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Addiction: the development of mental and physical dependence

1 If you have a drug - you are its owner,

and if you have experienced it, it's your boss.

( Harun Aghatsarsky)

There is a lot of talk about drug addiction in our country.About its destructive power films are shot, told at lectures and in private conversations.Literally each of us has a close or familiar person "hooked" on drugs, and even died from them.It would seem that such an abundance of information and examples of ruined fates should be sobered, made to think and forever repulse the desire to reach out for the first dose.However, every year more and more people are caught in the network of drug traffickers.

Why does this happen?Why is the pursuit of "high" in line not only teenagers but also quite wealthy, intelligent and self-sufficient men line up?How is the dependence formed and is it possible to cope with it?These few articles are another attempt at an honest and impartial conversation on such a difficult and topical topic.And if they can help, at least one person, we will calculate our mission accomplished.

What is included in the concept of "drugs" When talking about drugs, it is necessary to separate the medical and legal component of this concept.

The term itself came from the Greek word - narkoticos( lulling, stupefying, stupor).By definition, the World Health Organization( WHO) refers to drugs as chemical agents that provoke insensitivity to pain or to whom.But this effect has only a small proportion of modern narcotic drugs, and the effect of stimulants and psychedelics used for buzz is directly opposite.

From a legal point of view, drugs are substances that are prohibited in the country by law.For example, alcohol, which for all its medical criteria is a real drug, is not considered such in Russia.

In a broader sense, drugs are understood as substances capable of intoxicating and stupefying a person, changing his psycho-emotional background, causing euphoria( improved, joyful and specific mood) and subsequently - addiction.

The modern classification of drugs includes three main groups:

  1. Substances that have a sedative effect( sedatives) - opium preparations, excluding codeine, hypnotic drugs, anesthetics, a group of tranquilizers.
  2. Stimulants( stimulants) - amphetamine group, cocaine preparations, substances derived from ephedrine, caffeine and the like.
  3. Drugs with psychodysleptic effects - cannabis( hashish, marijuana), LSD, "volatile" drugs, mescaline, psilocybin, etc. Psychedelics can cause a variety of psychotic symptoms.They are often called "hallucinogens", "fiction", etc.

In some classifications, psychedelics and hallucinogenic substances are carried into separate classes.Each of the above groups consists of a large number of drugs.

What modern drugs are considered the most dangerous?We offer you to watch the video of the BBC channel, which presents the rating of the most dangerous of all widely used drugs:

Addiction: statistics

The true number of addicts is hard to calculate.This fact is recognized by WHO.There are many reasons for this.The main one is reluctance to seek help at the initial stages of the disease.

Here are just a few dry figures of statistics:

Drug Abuse: Statistics

  • Today, young people are most often addicted - people aged 25-35.
  • The last 2-3 decades, according to some authors, the number of drug-dependent adolescents( children aged 14-18) increased 17-18 times - from 5 people per 100 thousand people, to 85 people per 100 thousand.

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  • Team of the lead specialist EA.In 2001, Koshkina noted an increase in dispensary analysis for drug addiction by 9 times.
  • According to the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation, 70,000 Russians are killed by drugs each year

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  • The average annual increase in drug addicts in Russia is 30% in relation to the previous year.
  • In different countries of the world from 40% to 90% of criminal offenses are committed either by malicious drug addicts or by people who are under the influence of drugs.

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  • In the Netherlands, for the detection of 50 kg of narcotic drugs, a period of 8 years of imprisonment with the possibility of early release is prescribed, and in China, for 50 mg of heroin, the state condemns the death penalty.
  • According to Interpol, the annual world drug turnover is 500-600 billion dollars, in Russia - 11 billion dollars.

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Drug dependence stages

Narcotic dependence is formed by successively passing certain states.In narcology they are classified as syndromes.At the beginning of the disease, there is an opportunity to independently leave the drug without special problems and efforts.But each new dose aggravates the state of affairs, leads to the development of new signs and deprives the person of control over the situation.

The main manifestations of the disease are:

  • syndrome of altered reactivity;
  • syndrome of mental dependence;
  • syndrome of physical dependence.

These three components are a kind of marker

Syndrome of altered reactivity

The complex of changes that occur in the body at the very beginning of drug use is called reactivity syndrome .

It consists of:

  • changing forms of narcotic use;
  • gradual disappearance of protective reactions of the body with increasing dose;
  • changes in tolerance( addiction) to the existing drug;
  • changes the form of intoxication.


Change in the forms of drug use The first dose, the first reaction, the first feeling of euphoria and freedom - these feelings capture and inspire.Often they are so bright that any recollection of them leads to the desire to "continue the banquet."However, the use of the drug, in addition to the main effects of euphoria, altered consciousness and a "bouquet" of other "pleasures," causes disruption of the work of organs and systems.The first or initial doses can bring light physical discomfort or lead to severe lesions of the nervous system, heart, respiration.Such violations are a consequence of poisoning.

At this stage, the novice either thinks and stops taking "dope", or tries to restrain himself and regulate the intake of drugs, or, inspired by imaginary well-being and a sense of "control of the situation," embarks on all serious.For those who have chosen the last two paths, a new phase is coming-habituation and transition from an irregular to a systematic approach.

Someone has this stretch for years.And someone passes to a systematic reception after only a few doses.To foresee the effect of the drug on your or any other organism is just as difficult as it is difficult to predict when and what numbers will fall out in the game "Roulette".

3B dependence development

Disappearance of protective reactions in the syndrome of altered reactivity

Trying to protect itself from harmful substances( especially in the early stages), the body includes self-regulation systems.

In this case, the following can be observed:

  • itching( opiate derivatives).
  • marked, profuse sweating;
  • abundant salivary-lacrimation;
  • nausea, vomiting, general nausea;
  • dizziness.

These manifestations are a sign of trouble, original signals "SOS", issued by the body to its owner.But the more often and more loudly the drowning man screams, the less power he has left for this cry.And the more regular a person takes drugs, the weaker the manifestations of protective reactions of the body.

The disappearance of the above complaints with the systematic use of a drug is the first indicator of a developed disease.

Change in tolerance for the reactivity syndrome

This is one of the main symptoms of addiction.At the first stages of the development of the disease, there is an increase in tolerance( the ability to tolerate the action of certain doses of the drug).So, as a result of regular intake of morphine, the patient increases the dose 3-4 times a month, and when taking heroin, this level of dose build-up occurs in 1-2 weeks.

After a while it stabilizes at a certain high level.In morphine addicts, the "plateau" is observed at a dose of 0.1-0.15 g, in barbituric addicts it is 1 g.

Note: at these doses in the majority there comes a natural death from the depletion of body reserves.

The transition to systematic use forces the body to adapt to constant intoxication.As a result of such a reorganization of the work of organs and systems, there comes a decrease in sensitivity to the drug and a decrease in its main effect.And one day a drug addict realizes that the usual use of a drug no longer brings the same sensations, and to get a high, you need to increase the dose.

At the height of the disease, tolerance increases by 10 times with the use of barbiturates, 12 times - calming and stimulants, 100-200 times - with opiates.

For morphine users, a single dose reaches 2-3 g, with sedative abuse 2-2.5 g.

Note: , a decrease in tolerance in the syndrome of altered reactivity causes a second death wave.Lethal poisoning already brings even the "usual dose".

The process of changing tolerance is very complex and ambiguous.On this subject, research works are still conducted, which put the main task of helping the dependent.

Changes in forms of intoxication

This is the final chord of the syndrome of altered reactivity. At the very beginning of the admission, the action of narcotic substances is classic, such as described in the instructions to the drug and in the literature, but in time:

  • , sedation ceases when sedatives are used;
  • stimulants do not cause heart palpitations;
  • codeine ceases to suppress the cough center, euphoria occurs only with the use of high doses of the drug.

If in the phase of increasing tolerance, the drug produced a stimulating effect, then in the future it only tones up, leads the patient into a "normal" state, allowing more or less habitual life.

How the

syndrome is formed Psychic attraction, in another way it is called obsessive, is characterized by the fact that the patient all his desires, thoughts, drives leads to the desire for narcotization.Moreover, he ceases to feel himself inscribed in life without taking drugs.They subordinate it, paralyze the will and do not give "work" to other life motives, become a necessity for existence, contact with other people.

The dependent person actively searches and wants to receive a state of euphoria and comfort from reception of a narcotic substance.Obsessive attraction forms the mood and emotions of the patient.Often the drug addicts themselves do not understand the existence of this problem.And the constant desire for narcotization is explained by the desire to escape from some pseudo-causes, to forget: "the wife has eaten up", "stresses at work", "parents got", etc.

Externally, the patient looks irritated, he lacks something.Revival comes when talking about drugs, about the next after taking the "dope" condition.

Note: this kind of addiction changes the inner world of the addict, his interests.

Often an obsessional attraction is undulating.

Note: can suppress psychic dependence if the addict has a new and strong hobby, not caused by drugs, but causing him to have a strong and long-lasting response.

This can be a sharp change of environment, getting into some groups with common interests, hobby for some kind of business( for example, driving), etc.This effect builds treatment in rehabilitation centers, and this approach is the most helpful in eliminating mental dependence. .

Important: return to the old "environment", conversations, external factors related to the past can cause an aggravation of the obsession.

If the addict has only an obsessive syndrome, but there is still no abstinence and compulsive attraction, it should be borne in mind that treating it during this period is most favorable for prognosis and recovery.But, the psychic dependence persists for a long period of time and can be repeated many times.

Note: mental dependence - is the main cause of "breakdown" of patients.

Forming the syndrome of physical dependence

In the formation of physical dependence, a huge role is played by the biological processes taking place in the human body.Drugs are built into biochemical reactions and over time break the balance of mediators, change the permeability of cells, begin to play the role of those substances that are usually produced by the human cells themselves.Trying to save its resources and protect itself from the destructive effects of drugs, the body reconfigures its work, reduces or completely stops the internal production of active substances that are already supplied from outside.Formation of the syndrome of physical dependence

The longer a person takes drugs, the more serious becomes the adjustment of the body, which eventually leads to the fact that the physiological withdrawal of the drug from the body through the urine, lungs, intestines begins to be perceived by the body as a tragedy.A person has a "natural" need to replenish these substances and the state of breaking.

Physical dependence consists of three main components:

  • compulsive drive;
  • needs to return the state of physical comfort during drug intoxication;
  • withdrawal syndrome.

Compulsive attraction causes the drug addict an irresistible craving for drugs.The desire for narcotization is so powerful that it can completely suppress the feeling of hunger and thirst, the need for sleep, the most vital necessities.

Especially fast this type of attraction is formed with heroin, opium, codeine and barbitur drug addiction.

The structure of this type of attraction includes a number of vegetative features :

  • marked dilated pupils;
  • increased sweating;
  • dry mouth;
  • increased tendon reflexes;
  • marked trembling, especially in the hands.

A special kind of danger is a compulsive attraction during the period of remission, as it ends with a "breakdown".

Physical dependence leads to a state in which no euphoria, or narcotic intoxication, is already talking.The drug becomes simply a means of being able to somehow live.

To achieve euphoria can only be a constantly increasing dose, but the body has its limits, so drug addicts going this way quickly die from an overdose.

7 abstinence

Abstinence syndrome is the most powerful drug-provoking drug.Prolonged deprivation of an addict's organism of the usual dose that causes abstinence leads to a very difficult test for the patient at the physical and mental levels.It causes the disruption of the operation of all systems and organs.Especially the psyche suffers.Strong pains in the body, aches, lack of appetite, malfunctions in the heart and breathing, illusions and hallucinations of a terrifying nature, fear of death.Complaints in this state are extremely painful for the patient and after leaving this state they describe them as "infernal torments".

The syndrome of physical dependence appears the last in the development of any kind of addiction.

Note : in some cases, all three leading syndromes can develop very quickly, during the 1-3 weeks and for 2-3 months.

How do drugs work and how do they work on the human body?Answers you will get by watching this video review:

Lotin Alexander, narcologist


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