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Addiction, This Addiction So Seriously Harmful To Health

Tobacco and alcohol resistance are still at the top of the addictions. But the sources of addiction are multiple, from (il)licit substances to video games. Adolescence is the period of life conducive to the onset of an addiction that risks becoming a spiral of dependence.

Addiction: Definition

It is a state of dependence on a substance or practice that adversely affects health. This dependence results in losing control over one another, despite its harmful effects.

Addiction Criteria

On the medical level, the diagnosis is based on precise criteria established at the international level and listed in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM). This DSM is established and updated from the two respective classifications of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization (the ICD, International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health Problems). Among these criteria are the irrepressible desire to resort to this substance or activity, an increased tolerance requiring the need to increase the doses, harmful effects on health, activities otherwise reduced for their benefit, and the difficulty of weaning.

Addiction, How Is It Created?

In the beginning, it was a pleasure… Psychoactive substances release dopamine which activates interconnected areas of the brain. This release of dopamine provides an influx of pleasure, and in return, the substance will ask the brain to continue to consume it.

Addiction, What Is Craving?

To crave “to need terribly” is a marker of addiction in the person in withdrawal or well withdrawn. A stimulus of passing in front of a drinking establishment or a negative emotion creates the imperious need for him to indulge again in his addiction. The mechanism of craving is studied by medicine, precisely in the context of preventing relapses.

What Are The Most Common Addictions?

Addiction: Legal Psychoactive Substances

Psychoactive substances remain the main cause of addiction. Among these are alcohol and tobacco, the top two causes of preventable death. Two addictions begin in adolescence.

Other legal substances are addictive through misuse. Thus glue, solvents, “poppers” (the vasodilator also called “sex drug”) or even “laughing gas”.

Addiction, The Case Of Tobacco

In India, more than 30 years after the Evin law (ban on advertising, ban on smoking in the workplace, in public places and public transport, ease of price increase), tobacco remains the first substance addictive with 14 million daily smokers, and the leading cause of preventable death (75,000 deaths per year, mainly lung cancer).

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Addiction And Shisha?

The shisha (the water pipe) is today considered by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) as problematic among 17-year-olds; its fruity taste and its cooled smoke do not reduce the nicotine content.

Addiction, Alcohol

In the world, alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality among 15-49-year-olds. In India, it is the cause of 41,000 preventable deaths of people aged 15 and over per year. A social habit associated with hedonism, very anchored good manners, and a positive standardization carried by marketing is in question. Among the risks of alcohol is drunk driving, which accounts for 45% of convictions for traffic offenses.

Addiction, Laughing Gas

In a medical setting, nitrous oxide is used as an analgesic or anesthetic. Although prohibited for sale to minors (in stores and on the internet), laughing gas or “proto” is freely available in the form of cartridges because it is used as a kitchen siphon to make emulsions or whipped creams (chantilly cream). According to the India Association of Addictovigilance Centers, medical complications linked to the recreational use of laughing gas by young people, a quarter of whom are minors, have increased tenfold in three years (2019-2022), with cases of burns, persistent paralysis, even as in August 2022, death of a 22-year-old young man in Vitry-sur-Seine.

Addiction, Illicit Psychoactive Substances

Unlawful substances ( marijuana, heroin, cocaine and break, rapture, and so on) are important for the “rundown of opiates” characterized by the February 22, 1990 pronouncement and mutually settled by the Public Organization for the Security of Drugs and Wellbeing Items. Wellbeing (ANSM) and the Service of Wellbeing. These 200 illicit substances are classified according to their toxicity, the risks associated with their consumption, and the degree of dependence they cause. They can be classified into three categories, depressants ( including heroin, which slows down the functioning of the central nervous system), stimulants ( cocaine or MDMA, which, on the contrary, activates it) and disruptors (hallucinogenic products, including LSD ).

Addiction, New Synthetic Products

New synthetic products are emerging to circumvent the legislation, particularly on the internet. Thus synthetic cannabinoids or cathinone imitate the effects of different narcotics.

Addictions: addictive practices In 2018, the WHO recognized video game addiction as a pathology in its own right. Young people are the most exposed; the frontal lobe, the seat of self-control, is still in formation.

An addiction to video games corresponds to an average of 70 hours per week indulging in them, with loss of sleep, social isolation, drop in school or professional performance, and endless escape from reality that the virtual allows. Network video games, especially in multiplayer mode, are more addictive than others. Other addictive practices include gambling, sex, social networks, compulsive shopping and even… addiction to sports (bigorexia) or work.

How Many People Are Affected By Addictions?

Tobacco remains the number one addiction in India, with a quarter of adults smoking daily. Nevertheless, this addiction is decreasing among young people. In 2000, 78% of teenagers had smoked, and 59% in 2017. But a quarter of 17-year-olds smoke daily. Regarding alcohol, the famous table wine is a declining habit. On the other hand, “Binge Drinking”, drinking as much alcohol as possible during a party, is a widespread practice among young people.

Psychotropic drugs are on the rise among addictions, especially among women. One in 10 Indian people uses anxiolytics. As for illicit substances, cannabis is the most widely used substance, with 1.4 million regular users (17 million experimenters), including 17% of 15-16-year-olds. Cocaine comes second, with 450,000 users (source: India Observatory for Drugs and drug addiction).

What Are The Main Causes Of Addiction?

Individual Causes Of Addiction

Vulnerability to addiction is multifactorial. Age (15-25), gender (male) and psychological profile are all factors. A psychic fragility (poor self-esteem, an anxious or depressive temperament, a tendency to eating disorders ( bulimia or anorexia ), or even being an amateur of strong feelings) predisposes to it.

The Environmental Causes Of The Environment

A conflicting family environment, trauma, one’s group of friends, and, more generally, one’s acquaintances influence sensitivity to addictions according to their degree of tolerance or even incitement to consume a substance or, on the contrary, the prohibition of this fact tempting to cross. In the case of crack, the accumulation of situations of precariousness is the breeding ground for this cocaine of the poor.

The Consequences Of Addiction

Addiction always harms physical and mental health in the short and long term. Among these are altered mental faculties (memory and attention disorders) and certain cancers. Some substances (cocaine, crack, etc.) have rapid destructive effects. The socio-economic effects are another consequence: social isolation, loss of employment, etc. All the difficulty lies in becoming aware of taking it into account and choosing to get rid of it, knowing that it is a long-term voluntary process for which assistance is otherwise necessary due to the grip of the addiction on the brain.

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