Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes powerful physical and psychological cravings for mind-altering substances, including illegal intoxicants like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and PCP. Many people also become addicted to misused prescription drugs, or to chemical substances not manufactured for human consumption (inhalants), to party drugs (ecstasy), hallucinogens like LSD, or to marijuana, which despite its benign reputation is the most widely abused illicit drug.
Depressants, also known as CNS depressants, slow down brain activity to put the body in a state of extreme relaxation. Misuse occurs when people take high doses to achieve euphoria or use the drugs with alcohol or other drugs to enhance their effects. Sexual predators also use depressants such as GHB and Rohypnol to take advantage of their victims.
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This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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