure called “drugs.”

It wants you to keep using, and in return, it gives you dopamine which makes both your brain and you, the user, feel good. But as I talk about in my other post, this relationship is not healthy and will never last, and if it does, it will last at a low depressing level.

So how do we work on dissolving an addiction? Remember that thing called love? Sure you do; it trumps everything because the source is from God our creator. By calling on God to give you energy and love, he will help you curb your addiction. But first things first: you must work really hard to love yourself.

No human who is addicted can possibly say that they love themselves, when they deliberately proceed with their drug addiction; you are basically hurting yourself. Once you tap into that source of love, you will discover that love will now reach the Nucleus Accumbens and naturally stimulate it to be happy without any substances; as it was intended in the first place when you were born.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Defeat Any Type Of Addiction With Self-Respect

An open container with needles, drugs, spoons and cigarettes

Addiction Ends When You Want It To

It’s no shock that we are currently experiencing multiple drug epidemics: methamphetamine and opioids. Some even suffer from Gambling Disorder. But what is driving humanity to becoming slaves to addiction? The answer is: lack of self-respect and control. We often seek a change in consciousness because we get bored with our reality.

We want something more exciting and enticing that will bring us stimulation. But that is where the problem lies; these addictions hijack our brain like a virus does to a computer, to the point that we must function under the virus until we feel motivated enough to undergo reprogramming.

Reprogramming is not always successful, truth be told. Sometimes the virus is so destructive that we end up losing the hardware. The solution is to increase your self-respect and avoid/prevent/or stop the process of addiction from taking place.

By self-respecting yourself and realizing how much you have to be thankful for (just the fact that you are living) should be enough! Resist the urge to seek a replacement for your current reality and instead find fulfillment in healthy activities that can bring you peace of mind and joy.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)