Changes in the DSM 5

changes in the DSM 5

The DSM-5, short for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, is the latest update to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) classification and diagnostic tool. It is used for diagnosing psychiatric disorders and also makes treatment recommendations for these disorders. Because there is always new research and findings in the medical field and especially in regards to psychological illnesses and disorders, there are changes in the DSM 5.

The DSM is like an encyclopedia of mental illness concepts and definitions, which change over time. Therefore the changes in the DSM 5 can be seen in this current version – the fifth edition, published on May 18, 2013.

Changes in the DSM 5: Substance Use and Addictive Disorders

The first noticeable difference to the section on substance use and addictive disorders is that it is laid out differently.  Whereas previously organized according to the diagnosis, such as use, intoxication, and withdrawal, new changes in the DSM 5 reflect chapter order and numbering that is designated according to the specific substance.

Changes in the DSM 5: Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Some major and apparent changes in the DSM 5 are that gambling disorder and tobacco use disorder are now recognized. Also, criteria for marijuana (cannabis) and caffeine withdrawal were added.

A new “addictions and related disorders” category combines substance abuse and substance dependence into single substance use disorders specific to each substance of abuse.

Instead of the term of “recurrent legal problems” as part of the criteria, changes in the DSM 5 now use “craving or a strong desire or urge to use a substance” in the diagnostic criteria. The DSM 5 also uses a spectrum of severe-to-mild; severity from mild to severe is based on the number of criteria endorsed. And the threshold of the number of criteria that must be met was changed.

Other Changes in the DSM 5

  • Hallucinogen Disorders have now include Phencyclidine (PCP) Disorders
  • Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Disorders now called Sedative/Hypnotic-Related Disorders
  • Amphetamine and Cocaine Disorders now called Stimulant Disorders
  • Removal of Substance-Induced Dissociative Disorder
  • Minor wording changes to most of the criteria
  • Added criteria for Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder
  • Added criteria for Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated With Prenatal Alcohol
  • Added criteria for Caffeine Use Disorder
  • Added criteria for Internet Use Disorder
  • Added criteria for Drug Specific “Not Elsewhere Classified” diagnoses

Concerns Regarding the Changes in the DSM 5

Because of the re-structuring that is based on the specific substance, there are concerns that first-time substance abusers will be lumped in with hard-core addicts. This is problematic because of their very different treatment needs and prognosis as well as the stigma this may cause.

Changes in the DSM 5 have also created a slippery slope by introducing the concept of Behavioral Addictions (i.e. gambling, internet, sex) that eventually can be used to make everything we enjoy doing a lot into a mental disorder. There is concern that this sort of thing can lead to careless over-diagnosis of internet and sex addiction and result in the development of lucrative treatment programs to exploit these new markets.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dsm5.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/

 

Are Sleeping Pills Addictive?

Are sleeping pills addictive?

are sleeping pills addictive?About a third and half of all people in the United States have insomnia and complain of getting poor sleep. In fact if you are reading this, you may be one of them. If so you may be considering taking a sleeping pill or are already taking one.

Sleeping pills may be effective for sleep problems for a short period of time but it is extremely important that you make sure to understand everything you need to know about sleeping pills including if they are addictive.

So what are sleeping pills?

Most sleeping pills are also sedative hypnotics. Sedative hypnotics are specific class of drugs used to induce and maintain sleep. Sedative hypnotics include everything from benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics. Benzodiazepines are drugs like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Librium. These drugs cause sedation and can increase drowsiness and help people sleep. Benzodiazepines are potentially addictive. Barbiturates are another drug in the sedative hypnotic class that can cause sedation. Short or long term barbiturates are prescribed as sedatives or sleeping pills but are mainly used for anesthesia.

Newer medications for sleep and the ones you are probably thinking of are sleep-inducing drugs such as Lunesta, Sonata and Ambien. These drugs are said to be non-habit forming or in other words non-addictive. They work quickly to increase drowsiness and sleep.

Sleeping pills have side effects like almost all medications. You won’t know if you have any adverse reactions to sleeping pills until you take them. Here are some of the many side effects of taking prescription sleeping pills such as Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Rozerem, and Halcion:

  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Unusual dreams
  • Weakness

But what about addiction? Are sleeping pills addictive?

The makers of sleeping pills tout their medications as being non-habit forming but there are actual definitions for sleeping pill addiction and stories of people becoming addicted to sleeping pills.

A sleeping pill addiction is defined as the desire to use sleeping pills on a regular basis. Frequent use can lead to dependence on sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can also slowly build up a tolerance in the user. Many people will also use sleeping pills to achieve the desired euphoric feeling that they can produce. A sleeping pill addiction also has many symptoms including the uncontrollable craving for sleeping pills as well as obsessive thoughts about sleeping pills and an excessive amount of money spent on sleeping pills. Here are some of the physical symptoms of sleeping pill addiction:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Runny nose
  • Glazed eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Persistent cough
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds
  • Increased sensitivity to emotions
  • Rapid speech
  • Excessive energy
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Unusual selling of private property
  • Social isolation
  • Poor work performance
  • Poor school performance
  • Neglect of family responsibilities
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Insomnia
  • Personality changes

So are sleeping pills addictive? Definitely go ahead and be cautious and say yes, yes they are.

Dangers of Molly the Drug (“molly the drug”)

Dangers of Molly the Drug (“molly the drug”)

We’re guessing you already know what molly is if you are wondering about the many dangers of molly the drug. But just in case you don’t know what molly the drug is let us clarify quickly what we are talking about;

We’re not talking about the girl you had a crush on in 5th grade math class or your best friend you spent your summers with, obviously.

We’re talking about Molly the drug.

Molly is the street name for pure MDMA. Molly is different than ecstasy pills or “E” because it comes in powder form or in capsules that are commonly more “clean” or pure than the “E” pills. The term Molly was derived from the word molecule. The idea that molly the drug is more pure gives its users, possibly you, the idea that is also safer. This just isn’t true. Molly the drug can be cut with other substances easily or it can be confused with other powdered substances. And this is just the beginning of the dangers of molly the drug.

So what does molly the drug do?

The primary effects of molly the drug are pretty consistent among all users. In general the molly drug takes on its effects within 45 minutes to an hour after consumption and hits a peak after 2 to 3 hours. After the peak molly drug hits a plateau that last about 2 to 3 more hours followed by a comedown. Molly the drug causes significant positive effects in its users. Effects such as:

•             An alteration in consciousness

•             A strong sense of inner peace and self-acceptance

•             Diminished fear, anxiety, and insecurity

•             Diminished aggression, hostility, and jealousy

•             Feelings of intimacy and love for others

•             Feelings of empathy, compassion and forgiveness towards others

•             Increased energy and endurance

•             Mild psychedelic, mental imagery and auditory and visual distortions or hallucinations

•             Improved self confidence

•             Increased drive, desire and motivation

•             The ability to talk about normally anxiety provoking issues

•             An intensification of all bodily senses

•             Stimulation, arousal and enhancement of appreciation of music

Now that you know how much fun molly the drug can be, it may be good if you ask the most important questions like, “what are the dangers of molly the drug?”

There are some immediate dangers to using the molly the drug. Molly the drug’s short-term side effects are quite alarming. Molly the drug interferes with the brain’s essential chemical functions. It kind of makes a scrambled egg out your brain. Molly the drug mixes up the temperature signals to the brain which can cause hypothermia, dehydration, or heat stroke.

The dangers of molly the drug are also things such as:

•             Blurred vision

•             Faintness

•             High blood pressure

•             Muscle cramping

•             Confusion

•             Panic attacks

So just how dangerous are the dangers of molly the drug?

Let’s just put it simply. You could die. You could also live. But the more important thing is that you realize the dangers of molly the drug; which in some worst case scenarios is death.

In some severe cases people have died from the dangers of molly the drug due to:

•             Seizures

•             Strokes

•             Cardiovascular and kidney failure

•             Dehydration

The amount of deaths involving molly the drug have increased because some people assume if you die from it you’re just not using it the “right way”.

Wait were not done with the dangers of molly the drug.

Another danger of molly the drug is that it has tons of interactions with other drugs. So if you’re planning on drinking a beer, doing some coke, LSD, or even taking just taking your allergy medicine with molly the drug-be careful. These molly drug cocktail combos can make the dangers of molly the drug, well, even more dangerous.

Your best bet against the dangers of molly the drug is just not to use it.

The best idea when using any drug is to know your facts and to be safe. Every drug including molly the drug has it dangers so it is best to just either practice abstaining or get as much information as you can on the substance.

The Most Dangerous Drug in The World

The Most Dangerous Drug in the World

I am not sure if you can label one drug as the most dangerous drug in the world but if you could and did many think it would be the notorious stimulant meth.  Meth is highly addictive, extremely hard to quit, insanely destructive and running rampant from major metropolitan areas to rural communities and then on into the world.

So what is it exactly about meth that makes it the most dangerous drug in the world? Let’s take a look.

Meth, otherwise known as: Crank, crypto, crystal, fire, glass, tweek, white cross, Tina, and crystal meth.

What is meth?

Meth or methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Meth is usually a crystal-like powdered substance that can sometimes come in large rock-like chunks. When the powder flakes off the rock, the shards look like glass which is actually a nickname for meth. Meth is usually white or slightly yellow depending on the purity of it. Meth can be used by mouth, snorted through the nose, smoked or inhaled, and also injected with a needle (IV use).

Because of meth’s different and numerous methods of use as well as its ability to activate the pleasure centers of the brain definitely help to make it one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.

What are the harmful effects of meth?

Part of the intense addiction to meth stems from what meth users call a “rush”. Shortly after smoking or injecting meth, meth users feel an intense sensation of euphoria that only lasts a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or swallowing meth produces euphoria (the high) but not the “rush” of it. After the initial “rush,” there is usually a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior. This is can either be due to the effects of the drug or because they want more of it. Other possible immediate effects of meth include increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability/aggression, anxiety, nervousness, convulsions and heart attack.

What are its long-term effects? These long term effects are part of what makes meth one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.

Methamphetamine is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing larger amounts to get high. In some cases, users forego food and sleep and take more meth every few hours for days, ‘binging’ until they run out of the drug or become too disorganized to continue. Chronic use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior (such as compulsively cleaning, grooming or disassembling and assembling objects), and delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin. Users can obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects. Long-term use, high dosages, or both can bring on full-blown toxic psychosis (often exhibited as violent, aggressive behavior). This violent, aggressive behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia. Methamphetamine use can also cause strokes and death.

Recovery from meth addiction is also extremely difficult due to the nature of the drug. Many people who are meth addicts will relapse time and time again. This is because of the intense high and effects methamphetamine has on the brain and the body.

Either way meth is definitely one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. If not, the most dangerous drug in the world.

 

 

 

 

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs

Once you know the ways to tell if someone is addicted to drugs it can be fairly easy to spot. Before knowing the signs of addiction it can be almost impossible to notice as well as understand what is going on with someone who has a drug problem. If you think there may even be a slight chance that someone you know is addicted to drugs then read on. In fact, if you think there is a chance you, yourself, might be addicted to drugs, then also, read on. This blog will explain how to know if someone is addicted to drugs.

 

  • They are neglecting their responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting their children) because of their drug use.
  • They are using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Their drug use is getting them into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit. 
  • Their drug use is causing problems in their relationships, such as fights with their partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

How to Know if someone is Addicted to Drugs for the drug user

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same affects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but you use anyway

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Physical warning signs of drug addiction

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Behavioral signs of drug addiction

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Psychological warning signs of drug addiction

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

If you think you know someone is addicted to drugs the next step would be to try and help them or if it is you addicted to drugs, help yourself. There are many resources available today for people who are addicted to drugs including interventions, detox programs, inpatient treatment programs, outpatient programs and so much more. Someone who is addicted to drugs is going to need help. If they are unwilling to get help you cannot force them into getting better, remember that. What you can do, is let them know there is a way out if they want it.

Snorting Molly

Snorting Molly

 

Molly is a street name for the drug MDMA, in its purest form.  Molly is also known as Ecstasy, “X,” “E,” and “XTC.”

MDMA can induce euphoria, a sense of intimacy with others, and diminished anxiety. Many studies, particularly in the fields of psychology and cognitive therapy, have suggested MDMA has therapeutic benefits and facilitates therapy sessions in certain individuals, a practice for which it had been formally used in the past. Clinical trials are now testing the therapeutic potential of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety associated with terminal cancer, and addiction.

MDMA is a psychoactive drug with a chemical structure similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Ecstasy is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from physical touch.

Legality and Criminality

Although some limited exceptions exist for scientific and medical research, Ecstasy remains a Schedule I drug meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and that there is a lack of accepted safety for use of MDMA.

One gram of MDMA (four Ecstasy pills at 250 mg per pill’s total weight regardless of purity, standard for Federal charges) is equivalent to one gram of heroin (approximately fifty doses) or 2.2 pounds (1.00 kg) of cannabis for sentencing purposes at the federal level.

Intoxicating Effects of Snorting Molly

The side effects from snorting Molly are similar to those when Ecstasy is taken in other forms and include difficulty concentrating, jaw clenching, grinding of the teeth, lack of appetite, and dry mouth and thirst.

The main differences between snorting Molly and eating it (swallowing it in what are called “parachutes” – MDMA powder wrapped in cigarette paper or toilet paper), are both the immediate physical sensation and intoxication level. Snorting Molly produces a burning sensation in the nostril(s). It also allows the intoxicating euphoric effects to hit more quickly. Eating Molly is different from snorting Molly in that it takes longer for the drug’s effects to kick in because it has to be ingested and then enter the bloodstream. However, by taking Molly by mouth, the effects are longer lasting than when snorting Molly.

After-effects/Withdrawal Symptoms from Snorting Molly

There are both psychological and physical after-effects from snorting Molly or from taking MDMA in any other form. The psychological effects include:

  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired attention, focus, and concentration, as well as drive and motivation (due to depleted serotonin levels)
  • Residual feelings of empathy, emotional sensitivity, and a sense of closeness to others (afterglow)

The physical effects include:

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or vertigo
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Aches and pains, usually from excessive physical activity (e.g., dancing)
  • Exhaustion
  • Jaw soreness from clenching and grinding teeth

 

Furthermore, it is important to be aware that using MDMA, Molly, or Ecstasy can result in serious damage to bodily organs, which can ultimately cause death. These risks include Cardiac dysfunction, arrest, myocardial infarction, and/or heart failure, hemorrhage and/or stroke, severe hyperthermia, organ failure, loss of consciousness, renal failure, and coma.

 

 

 

Sources:

www.wikipedia.org

http://www.drugs.com

Molly withdrawal symptoms

molly withdrawalMolly withdrawal symptoms

Molly is the purest form of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), most commonly known as Ecstasy. The nickname “Molly” stands for “molecule,” and has shown staying power in the way it helps transactions and users fly under the radar by sounding like a woman’s name. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Molly is an off-white powder that is generally sold in a gelatin capsule. It is often opened and poured into water or put on the inside lining of the mouth for the fastest absorption. The National Institute of Drug Abuse described effects as including feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, empathy toward others, a general sense of well-being, and decreased anxiety. In addition, users report enhanced sensory perception as a hallmark of the MDMA experience, according to a 2011 release.

The following is a list of molly withdrawal symptoms that have been reported to occur when molly use is stopped:

  • Depression – This is one of the primary molly withdrawal symptoms that are reported by individuals who wish to stop using the drug; unfortunately, some of the cutting edge research in relation to ecstasy has reported that taking the drug just a couple of times could potentially cause long term brain damage that leads to depression. Researchers from the London Metropolitan University reported that individuals who had used molly just a few times had levels of depression that were up to four times greater than those who had never taken the drug. Although these particular individuals were not diagnosed with a serious case of clinical depression, using molly left them more emotionally vulnerable.

 

  • Sleeplessness – This is one of the most commonly molly withdrawal symptoms that occurs when a person attempts to stop using the drug. Many ecstasy users reported noticeable disruptions in sleep patterns as they ceased their molly intake. This molly withdrawal symptom is likely due to the fact that one of the many functions of serotonin is related to sleep regulation.

 

  • Agitation – This is a molly withdrawal symptom that is extremely common, and many individuals report initially becoming agitated as they ponder living with the drug, which is testimony to the strong psychological addiction that can occur with molly use. Molly users have reported that the drug can provoke such a profound experience that people will be much more likely to actively seek and consume the synthetic stimulant, regardless of the negative consequences that are related to this action. More often than not, a person who is going through the molly withdrawal process will reach for alcohol or various other types of drugs to help them to relax. This unfortunately will typically just become another addiction to any of these substitute chemicals.

 

  • Difficulty concentrating and Memory Problems – These are molly withdrawal symptoms that many former users will often complain about long after they have taken their last dose of the drug.

Molly addiction and dependence are very real, and individuals will typically go through molly withdrawal even after short-term use of the drug. Molly withdrawal can be overcome however, and drug rehab programs which are geared to treat molly addiction understand the severe symptoms that individuals will experience while coming off of the drug. Professional drug treatment counselors are prepared to help individuals get through these molly withdrawal symptoms and off of the drug for good.