In science, the term drug is used for products of plants, animals, and minerals that have curative properties. In everyday language, this term is used for narcotic drugs that are psychoactive substances (those substances that alter the state of mind, mood, and behavior). Their repeated consumption can lead to addiction. Due to numerous unwanted and harmful effects of the production and marketing of these substances, they are either illegal activities (e.g. production of opium, cocaine, etc.) or strictly controlled by the state (for drugs such as amphetamines, morphine, etc.).
Modern Classification of Diseases defines all health disorders that may occur due to the intake of psychoactive substances. Among them are the most important concepts of acute poisoning (intoxication ), abuse of and dependence on substances and withdrawal syndrome or crisis.
Abuse represents the periodical taking of psychoactive substances that causes damage to health, either physical (as in cases of hepatitis when entering drug by unsterile syringes) or mental (e.g. episodes of a depressive condition in the intensive consumption of alcohol). This all leads to:
- Acute intoxication is a transient condition that occurs after the intake of psychoactive substances, when there is a change in mental functioning, with changes of consciousness (commonly sees increased alertness or drowsiness – depending on which drug is in question), altered thought process, sometimes the appearance of hallucinations. It also changes the mood which may cause euphoria, fear or panic attack. The behavior is also changing from hyperactive and fast, with lots of movement and exaggerated expression of emotions to slow, lethargic, where a person works drowsy and distracted. The duration of these changes is different and depends on the type of incorporated substances. In the event that you take excessive doses of a substance that can lead to death, then we talk about an overdose.
· Dependence on psychoactive substances implies the existence of at least three of the following symptoms: craving for taking substances, physical withdrawal syndrome when use of the substance is interrupted, tolerance to the effects of previously effective dose of the substance, preoccupation with substance, neglecting other things, large amount of time for acquisition and taking the substance, as well as continuing exposure to a substance, despite knowledge of its harmful effects. There is a psychological and physical dependence on psychoactive substances. Alcohol, sedatives, and opiates lead to one and to another, other drugs usually lead to a state of psychological dependence whose symptoms can sometimes be very profound and result in deterioration of the overall psychophysical condition of addicts.
- Withdrawal syndrome or crisis are a group of symptoms that occur after the termination of the introduction of psychoactive substances that a person is dependent of. Beginning and current abstinence crisis is limited in time and depends on the type and quantity of substances that are taken. Symptoms of withdrawal syndrome can be expressed in the mental and the physical level.
- Poly is very common among young people and is at the same time taking more psychoactive substances because it is a combination of different drugs, drugs and alcohol amplify their effects.