Every so often, Narconon will post articles that are found to be groundbreaking or worthy of reference. Here are a sample of a few such articles so that you may understand more about drug and alcohol addiction:
In a recent article by Sharon Begley, published in Newsweek revealed new information about the neurobiological changes that occur in the addict's brain and how these overall affect the cycle of addiction. Until now doctors and treatment professionals have only guessed at the complete neurobiological effects drugs have on the addict. As Begley points out:
Her article goes on to point out that however different substances of abuse make this change in slightly different ways, they all reduce the number of dopamine receptors. Dopamine is the brains own neurochemical that governs the body's reward system. And without it a person becomes less responsive to real life stimulators, like getting a new job, a new promotion, having lasting relationships and in general functioning at a normal level. Not only do these changes begin to effect the persons life, but to get the same stimuli-response the addict got the first few times they used the drug, they have to use more of the drug.
So when a person stops taking a drug like heroin, cocaine or alcohol, they are completely deprived of the body's usual feel-good reward system and the addict feels an acute apathy or life-not-worth-living attitude, which makes for the reason most people who attempt to recover without effective and reliable treatment prone to consistent relapse.
Usually reserved for terminally ill patients, drugs like OxyContin are becoming more increasingly popular among drug addicts. OxyContin, a strong and long lasting narcotic painkiller that is similar to morphine, has become the latest addition to the pharmacopoeia of illicit drugs for sale on the black market.
It may seem that with all the federal regulations barring anyone less than terminally ill to be prescribed the drug that this wouldn't happen. Although, as drug pushers find new ways to get the drug, either through using terminally ill patients to “farm” the drug from numerous doctors or through more direct means such as breaking into pharmacies or intercepting shipments of the drug, it is becoming increasingly available.
According to a recent New York Times article by Francis X. Clines and Barry Meier, in one area of Kentucky 85 to 90 percent of the police field work is now related to OxyContin. The article also states that the drug is a morphine-like substance also found in drugs like Tylox and Percodan, although in those drugs the active ingredient, oxycodone, is concentrated in as little as 5 milligrams, in OxyContin it is as high as 160 milligrams.
This increases the danger of lethal overdose in inexperienced users and in Kentucky the death toll has numbered 59 since last January, according to a quote from the US attorney from the eastern district of that state in the New York Times.
The National Drug Intelligence Center has issued a recent bulletin in which it is stated that the drug’s spread on the illicit market is concentrated primarily in the Eastern States but is surfacing as far west as California.
According to studies done by the U.S. federal government heroin production in the world has more than doubled since the 1980's. This has resulted in much lower street prices for very pure heroin, as well as a much wider availability.
Heroin abuse, originally only noticeably problematic and wide spread in densely populated urban areas, has now spread to much smaller cities, suburbs, and rural areas. This recent explosion in wide spread availability has caused an increase in the popularity of smoking or snorting the drug, and without the stigma that goes along with intravaneous use, more and more people are experimenting with heroin.
Research done by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse in 1999 has reported that almost 50 percent of new heroin users are under the age of 25, and half of these are under the age of 18. This is an insidious trend, most likely caused by the increase in popularity of smoking or snorting heroin, this usage being deemed "safe" by most users.