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What to Know About Heroin Use

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is processed from morphine, which comes from the seedpod of the opium Asian poppy plant. Its use is a serious problem in the United States. Recent studies suggest a shift from injecting heroin to snorting or smoking because of increased purity and the misconception that these forms of use will not lead …

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Stress and Addiction

In the past, addiction was thought of as resulting from the ingestion of an “addictive” substance, such as heroin or pain killers. These substances were considered to have almost magical powers, rendering the user powerless over their consumption, regardless of context and circumstances such as the stress being experienced by the user.  The DSM-IV definition of substance dependence focused on the physiological effects …

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The 10 Most Addictive Pain Killers: Why These Drugs Are Often Addictive

One of the most common reasons Americans visit their doctors is to get help with pain relief. Pain causes distress and can even be debilitating. Doctors sometimes prescribe opioid pain relievers to their patients who are in pain. While these drugs can provide much-needed relief, they also have the potential for misuse and addiction. How …

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What Is Substance Abuse Disorder?

Substance abuse disorder—which is referred to as substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)—is a chronic and complex disorder involving the continued use of drugs or alcohol (substances) despite significant substance-related problems. Quitting is not a matter of willpower, nor is it a simple choice. This is because …

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Can Opioids Cause Heart Problems?

Opioids (or opiates) are a class of drugs that are either made from the opium poppy or are artificially synthesized to function like these “natural” opioids. Opioids work by binding to specific protein receptors in the brain and spinal cord, significantly diminishing the pain signals being sent to the brain and dampening the perception of pain. …

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