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Treatment By Addiction

Substance Classifications

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Addiction is a complex disease that is very serious and harmful, but it can be managed and treated with the right help. The Treatment Helpline is here to provide you with the necessary guidance and information to assist you or a loved one finding a treatment program that best suits your individual needs to help you get back to living a life that is free from addiction. Too often addiction goes untreated, but we want to make sure that you are able to find an effective way to rid your addiction once and for all.

Also known as “downers,” depressants are drugs or compounds that reduce neurotransmission levels in areas of the brain. This causes lower levels of stimulation and arousal which produces a relaxed feeling when taken. Depressants come in tablets, capsules, or liquid form and are used as prescribed medication to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, seizures, as well as other medical conditions. When used illicitly or in high doses, depressants can cause memory loss, impaired judgement and coordination, paranoia, delirium, aggression or suicidal thoughts.

Examples include: Alcohol, Ativan, Dalmane, GHB, Halcion, Klonopin, Librium, Xanax, Valium, Strattera, Ketamine, Serax, Rohypnol, Quaalude

Stimulants, commonly known as “uppers,” are psychoactive drugs that temporarily elevate mental and physical activity. Contrary to depressants, stimulants enhance alertness, energy, and attention levels which causes an increase in heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. They are prescribed in tablet or capsule form and commonly treat medical conditions like ADD, ADHD, narcolepsy, depression, and lethargy. Individuals often misuse stimulants by swallowing, injecting, or snorting to produce a “high”. They are highly addictive in nature and can cause weight loss, organ damage, psychosis, depression, and brain damage when abused.

Examples include: Adderall, Ambien, Caffeine, Cocaine, Crack, Concerta, Methamphetamines, Ritalin, Vyvanse

Hallucinogens are drugs that cause hallucinations and severely distort a user’s perception of reality. They are classified as psychoactive agents, meaning they contain chemicals that alter one’s perception, mood, and consciousness. Hallucinogens are found in certain plants and mushrooms or in extract form and are classified as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. They are used mainly for recreational purposes and have even been used during religious rituals or to produce mystical insight throughout history. The hallucinations one experiences from a hallucinogen may produce certain images, sounds, emotions, and sensations that appear to be real when they aren’t; these effects are also called delusions. The side-effects of hallucinogens are extremely unpredictable and will vary between individuals. When used at high doses, hallucinogens can cause increased heart rate, heightened blood pressure, convulsions, seizures, or dangerous hallucinations that may lead to suicide.

Examples include: Ecstasy* (=MDMA=MOLLYS), LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Shrooms, Salvia, Pink Cocaine, PCP

*Ecstasy is no longer pure MDMA but is more synthetic cathinones​

Also known as “downers,” depressants are drugs or compounds that reduce neurotransmission levels in areas of the brain. This causes lower levels of stimulation and arousal which produces a relaxed feeling when taken. Depressants come in tablets, capsules, or liquid form and are used as prescribed medication to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, seizures, as well as other medical conditions. When used illicitly or in high doses, depressants can cause memory loss, impaired judgement and coordination, paranoia, delirium, aggression or suicidal thoughts.

Examples include: Alcohol, Ativan, Dalmane, GHB, Halcion, Klonopin, Librium, Xanax, Valium, Strattera, Ketamine, Serax, Rohypnol, Quaalude

Inhalants are a class of intoxicative drugs that contain many products not commonly thought of as dangerous substances. Many of these drugs are everyday household products found in stores that individuals of any age can easily access. Inhalants are commonly used at home or in the workplace and are not solely known for being dangerous substances. Inhalants become detrimental to one’s health when used incorrectly or for the purpose of getting high. Inhalants can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, and even delusions. Oftentimes these drugs are used and abused by adolescents and teens as they can typically acquire them with relative ease.

Examples include: Dust-off, Gasoline, Glue, Nitrous Oxide, Paint, Paint Thinner, Poppers, Spray Paint, Freon

Cannabis is the most commonly used drug in America today. Marijuana contains THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which causes mind-altering effects amongst its users. Cannabis can either be smoked, consumed in edible form, or vaporized. Common side-effects that result from use include mellowness, altered senses, impaired body movements, and an increased appetite. Marijuana has proven to have legitimate medical benefits and has recently become legal in some states.

Examples include: Marijuana, Budder/Wax

Synthetic cannabinoids are a family of drugs designed to recreate the effects of naturally grown cannabis. Though often resembling their natural counterpart and containing real plant material, the active ingredients in these substances are from the chemicals added to these materials. When first introduced, synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice and K2 were legal and easily accessible via smoke shops and gas stations. In 2011, the Drug Enforcement Agency declared that these substances had no positive medical benefits and designated five of their active ingredients as illegal. This has lead manufacturers to substituting these chemicals with similar alternatives in an effort to skirt legal barriers. New modifications to these drugs have proved more dangerous as emergency room visits due to synthetic cannabinoids are rising at alarming levels.

Examples include: Spice, K2

Synthetic cathinones are group of drugs containing chemicals similar to the cathinone, which is an amphetamine-like stimulant found in the khat plant. These substances have gained increasing popularity in recent years despite their extremely dangerous side-effects. Synthetic cathinones contain chemicals that produce reactions in the brain similar to those of MDMA and can cause dopamine levels to rise, giving the user a sense of euphoria. This initial euphoria is often followed by bouts of “excited delirium” which may produce hallucinations, violent behavior, and false feelings of invincibility.

Examples include: Bath Salts, Flakka (=Alpha-PVP, =Gravel), Methylone, Ethylone, Butylone, Mephedrone

Synthetic benzodiazepines are chemicals that can act as depressants on the central nervous system. These drugs are often used for treating insomnia or anxiety. They can be used via capsule, tablet, injectable or as a suppository. When used incorrectly or without prescription, benzodiazepines can have harmful effects on the body. Overdoses can lead to inhibition which may include aggressive or hostile actions. Mixing benzodiazepines with alcohol can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly as both act as central nervous system depressants. These drugs trigger the same receptor as similar benzodiazepines; however, 1mg of Etizolam is nearly equal to 10mg of Valium.

Examples include: Etizolam

Not all substances fit under the criteria of these classifications, but other types of substance addictions exist and can be just as harmful. Addiction is a complex and vast disease and this list of substances may not include what you or a loved one may be struggling with. If you feel as though you may have an addiction not listed here, please call us at The Treatment Helpline and we'll be sure to answer any question or concern that you may have.

Examples include: Steroids, Cough Syrup, Nicotine/Tobacco, Tranquilizers

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