Teen Narcotic Abuse

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People used to refer to all types of illegal and addictive drugs as narcotics, but the term has a much narrower meaning today. At present, narcotics refer to opium, opium derivate and their semi-synthetic derivate. In addition to their medical use, narcotics produce a general sense of well-being by reducing anxiety, tension and aggression. Some of the common street names for various narcotics/opioids include Horse, Brown Sugar, Black Tat, Junk, and Sippin Syrup, among others.

What is a narcotic drug

Narcotics are a class of pain-relieving drugs derived from opium, a drug produced by the poppy plant. Commonly referred to as opioids or opiates, narcotic drugs have the ability to bind to naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system to produce euphoria and provide pain relief to its users. For this reason, opioid painkillers are typically prescribed to patients who experience chronic pain or have acute moderate-to-severe pain after an injury or a surgical procedure.

Narcotic drugs are primarily abused due to their strong effect and intense euphoric feelings. Generally administered orally or injected into veins, narcotic drugs are extremely addictive. Similar to the effect of other drugs, the more the amount of narcotics taken, the more is their tolerance. An increase in the tolerance level, increases the chance of an addiction and hence, an overdose.

Types of narcotic drugs

Narcotic drugs come in various forms, including tablets, syrups, capsules and intravenous injections. Common opioids or narcotic drugs include illicit drugs like heroin, and prescription pain medications, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine. Prescription opioids are common narcotic drugs that are prescribed for managing acute and chronic pain and are often prescribed with other drugs, such as acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Other types of narcotic drugs include synthetic drugs derived from opium.

Prescribed by doctors to suppress cough, treat pain, cure diarrhea, and help induce sleep; the effects of narcotics depend on the amount, frequency and methods of their consumption, and previous exposure to the drug if any. Depending on their therapeutic usage, abuse potential, safety, and chemical dependency, narcotic drugs vary from Schedule I to Schedule V. Due to their high abuse potential and the dangers resulting from their abuse, even prescription narcotics come under controlled substances.

Narcotic drug abuse

When narcotic drugs are consumed as prescribed, they are not usually addictive. However, tolerance or the need to take more of the drug to achieve the same “high” as before can increase the chance of becoming physically dependent on the drug. Narcotics abuse is common when teens take a higher dose to get “high” or take a prescription longer than they need to, or if they take opioid medications without a prescription.

Following are some of the symptoms experienced by teens who abuse narcotic drugs:

  • Absence of pain (analgesia)
  • Sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Respiratory depression
  • Small pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching or flushed skin
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgment

When opioid prescription drugs are taken without a medical need or for recreational purposes, the effects can be devastating, contributing to overdoses and even death. Some opioid prescription drugs are easily accessible in the family medicine cabinet, particularly if family members or pets have undergone surgical procedures in the past. Thus, it is important to be aware of the effects of abuse, and ensure that these medications are locked in a safe place and are not accessible to all.

Narcotic drug abuse: long-term effects

Opiate drugs when taken for long periods can affect the body’s ability to reduce pain naturally. Chronic opioid abuse can contribute to nerve cell degeneration as well as debilitating withdrawal symptoms that begin when a person tries to reduce or stop taking the drugs completely.

Following are some of the long-term effects of narcotic drugs:

  • Depression
  • Increased pain sensitivity (hyperalgesia)
  • Tolerance
  • Physical dependence
  • Addiction
  • Collapsed veins
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Hallucinations
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Risk of choking
  • Coma
  • Compromised immune system
  • Death

Narcotic drug addiction

People who abuse opioids can develop a substance use disorder, as these drugs have a high potential for abuse and addiction. People who abuse narcotic drugs are at a greater risk of experiencing dangerous effects, such as overdoses, physical dependence and addiction. These individuals often have an increased tolerance, are unable to stop taking narcotics without experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and continue to use narcotics even after they have experienced negative consequences (e.g., legal, financial, and health, etc.).

People who develop substance use disorders due to opioid drugs can experience a range of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, sleep problems (i.e., insomnia), agitation, vomiting and diarrhea, muscle aches, tremors, and more. A narcotic treatment program that offers narcotic detox treatment in addition to narcotic withdrawal treatment can be helpful in reducing its uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment for narcotics addiction

A serious but treatable disorder, untreated narcotics abuse can lead to significant mental and physical problems. The sooner the treatment, the more favorable the outcome. Depending on the duration of drug abuse and the severity of symptoms, treatment for narcotic abuse may involve medically supervised detox program followed by psychotherapies and/or counseling sessions.

While medically assisted detoxification treatment at certified narcotic detox centers helps clear drugs from the system, psychotherapies or counseling sessions allow individuals to deal with any underlying causes of addiction. These sessions also teach effective life-skills to patients to recognize the trigger symptoms and avoid a relapse.

Why choose Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is among the best narcotic addiction treatment facilities offering comprehensive behavioral health services, customized for adolescent patients with addiction, mental health and co-occurring conditions. Upon admission, our patients undergo a thorough pre-assessment that helps our treatment team create individualized treatment programs, specifically targeted toward a patient’s symptoms and medical history.

Depending on the duration of illness and the severity of symptoms, narcotic addiction treatment at our state-of-the-art treatment centers may include counseling sessions, psychotherapies and evidence-based treatment modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), neurofeedback, and experiential therapies like equine therapy, art therapy and music therapy.

Our team of healthcare professionals is experienced in treating prescription drug addictions through tailored treatment plans, suiting each individual’s needs. We ensure that our patients are supervised to facilitate a smooth recovery. If you are interested in learning more about Sovereign Health’s adolescent treatment programs, call our 24/7 helpline and connect with our admissions staff. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.

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