All addictions, regardless of the origin or substance, act on the body via a reward mechanism, causing the addiction. These are the most common addictions:
- Alcohol: Although its broad social acceptance is not perceived as dangerous, alcohol is the most abused substance in our country and alcoholism is the addiction which produces the most disorders. More information about alcoholism.
- Tabacco: The basis of tobacco, in its different presentations, contains a chemical called nicotine, a highly addictive substance. Nicotine produces antidepressant and symptomatic relief of anxiety effects. Although the number of cigarette smokers has decreased significantly in recent years, the mortality rate associated with addiction to tobacco is growing. Along with alcohol, a drug is considered “gateway drug”, since it brings the user closer to the use of illegal substances.
- Cannabis (marihuana): ) is a drug derived from the hemp plant whose best known addictive substance is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is most commonly moked in different presentations, the most common being hashish and marijuana (commonly known as “joints”). It is the most commonly used illegal substance in the country with a disturbing prevalence among adolescents. This drug impairs short-term memory, learning, the ability to focus and coordination. Prolonged use can lead to serious psychological problems such as generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, hallucinations and, in susceptible individuals, can cause psychosis.
- Cocaine: is the drug which produces the most requests for addiction treatment. It is a stimulant which is extracted from the coca plant and sold mixed with other inert substances such as talc or cornstarch.
It is usually consumed by inhalation or injection and is often combined with other drugs. It is also a short-acting stimulant, which makes the people who take the drug abusers often in a single session (“binge”).
The abuse of cocaine can result in severe medical consequences related to the heart and the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. Prolonged use of cocaine can cause many diseases, both physical, such as hypertension or arrhythmias, as well as psychological, such as anxiety or depression.
- Amphetamines: These are synthetic substances that were first used to treat various diseases. The consumption of these drugs stimulates the central nervous system producing states of euphoria and mental acuity. They have especially lasting effects on the brain and increase the body temperature. Its effects are especially durable and damaging to the brain and are associated with increased body temperature, causing heart problems and even seizures.
- Ecstasy (MDMA): A substance derived from amphetamines a part from being a stimulant, produces disturbances of the mind. Consumption, like amphetamines, increases body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and can also cause dehydration. Its effects on the mind go from anxiety to paranoia.
- LSD: is one of the most potent hallucinogens. Hallucinogens are drugs that alter the perception of reality. Its effects are unpredictable and consumers can experience visual, auditory and tactile disturbances that seem real but are not. They can generate in the individual an increased heart rate and sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness and tremors.
- Opiates: Heroin has its origin in opium, whose consumption produces euphoria and a general feeling of relaxation. It decreases the heart rate, blood pressure and visual acuity. Among other drugs, the opiods family includes morphine and other painkillers that have medical uses, so also creates an indifference to pain. However, their non-medical use or abuse can be very harmful.
- Psychoactive drugs: increasingly used for non-medical purposes, they can cause addictions with serious consequences. Most drugs are used as painkillers, sedatives and stimulants. It should be noted that there is a worrying increase in consumption by youth and adolescents, given the misperception that they are not dangerous because on occasion they are prescribed by doctors.
- Steroids: Anabolic are synthetic versions of testosterone, which are used to increase muscle mass and improve physical performance. Abuse produces severe acne and cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and infectious diseases.
A common and very dangerous development is the combined use of two or more drugs, regardless of whether they are legal or not. Their combination creates significantly higher risks than that of the substances consumed separately. To address the treatment of these addictions, we must recognize the two diseases separately.
- Addictive behaviors: Sometimes addictions are not caused by a chemical substance, but an activity that is capable of generating a mechanism similar to that of some of the most common drugs. Some addictive behaviors are gambling or sex or internet addictions These are dangerous addictions that have important effects on the emotional balance and scale of vital priority for the addicted person, for whom this activity goes on to become a vital priority.