Drug Use

Drug use - man in gray hoodie covering head holding drug needle

Positive Affirmation – Staying Clear of Drugs

“I am free of drug use because they bring nothing but pain, destruction and addiction. Drugs, whether cannabis, alcohol or anything that alters the brain affects my personality, sanity and spirit. I prefer to stay clear from these substances. Drugs distract me from my life purpose and internally destroy me, throwing me off my course. Therefore, I stay clear of drugs and find happiness within myself. Drug use is not something I look forward to because it provides a synthetic form of happiness. True happiness is when I am clear-headed and become excited without substances.

Many people try drugs for the first time; some eventually stop while others become addicted. Why should I take the chance to become hooked just for a few hours of pleasure? There are many types of drugs out there: hallucinogens, stimulants, sedative/hypnotics, etc. While many of these drugs can enhance my creativity, they also suppress my serotonin and increase my chances of freaking out. Some people become psychotic on high doses of hallucinogens and cannabis. While the psychosis may be temporary, why put my mind through that sort of horror?

Drug use - magic mushrooms

Drug Use is a Distraction from Success

Many adolescents have the potential to do well in school but get distracted by drug use. They want to fit into popular cliques and see drug use as their only ticket. The problem is not the fitting in; they often do so successfully through drug use. The problem is the consequences of their use. They start with cannabis or alcohol with often leads to cocaine, hallucinogens and Molly. Any of these drugs can cause an adverse experience such as poisoning, psychosis, car accidents, depression, etc. Drugs are fun in the moment, but they destroy your chances of succeeding in the future.

You’re better off finding friends who do not partake in drugs. Focus on your studies, sports and finding happiness through natural means. Drugs may seem to bring you pleasure and happiness in the moment, but they’re just a distraction from reality. Reality is not meant to be altered by drugs; it’s meant to be lived and experienced as is. Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree with the hope of gaining knowledge. In return, they manifested destruction for the rest of humanity’s future generations. Just stick with what your senses can perceive and learn to utilize the power of your mind to manifest success, happiness and riches.”

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)

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