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Categories of Addictive Drugs and Types of Drugs that fall into them

 In Rehab

Addiction is a condition in which a person develops bio-psycho-social dependence on any mood-altering drug. Mood-altering drugs are chemical agents that produce changes in brain function by altering the chemistry of the brain. Once brain function is altered, a person experiences physical, psychological, and behavioral changes which can lead to substance abuse and cooccurring disorders. These changes and drug abuse can cause changes in social relationships. All mood-altering drugs have the potential to alter thinking, damage the mind, damage the body, and affect behavior and relationships. The extent to which these consequences may occur depends upon the addictive drug used, the person using the drug, and, in some cases, the circumstances under which the drug is used.   

Addictive drugs can fall into four drug classifications: downers (depressants), uppers (stimulants), pain killers (narcotics), and mind benders (hallucinogenics and dissociative). Below are some commonly used and abused drugs within these categories. 

DOWNERS – these can create feelings of relaxation and tiredness. They are commonly abused because they can create feelings of euphoria. 

  • Alcohol
  • Sleeping pills (barbiturates and similar acting sedative hypnotics)
  • Minor tranquilizers (Librium, Valium, etc.)

UPPERS – these are used to increase energy, concentration, and wakefulness. Can provide a “rush”, increase productivity and performance while producing and excited high of pleasure.

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine

PAIN KILLERS – tend to be painkillers that are often prescribed to patients who are suffering from intense pain. They produce a sense of euphoria.

  • Narcotics
  • Narcotic derivatives
  • Opiates (heroin, methadone, codeine, and morphine)

MIND BENDERS (perception distorters) – these work to alter a person’s perception of reality. They work by disrupting brain activity, affecting mood, sensory perception and muscle control. 

  • Hallucinogens
  •  Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Cannabis (marijuana, hashish, etc.)  

Once a person develops a dependence on any mood-altering substances and becomes robbed of the choice of whether or not to consume the drugs addiction takes over. Addiction dictates the frequency, quantity, and nature of use. The addiction can create long-term pain and discomfort. It is accompanied by obsession, compulsion, and loss of control. The addicted person uses the drug to relieved the pain created by using the drug; thus, continued use of the chemical leads to addiction and abuse. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction there are treatment programs, such as inpatient rehab or outpatient programs, that can help with your recovery. Speak to your doctor or hospital about rehab and setting up a program. Identify what types of treatments or treatment centers that would work best for you. Taking an active role in your treatment plan can help you get on the right path to recovery. Live the life you deserve. Addiction recovery can be possible.

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