Many people think about drug addiction as either something that is confined to certain socioeconomic groups or that always involves the use of illegal substances. Neither of those assumptions are true, unfortunately. Drug use and addiction is a problem affecting people from all backgrounds, and no one can assume that they are immune from the possibility of it happening to themselves or someone they care about.

Nicotine Addiction

The reason cigarette smoking is such a hard habit to break is because nicotine is a highly-addictive substance. Every time you take a drag off of a cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate increase for a short time. Nicotine is one of the hardest addictions to break.  What is Nicotine Addiction? Nicotine is one of the chemicals that are present in tobacco products, and it is responsible for giving smokers a "rush" within about 10 seconds of taking a drag of the cigarette. The effect doesn't last for very long, which is why a person with a nicotine addiction keeps lighting up.

Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

Using cocaine may be compared to a roller coaster. The person using this drug experiences a pleasurable "high," but that good feeling only lasts for a short time before the user starts to come down again. The cocaine addict continues to use the drug to attempt to recreate the experience they enjoyed so much. What is Cocaine Addiction? Cocaine addictions can start off by the person being introduced to the drug at a party. They use the drug and enjoy the feeling of euphoria that it gives them. The individual may continue to use the drug as part of their social activities, and not realize they are falling into a cycle of cocaine abuse.

Opiate Addiction and Abuse

Opiates are narcotics, and drugs in this category tend to make the user feel sleepy (downers), as opposed to energized (uppers). Many are powerful and can severely "numb" the user. As medication, opiates are used to relieve moderate to severe pain. The term opiate refers to any of the narcotic alkaloids found in opium, as well as all derivatives of such alkaloids. Common Opiate Use People with chronic pain, cancer, or who are recovering from surgery may be prescribed these medications. Opiates include such prescription medications as:

Heroin Addiction and Abuse

Heroin is a narcotic and an illegal drug that is typically injected or snorted by users though it can be smoked. The manner in which the drug, from the opiates family, is ingested has little bearing on the potential for addiction. The fact is that repeated use leads to addiction, whether you are using needles or not.

Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse

Methamphetamine is also known as meth, speed, crank, or crystal. It is a white powder with a bitter taste that can be easily dissolved in alcohol or water. This drug may be smoked, snorted, or injected. The feeling of euphoria it creates may last for several hours.

Caffeine Addiction and Effects

Caffeine is used in a number of products that we consume. You will find it in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, as well as several kinds of medication. Over 80 percent of the Earth's population eat, drink, or consume caffeine on a daily basis. What is Caffeine Addiction? A caffeine addict is someone who doesn't just enjoy their morning coffee or a sweet chocolate treat. They feel that they can't get through the day without consuming caffeine. Without it, they don't feel alert. Signs of Caffeine Dependence Caffeine addicts display these kinds of symptoms:

Marijuana Addiction and Abuse

The most common method for using marijuana is to place the dried leaves, stems, and flowers of this plant onto rolling paper and make it into a cigarette, to be smoked. It can also be smoked in a waterpipe or "bong", or other metal or glass pipe. This drug can also be put in food products or mixed with coffee or tea. 

Methadone Addiction and Abuse

Methadone is a medication given to people being treated for heroin and other types of addiction. It is a controversial choice, with those opposed to this method pointing out that addicts are trading one type of addiction for another. The drug is taken orally when being given to treat addictions, but it may also be injected. Some people continue to use methadone for years after they stop using heroin.

Prescription Addiction and Abuse

Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem that many people don't take as seriously as they should. Since the medications were originally prescribed by a doctor, they feel that prescription drug abuse is different than when the person is using street drugs. Prescription drug addicts are addicted, in the same way that those who get hooked on cocaine, heroin, or other types of illegal drugs are.

Steroid Addiction and Abuse

Steroids are produced in the human body naturally. The anabolic steroids you hear of athletes using are testosterone, and used to build muscle quickly. Originally developed to treat males who didn't produce sufficient testosterone and to build up muscle in concentration camp survivors, athletes started experimenting with them in the 1940s. Steroids may be injected, taken orally, or rubbed onto the skin as a cream or a gel.

Vicodin Addiction and Abuse

Vicodin is prescribed as a pain medication. It is made of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and hydrocodone, which is a synthetic version of codeine. Vicodin abuse is all too common among users and is one of the most common subjects of prescription drug abuse.

Alcohol Addiction

Determining the factors that create addiction to alcohol is difficult. While recognizing addiction to alcohol is believed to be simple, there is a great deal of research to determine its addictive properties. Throughout history, there is evidence that abuse of alcohol has been a societal problem dealt