Possessing, using, and distributing drugs is strictly prohibited and punished by law in Hungary. Using drugs has serious health risks. If you have drug-related problems, we advise you to visit a specialist and ask for help.
Drugs are chemicals with the ability to change the body’s physical, psychological and mental functions. These natural and artificial substances when entering the body, influence the operation of the central nervous system and the state of consciousness.
Drugs in most cases are used for pleasure or mood enhancement. Their withdrawal may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Drug classification by effect
Drugs may be classified by several means, hereby, the major groups are presented briefly by their general effect on the human body.
1. Narcotic drugs
People using narcotic drugs usually seek for solitude. Narcotics are painkillers and stress relievers. Most common are morphine and its synthetic and semi-synthetic derivatives like heroin.
2. Psychedelic drugs
The essence of psychedelic effect is that the user perceives the subconscious images of mind as reality, for example as hallucinations or illusions. LSD, mescaline or psilocybin are amongst those with psychedelic effects.
As a result of hallucinations, the user will step out of reality, thus consuming them may be dangerous. One of the typical symptoms is the illusion of flying, and some of the users even try it out from big heights, hence accidents are a serious risk of such drug abuse.
Some drugs may stimulate physical and mental performance and decrease tiredness. These drugs are mostly circulated on the fields of nightlife. Their users are usually open, social people chasing pleasure in life. Cocaine is a stimulant, and as clear cocaine is the most expensive drug, it is commonly known as the “drug of wealthy people”. For the younger generations more easily available stimulants like speed or ecstasy are more popular.
4. Depressants (Sedatives)
Sedatives are anxiolytic medications prescribed by healthcare professionals. These medications may lower the blood tension but may easily cause physical and mental addiction. The most widespread are derivatives of benzodiazepines. Some people abuse these drugs for releasing tension without medical indication or by differing from medical instructions.
Deliriants cause dreamlike hallucinations. The physical addiction is common; therefore, their use is extremely dangerous.
Cases of drug addiction
Drug addiction is the physical and/or mental addiction to a natural or synthetic drug. Physical addiction has serious physical symptoms and disturbance of consciousness. These symptoms may even be lethal. The use of alcohol, morphine and its derivatives (e.g. heroin) and barbiturates may lead to serious physical addiction. Other drugs tend to rather cause mental addiction. In this case the withdrawal has less serious physical consequences, mental problems (e.g. depression and anxiety) may ease with time. It is common, that substance use result in both physical and mental addiction to some extent.
When using drugs, drug tolerance may also occur. This means that for the desired effect the user needs to use consume higher quantities of drugs. Tolerance may occur with several kinds of drugs as the body gets used to it, but the most common cases are with morphine and its derivatives and drugs consumed on a daily basis (e.g. sedatives or alcohol). The increased intake results in higher risks of serious health and social consequences.
Treatment of drug addiction
The possibilities to treat drug addiction depend on the type of the drug and the type and severity of addiction. The treatment should always be under the supervision of a specially trained healthcare professional (normally, an addictionologist). During the treatment, the ease of withdrawal symptoms, the desire for the drug and the user’s social rehabilitation are among the issues the therapy should deal with.
It is crucial to know, that without the elimination of the cause of addiction, the healing cannot be long term and final. Therefore. beside the help of an addictionologist, a psychiatrist, the general practitioner and also the family should be involved in the treatment process.
Preventing drug use
Prevention is the task of the society, usually directed by the state. Its bases are the creation of conditions for a good quality of life, including proper housing, education and supporting a harmonic family environment through policies.
Providing appropriate information and usable knowledge on drugs and health is an essential part of drug prevention policies. Preventive education may be started in the first class of primary school.
Rehabilitation of drug users
Rehabilitation is a long and hard process, in which drug withdrawal plays a key role. It may take several weeks until withdrawal symptoms disappear. Some of the patients are able to do that alone, without any external guide, however several may need professional help. It depends on many factors, including the type of the abused drug and the social environment of the addict. In serious cases several medications may be needed. The treatment – involving rehabilitation group therapy usually takes place at addictology wards of hospitals followed by outpatient follow-ups. The most important goal is to maintain abstinence and prevent relapse.
Individuals who need medical help can personally go to the outpatient unit after having booked an appointment for themselves, no doctoral referrals are needed. The addiction treatment may be started with an official document. The inpatient care is voluntary, the patient may ask for it if needed. Visiting a local group at the Drug Addicts Anonymous is recommended prior treatment along with the attendance of the family, if possible.
In urgent cases, such as serious withdrawal symptoms or the onset of epileptic seizures, call 112 immediately and ask for an ambulance!
If the case is acute and needs immediate assistance, go to the nearest psychiatric ambulance as soon as possible.
Advice for the family and friends of drug users
If as a parent, family member or friend you suspect that your beloved one(s) may use an illegal drug, acknowledge it as a real danger and try to deal with it. Involve an expert to help you eliminate the causing factors of drug use (e.g. family situation, correcting communicational erros). Do not blame the drug user. Do not tell him or her, that “you are not strong” or “you have no willpower”.
The most important factor for quitting drugs is the love and support of the family and the unconditional acceptance of the user’s personality. Only people who are accepted can live a normal life.
Quitting is a long process. Do not expect to have long-time results quickly. Aim to set common goals. A vacation, starting new sports together or the renewal of a flat may be good examples.
To experience success is important for the user. Only give the patient tasks in which he or she can succeed. Value partial performances, and do not underline failures. The goal is to decrease anxiety and tension and recover self-esteem.
Consult the specialists who take part in the treatment regularly. Following the advice of the psychiatrist, psychologist and addictionologist you can take the road to full recovery together with the patient.