How chronic cocaine abuse leads to emotional disturbances

Cocaine is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug extracted from the leaves of coca plant. Listed as a Schedule II drug in the United States, it has a high potential for abuse. As such, the medical usage of cocaine is almost nonexistent and it is a mere recreational drug that surpasses its medical usage. Its only known medicinal usage is as a topical anaesthetic.

Cocaine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that speeds up respiration, blood pressure and heart rate. It also raises energy, alertness, wakefulness, focus and attention while suppressing appetite. Due to its ability to increase energy and confidence, it is a popular party drug at social events. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, an estimated 1.9 million people aged 12 and above are the current users of this illicit drug in the U.S. Read more

Does marijuana use lead to psychiatric disorders

Due to a steady decline in the perception of the risks associated with marijuana, a large number of youngsters have been digressing toward this substance. Other major shifts that have exacerbated the situation include the recent public debates on the legalization of marijuana. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States, with 22.2 million people abusing it in the past month. The survey also highlighted that the majority of the users are men than women. Read more

Important steps employed during management of co-occurring disorders

When an individual struggle with a substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental illness simultaneously, it is called dual diagnosis. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in any given year, at least 7-9 million people grapple with a co-occurring disorder. Moreover, 50 percent of the population suffering from an alcohol and drug addiction are also inflicted with a mental illness, such as trauma, depression, personality disorders, anxiety and depression. Read more

Anxiety may cause alcohol-related problems, finds study

It is a common perception that alcohol can help reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety, such as excessive worry and anticipation of fear. However, some researchers consider it a vicious cycle in which the person craves for alcohol to relieve the anxiety developed from the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abstinence.

According to a study published in UpToDate.com, anxiety-related disorders are likely to elevate the risk of developing substance use disorders (SUDs). At the same time, they may also affect the treatment outcome of SUDs. Conversely, SUDs may have a negative impact on the treatment outcomes for alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Probably, that is the reason why stress and anxiety are often associated with alcohol cravings and consumption, and subsequent development of AUD. Read more

US witnessed unprecedented rise in suicides involving opioids in 15 years, study finds

In 2015, around 33,000 deaths in the United States involved prescription opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The use of opioids to treat chronic pain has increased significantly in all parts of the country. Therefore, researchers have been exploring a possible relationship between access to opioids and increased risk of suicide. There are evidences supporting a correlation between greater use of opioids and increased risk of suicide. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in March 2017 revealed that suicides involving opioid use have witnessed a two-fold increase over the last 15 years. Read more

Ways stresses and strains spike substance abuse

Stress is a normal but an inevitable part of one’s life. It is one of the major factors responsible for instigating an individual to abuse alcohol, drugs or other substances and increasing the risk of developing an addiction and relapse. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) specified addiction as a chronic brain disease that inflicts serious behavioral, biological, social, emotional and physical problems that often leads to an inability to control substance abuse.

People usually calm themselves by indulging in a few puffs of a cigarette or a couple of drinks in order to relieve themselves from the stress and strains caused by increased emotional pressure. Additionally, they shift to cocaine and ecstasy with the objective of partying all night. Read more

Self-reported impulsivity highest among people with borderline personality disorder, finds study

Impulsivity is a common characteristic in both borderline personality disorder (BPD) and substance use disorder (SUD), and the presence of one condition can have a direct impact on the severity of the other. Abusing substances such as alcohol and drugs can aggravate the symptoms of BPD including suicide ideation and risk of self-harm. Conversely, the symptoms and behaviors associated with addiction to substances can be worsened due to BPD. Read more

Co-occurring substance abuse and depression aggravate symptoms in older adults

The importance of mental health as a key component of one’s overall well-being is amassing global support and awareness. This is primarily because of the fact that more and more people are getting aware of the close relationship between mental health and overall well-being. Slowly but surely the rough tides are turning in favor of those living with a mental disorder due to the above-mentioned reason. Compared to the earlier times, a new consciousness is rising that is tolerant and empathetic toward individuals who suffer from a mental illness. Read more

Effects of street drugs on mental health

Street drugs are the highly addictive and dangerous drugs that can be obtained illegally from the streets and are used for their mood-altering and sedative effects. The streets are in fact, flooded with illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, MDMA, ecstasy etc. which can be detrimental to an individual’s physical and mental health. As drugs can alter one’s perceptions, it leads to several issues related to the body and the mind, such as hallucinations, delusions, muscle spasms, etc. According to a 2014 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately eight million American adults battled with co-occurring disorders, including both a substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health disorder at the same time. Read more

Increase in dual diagnosis patients admitted to emergency departments

Hospitals in the United States have increasingly come under the scanner for showing apathy and negligence toward psychiatric patients, including those with dual diagnosis, a condition in which people struggle with alcoholism and/or drug addiction in addition to a serious mental health disorder. For people with dual diagnosis and severe mental illnesses, the emergency department (ED) is not an ideal atmosphere for treatment and recovery. Chances of symptoms getting aggravated and requiring unnecessary hospitalization are heightened in the chaotic and disruptive environment of ED. For instance, people with a mental health condition like anxiety find the settings of an ED highly demotivating, which can result in the worsening of the existing symptoms. Read more