Classification of Drugs and Treatment Process
Harmful drugs alter the functionality of the central nervous system and can lead to addiction. There are various drugs around the globe, both illicit and licit. The harmfulness caused by any drug depends on composition and length of consumption. Drugs are classified into different groups for multiple uses, either legal, medicinal or for treatment.
Substances are categorized differently; chemical composition, impacts they have on the body and according to legal descriptions. Organizing drugs into different groups is necessary since one can familiarize themselves with the effects they cause to the system. In most states, drugs are classified as legal and illegal.
They describe the circumstance under which the drug is illicit, the requirements for obtaining the drug, and consequences related to manufacture, possession, and supply of the drugs. The categorization is based on the medicinal value a drug has, and its apparent risk. There is no clear guide by scientists on the categorization of drugs.
A substance can be classified into different groups.
Drugs Categorization According to Chemical Composition
Categorizing drugs according to chemical composition is vital since substances that have same compounds are likely to cause similar effects. If a person is addicted to a substance, there is a higher likelihood of abusing a drug with the same chemical components. Moreover, the treatment process is effectual for drugs with the same chemicals. Though, some may be licit and other illicit and have different medical effects.
Alcohol is a substance that is permissible for consumption but is regulated. It is the most abused drug in the world, though it minimizes anxiety and embarrassments. If alcohol is consumed in excess for a period, it can lead to loss of coordination, slurred speech, impaired judgment, reaction times, and financial strains. There are three forms of alcohol; wine, liquor, and beer.
They are also known as Benzos. Benzos treat various mental conditions such as depression and stress. They work by interrelating with the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A). Each Benzodiazepine reacts differently with GABA-A, and that is why every benzo has different effects on the brain and body.
The drug is effective in treating sleep disorders, but it is most abused by people. Benzos if not consumed as prescribed, can cause various medical and psychiatric conditions. They are very addictive, and one should only take them for the intended purpose. If an addict stops consuming the substance, they can suffer from Grand Mal seizures and thus it is recommended to seek medical attention while undergoing the detox program.
Being around people who can support you will help in reducing the cravings. Examples of Benzodiazepines include; Xanax, Halcion, Ativan, Librium, Valium, and Klonopin.
The active component in Cannabinoids is marijuana. They are types of drugs which have similar organic components like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Consumption of this types of drugs makes one feel ‘high,’ but they can cause harmful effects to the mind and body. Cannabinoids are the second most abused drugs after alcohol. They are illegal in most countries, but in the recent years, most states are legalizing consumption.
Though researchers claim that they are less addictive as compared to other substances, they can damage the mental and physical health of the consumer adversely. Types of cannabinoids are marijuana and Hashish.
They are also referred to as opiates. Opioids are derived from opium drug or chemicals designed to imitate it. They function by reacting with neurotransmitters in the central nervous system and preventing signals that are transmitted from the brain. Opioids are strong pain and cough relievers, but they can cause a feeling of intense amusement, and hence they are addictive.
Opiates addiction is one of the biggest challenges the US is facing today. They are very deadly, and examples are; Heroin, Oxycodone, codeine, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, and Fentanyl.
They affect the central nervous system by slowing down its operations. Barbiturates are derived from the barbituric acid and once consumed they can be addictive. They have been known for curing sleep and psychiatric problems. Also, barbiturates help in calming migraines and treating epilepsy. Some of the known barbiturates are Luminal, Amytal, and Pentobarbital.
Classification of Drugs According to Impacts
Drugs can also be classified according to the effects they have on body and brain. Some substances when consumed make one more active and full of strength. On the other hand, some drugs soothe and make one relaxed.
After consuming depressants, one experiences a feeling of calmness and fatigue. They work by repressing the activity of the central nervous system. Many depressants are legal since they aid in treating mental problems and insomnia. Most people abuse them because they make one experience euphoria and assist in managing anxiety.
Depressants are highly addictive and dangerous as they can cause an overdose. Some examples of depressants include; barbiturates( thiopental, phenobarbital ), benzodiazepines( diazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam), alcohol, and opiates.
Stimulants are used to boost energy, concentration, and alertness by accelerating the activity of the central nervous system. They are also known as “uppers,” they create a feeling of great pleasure when consumed. Also, they can make one angry or paranoid. Stimulants are claimed to increase output and performance when doing any task. After a period of taking stimulants, they can be addictive and tend to be highly abusive. Known stimulants are; Adderall, Meth, crack cocaine, and Cocaine.
These are chemicals that produce a feeling of high by inhaling them and exist in vapor form at normal room temperatures. Inhalants are various chemicals that are consumed by breathing them in or puffing, they are found in common house items. They are mostly applied to materials that are manufactured not to be consumed by humans.
Inhalants are different and offer different experiences too.
There is no sufficient information on inhalants, as many researchers do not concentrate on them. Although, they are less addictive inhalants ingestion is harmful and can cause detrimental health impacts to your body and mind.
Common inhalants are nail polish remover, Gasoline, paint, marker or ink of pens, and Paint Thinner. One can abuse them by bagging, spraying or inhaling directly.
Drug Categorization Based on Legal Description
The Controlled Substances Act, passed by the Federal Government in 1970, categorizes drugs into five classes or schedules. It is done according to the drug’s ability of abuse and whether they have genuine medicinal value.
Schedule I drugs include Ecstasy, Quaaludes, GHB, Cannabis, heroin, and mescaline. These substances have a high ability to be abused. Possession, distribution or consumption of this class of drugs has harshest penalties than any other drugs. There is no evidence to support their genuine use for medicinal purposes.
Include drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, Ritalin, oxycodone, hydrocodone and they have great potential of being abused by people. Schedule II drugs are legal to be used for medical purposes though they can be addictive.
They have less potential for abuse as compared to schedule I and schedule II drugs. Also, penalties and punishments associated with schedule III are lesser as compared to drugs in schedule I and II. They are licit for medical treatment, although consumption may lead to low, average or high addiction to the drugs. In this category, we have buprenorphine, ketamine, Vicodin, Halcion, and anabolic steroids.
Drugs in this group have penalties and regulations in between those of substances in Schedule V and III. They have been legalized for medicinal uses and have a low ability to be abused. Schedule IV drugs include modafinil, tramadol, benzodiazepines, Ambien, and Darvocet.
Drugs categorized in this class are inclusive of Lyrica, Motofen, Lomotil, lacosamide, pregabalin, and diphenoxylate. These substances have a low capability of being abused by consumers as compared to other schedules. They are licit to be used to treat medical conditions, although continuous usage can lead to a limited addiction.
Consumption of any drug has got consequences, whether personal or legal, they can be severe. Before consuming any substance even if for medical purposes, seek professional advice to ascertain that they have positive impacts and that they will not cause any harm to your health.
Treatment of Drug Addiction
Continuity usage of drugs even when they are causing detrimental effects on your mind and body is known as drug addiction. An addicted person does not care whether his or her behavior is affecting their colleagues at work, family members or neighbors. Most addicts have the desire to quit but they unable to and thus they need support.
The treatment process for drugs addiction is different among various treatment clinics and individuals. Though, the aim is the same, transforming life of the addict into a meaningful life. Deciding to seek medical support in a facility is an empowering step towards transformation.
In a rehab or any other treatment facility, a patient is offered a lot of support to aid in achieving freedom. Also, there are safe and comfy ways of attaining and maintaining sobriety. In a rehab, once you have gained sobriety, it is easy to maintain. Besides, every person requires special care depending on drugs they dependent on, the period they have been addicted, if they suffer from other medical problems and lastly personal choices.
Steps of Treatment Process
Each rehab has a different treatment process that they apply for inpatient programs but generally it follows the following steps;
It is the initial step after you decide that you need medical attention, many people who need help are hesitant in seeking it. One researches and settles on a specific rehab. Contact and enroll in a treatment clinic; this is a very important move geared towards changing your life. In most treatment centers, admission is easy and very comfortable.
After completing the administrative process, the patient gets in the facility. The supporting staff ensures that a patient does not come in with drugs or weapons. It is done to make a person feel safe and focused on the process.
The third step after enrolling in a treatment facility. Assessment is carried out by a doctor to determine his or her needs. One is questioned on what drugs they are dependent on, for how long and if they are dealing with any mental health conditions. It is a very critical step as it will help the medical team in determining the patient’s recovery plan. In many rehabs, this step is carried out throughout the process to ensure that all needs of the patient are met.
Detox is a process of eliminating drugs from the body. It assists the addict in dealing with withdrawal symptoms after stopping consumption of the substances. It is a process that requires medical guidance otherwise it can be harmful and painful. The goal of detoxification is to help the addict in dealing with withdrawal symptoms once one has stopped taking the drugs.
The following are withdrawal symptoms of commonly abused drugs according to their classes;
Benzodiazepines – they include Valium, and Ativan. Withdrawal symptoms associated with benzos are hand tremors, panic episodes, and sedation.
Stimulants – Stimulants include cocaine, and once one stops using them, they can suffer from sleepiness, tiredness, muscle spasms, anxiety, mood swings, and to some individuals they may be tempted to commit suicide.
Opioids – they are inclusive of Heroine, Morphine, pain reliever drugs like Oxycontin, and many others. Withdrawal symptoms are muscle pains, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and sweating.
Every person has different needs for detoxification process, but generally, it incorporates removal of harmful substances from the body. There are two detox programs that one can choose from depending on preferences and needs;
1. Inpatient program where a patient stays in a treatment center for the entire process and is given 24/7 care. It is the most effective program for individuals who want to concentrate fully on recovery. The detoxification process may take 30 days to six months depending on one’s needs and drugs addicted.
2. An Out-patient program where an individual gets treatment while staying at their homes. One visits the physician to get advice and prescriptions. It can be on a daily basis or weekly and is recommendable for people who have not used the drugs for a period.
Detoxification process follows three steps;
Evaluation – this is the first step that involves screening the patient for mental or physical health conditions. Blood samples are used to test the number and quantities of substances in the patient’s blood stream. Evaluation is conducted to determine the type of medications the patient requires. The doctor may also conduct medical or psychiatric history of an individual.
Stabilization – the second step conducted to calm the patient. Medical or psychological therapies are offered to the patient to soothe them. It is done to combat any harm that can occur to the patient. Physicians may prescribe medications to aid in reducing withdrawal symptoms.
Preparation for treatment – the last step that trains the patient for the treatment program. The medical team familiarizes the patient about everything on the program; medication, therapies, their importance, support team and what to anticipate.
Therapies Conducted to aid in Detoxification
Therapies are offered to patients to inspire them and help them in changing their perceptions of anxiety either due to loss of a job or loved one. Some therapies include;
It is a type of therapy that helps the patient in regaining control over their brain and body during the treatment process. One learns how to manage involuntary activities such as breathing. Ideally, sensors wired on a medical instrument are put on your skin to give back information on patients ‘bio’ symptoms.
The feedback can be in the form of pulsing sounds or images, and it assists the doctor in determining the soothing exercise that can help the patient on controlling how their body responds to stress like withdrawal and cravings of drugs. Some biofeedback therapy exercises include guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational enhancement therapy assists patients to take control of their thoughts and behaviors. Therapists advocate for five elements to motivate them in the transformation journey. First, they are required to develop and express empathy. One is motivated to learn and imagine how their behaviors affect others.
Second, they acknowledge the difference between thoughts and reality. Most addicts, though they are aware they need treatment, resist the treatment. Therapists help them to accept that they are a disparity between where they think they are and where they are exactly in the real sense.
Thirdly, therapists use all means to avoid arguing with patients on their extent of drug abuse. The fourth element is the acceptance of resistance as part of the recovery process. One is helped to realize how their habits are preventing them from achieving their goals. The last is supporting a recovering patient’s self- efficiency. Therapists encourage them to believe in their capability of accomplishing their objectives.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
It is the most used therapy in many addiction centers. Cognitive behavioral therapy assists addicts in dealing with problems of thinking and feelings that are associated with addiction. One is helped to relate between thought, feelings, and actions connected with the recovery process. Besides addiction, CBT will also help in the treatment of eating disorders, bipolar condition, Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD), and anxiety.
The therapy assists patients in determining negative “automatic thoughts.” An automatic thought is due to misinterpretations and internal feelings of self-disbelieve or fear. Most people abuse drugs to self-treat those painful thoughts. The automatic negative thoughts lead to depression, a common disorder that comes along with addiction.
Hence, the thought can make one abuse substances.
CBT assists addicts by aiding them in ignoring fake thoughts and insecurities that can cause drug abuse. Also, it provides patients with self-help equipment’s to boost their moods, and it trains them on perfect communication skills.
Removal of harmful substances from the body does not have to take place in a medical facility, though it is advisable due to effects that may come along with stopping consuming substances that you have been dependent on. One can detoxify at home, but it might be challenging. Moreover, it can even lead to death or other harmful impacts.
Before deciding to do home-detox, consult a doctor to ascertain the process. If you are addicted to a substance or your loved one, never quit without seeking medical advice. Though it might be the only option you have, it can be fatal or lead to serious health complications. Alcohol, Heroine, and Benzos are some of the drugs that are dangerous to detox and require medical supervision.
A medical professional assess your condition and the risks that can occur due to the withdrawal of the drug. The doctor enquires on the type of drugs you consume, frequency, dosage and the period of usage. Also, they will want to know your physical or medical history, the recent attempt of halting consumption, and the support you have at home.
If one has friends and family to rely on during the period and the withdrawal symptoms are not dangerous, one can detoxify at home. The withdrawal symptoms are very uncomfortable, and thus it is very tempting to start using the drugs again. The cravings can be difficult to resist and getting medical support can be the only better option.
Home-detox can affect your mental and physical health and cause the following;
- Anger and irritability, one, loses temper easily and can be hard to contain.
- Anxiety and stress, an individual who has always dependent on substance will get stressed after withdrawal for a period before their system gets used.
- Hopelessness- one has always dependent on a drug to avoid reality, once they are withdrawn, they don’t see any reason to live.
- One can suffer from depression and may think of committing suicide.
Side Effects of Detox
Although they may be few or no anticipated withdrawal symptoms, the following are some unavoidable side effects of detoxification;
- Lack of sleep.
- Anxiety and one can be nervous at times.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Feeling low.
- Muscle spasms or weakness.
Consumption of harmful drugs can cause detrimental effects that will not only affect you but also, your family and maybe your neighbor. Once you notice signs of addiction, seek medical treatment. It doesn’t make you a lesser being, but it is a positive means towards transformation. Most people have various ideas of treatment of rehab which are just myths and entirely wrong.
Any person can seek treatment and should not be scared. Never hold back a decision that will radically change your life for good. Research and get sufficient information about the effects of harmful drugs on your body, how to know that you are addicted and treatment methods.
You might have heard or seen on social media platforms that treatment is for celebrities and rich people. Contrary, one can get help despite their status. Other people think that once somebody has sought treatment due to drug addiction, they have hit rock bottom. They think that one does not have a supportive family, or they are homeless.
Although to some people it can be true, to many people seeking treatment early enough is a good idea.