The most common definition of addiction is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. According to the DSM, addiction is any compulsive use of a substance, despite continual negative consequences, which leads to withdrawal symptoms if usage is stopped.
Those who have struggled with street drug addiction know firsthand that kicking a nicotine addiction is often much more difficult than stopping use of any other substance. Stopping smoking is especially difficult because cigarettes are widespread, always available and legal. Therefore, it is much easier to develop an addiction to it than to other substances. It is well documented that most people who smoke become smokers for life. Long term use can lead to various cancers, strokes, heart disease and emphysema.
Researchers have determined that refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Sugar also feeds tumors and has a negative effect on cancer outcomes. In recent studies, rats that were addicted to cocaine were provided a choice between cocaine and sugar water – and 94% of them chose the sugar. Since sugar is in so many of the foods we eat, it is easy to become addicted while also developing diabetes.
Crack and Cocaine
Extracted from the coca plant, cocaine and its crack derivative are some of the most available and profitable illegal drugs worldwide. Cocaine affects dopamine absorption, associated with pleasure, by attacking the central nervous system. This is what makes it so addictive. By altering brain chemistry, its power cannot be underestimated. It creates a euphoria, confidence and hyper-alertness that is equally addictive. Its side effects are similar to Crystal Meth.
Crystal Meth and Methamphetamine
These substances bring on feelings of exhilaration and sharpened focus, for more alertness. There is also a sense of lack of sexual inhibition, keeping users awake for long periods of time. Smoking it raises body temperature, respiratory rates and blood pressure. The drug can also cause paranoia, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, short term memory loss, rages, nervous system damage, convulsions, coma and death.
Also known as Percocet, OxyContin, Percodan, Tylox or Hillbilly Heroin, it was created as a morphine and heroin dependence free relief solution. It is used to manage pain for a variety of illnesses and injuries. Some effects include: euphoria, lightheadedness, fatige, headache, nausea, constipation and anxiety. In addition, it can be responsible for fainting, eye swelling, seizures and difficulty swallowing.
This white or brown powder is processed from morphine. It instantly affects brain chemistry and creates a sense of euphoria. Pleasure does not last very long. In as little as one hour from the last dose, users can have withdrawal symptoms, from bone and muscle pain to vomiting and diarrhea.
This highly addictive, yet legal substance is a relaxant that lessens anxiety and inhibitions. Despite a notable cheerfulness, eventually, unpredictable and erratic behavior occurs. Alcohol abuse causes liver, pancreas, and heart damage. When mixed with caffeine, it can be lethal.
Caffeine is in more foodstuffs than most people imagine. Like sugar, it is consumed in large quantities by many people daily. Caffeine is classified as a stimulant and can be found in everything from coffee to tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Caffeine addicts usually feel as though they cannot get through a day or concentrate without it. Regular caffeine consumption often leads to headaches, dizziness, increased respiration, high blood pressure, insomnia and has been linked to pancreatic cancer.
Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher living in Austin, TX. His hobbies include windsurfing and skiing. If you are looking to make a break from addiction and lead a healthier life, he recommend you visit Origins Recovery Centers in Texas.