Drug addiction is a massive problem in Canada with a growing number of youths and adults succumbing to substance abuse and its negative consequences. There are various types of illicit and even prescription drugs that are commonly abused and used for non-medical purposes. It helps to know these drugs, how they work and how they are used, along with the corresponding Canadian statistics that show their impact on a personal and social level.
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Drug Addiction and its Inevitable Impact
The problem of substance abuse and addiction may be closer than you think because someone in your family or circle of friends may just be suffering from one right now. Here is a list of some of the most abused pharmaceuticals and their inevitable effects:
Also known as powder lines, blow, coke, crack, and snow, cocaine is a stimulant that affects the brain’s reward system which makes it quite addictive. Cocaine triggers and traps dopamine, a brain chemical that is responsible for pleasurable feelings such as the sense of happiness after you have a fill of your favourite food. The drug intake results in a pleasurable high through an elevated dopamine level and the need to maintain that high is what makes it addictive.
According to statistics, Toronto has approximately 1 to 2 cases of cocaine-related deaths per 100,000 residents while Vancouver has 30 reported deaths. Cocaine is also the most common drug of choice that is administered through injection.
The synthetic or man-made drug is used as a party pill and is also common among club goers due to its hallucinogenic effects. Ecstasy affects the serotonin levels of the brain, resulting in an increased level of euphoria and energy as well as lessens inhibitions. The drug releases a glorious rush of serotonin leading to an overflow of emotions and magnifies the senses.
There have been reports of the negative, sometimes fatal effects, of ecstasy to the user such as the tendency of the drug to destroy brain terminals and toxicity. According to a study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, ecstasy users have lower levels of serotonin transporters while a reported teen death due to the “Happy Pill” is front news in the Calgary Sun.
The drug is a depressant which mimics the effects of painkillers particularly in the production of endorphins, a painkilling chemical. It slows metabolism, breathing, and heart rate as it intensifies the effects of endorphin, causing a feeling of content that would generally last for hours. Heroin is the third most commonly used street drug among youths in Canada which is administered via injection. The use of heroin has increased in recent years while law enforcement operations are ongoing to seize heroin off the streets.
Other substances that are linked to drug addiction include prescription narcotics and stimulants, solvent, glue, inhalant, meth, marijuana, Methadone, Benzodiazepines and barbiturates, and oxycontin. The rampant issue of drug abuse and addiction paves the way for more and more treatment facilities and government efforts to support addicts that want to go back to drug-free living.