Friday, August 23, 2013

Symptoms & Signs of Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Symptoms and signs of drug and alcohol abuse are quite similar. In some cases, they may prove difficult to spot. More often than not, they are fairly obvious, yet can also be mistaken for mental illness. Though different substances may offer different symptoms, if you know what to look for, determining an issue is rarely any trouble.

Physical Signs

Alcohol and drugs affect both the body and mind. Common signs of alcohol and drug abuse are difficulty sleeping, delayed reaction time, slowed speech, dental issues, nosebleeds and persistent cough.

Signs & symptomms of substance abuse. Help those with drug and alcohol abuse.Emotional and Mental Signs

Alcohol and drug abuse also affects users in emotional and mental ways. Symptoms and signs include irritability, calmness, agitation, hallucinations, apathy, paranoia and erratic behavior.


Another symptom of drug or alcohol abuse is an escalating tolerance to the substance in question. When an individual abuses alcohol or drugs, they must use the substance more regularly and in higher amounts to achieve the desired effect. 


Withdrawal is yet another symptom associated with alcohol and drug abuse. When an individual abuses alcohol or drugs and is unable to acquire it, they may show signs of withdrawal, including excessive sleeping, sleeping difficulties, agitation, hallucinations, chills, aches and shakes.


Addicts often boast as to their ability to quit anytime they like. They may say that they have quit on their own in the past and could easily do so again if they so choose. It is important to remember that the most crucial key to recovery is sobriety maintenance. An addict who is currently using is obviously not addressing their problem properly.


Most addicts require professional help in order to quit using. Some need inpatient treatment, while others seek out local NA and AA meetings for support. Whether the individual in question is struggling with alcoholism or narcotics addiction, professional aid is often vital to the success and longevity of the recovery at hand.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Opiate Agonist

Opiate agonists provide patients with the same sensation experienced via endorphin, a natural compound found in the body. The brain’s opiate receptors receive the agonist, resulting in an opioid effect, or high, even though one isn’t actually occurring.

Nitty Gritty

Opiate agonists are designed to bind to opiate receptors. However, unlike actual opiates, they are not derived from opium. These agonists are molecules, synthetic or natural, that are close enough to opioids that they can bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Various opiate agonists exist, each providing a unique effect. “Full agonists” are able to mimic the full effects of opiate use to a “t”. “Partial agonists” mimic opiate effects to a lesser extent, ranging from just below complete receptor activation to none at all.

Addiction Treatment 

Opiate agonists are often utilized in treatment for opiate addicts. When patients choose to stop using opiates (heroin, methadone, morphine) their bodies experience withdrawal symptoms. Agonists are provided to these patients to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms without the aid of the actual drug from which the addiction stems.

Long-Term Use 

Users with chronic opiate addictions are sometimes provided opiate agonists on a long-term basis.

Federal Guidelines

Federal guidelines exist regarding use of methadone as an opiate agonist as defined by the 1974 National Addict Treatment Act. This act allows both short- (30 days or less) and long-term (31 – 180 days) methadone treatment as designated by physician.

Side Effects

Patients using opiate agonists may experience a variety of side effects including:
- Profuse sweating
- Nervousness
- Sexual dysfunction

Need Help?

Looking for drug abuse help? Pick up the phone and call Above it All treatment center today!