It’s no surprise to anyone that drug abuse, both legal and illegal, is out of control in our country. Whether a drug can be purchased over the counter, or from a pusher on some quiet back street, if abused, its effects can be devastating. The pharmaceutical industry sells drugs for every condition, real or imagined. Many people can’t get through a day without ingesting one or more chemical substances with multisyllabic names and enough disclaimers to seemingly protect their manufacturers from a potential slew of lawsuits. Although those drugs are legal and beneficial to those in severe pain or other forms of discomfort, they are notorious for causing dependence and possible physical deterioration.
For the purposes of this interview, with Sergeant James Pulis of the Flower Mound Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, we’ll concentrate on the proliferation of illegal drugs, most of which are coming across our southern border. In the past year, fentanyl seizures have increased by 800% in Texas, and, along with other drugs, are fueling an unprecedented epidemic across the United States. Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, is capable of causing death, even when used in very small doses.
The beginning of illicit substance abuse is marked by physical dependence. This can be recognized by a tolerance to and withdrawal symptoms from the drug of abuse. Tolerance occurs when you need more of the substance to get the same effects as when you started. When a tolerance is established, a person may experience withdrawal when they stop using the substance.
Withdrawal symptoms are severe and can include heart palpitations and seizures, depending on the type of drug used. The second part of an abuse disorder involves a psychological dependence on the substance. This is characterized by the user’s belief that he/she needs the drug to feel normal. While a person suffering from an illicit substance abuse disorder recognizes the negative consequences of their drug use, they may feel unable to stop on their own. Rehab and treatment centers can help give people the support necessary to get rid of their habit. The Internet can provide treatment centers in your area.