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Addiction – Other Often Destructive and Addictive Drugs

Painkillers; cocaine; heroin; benzos; stimulants; inhalants; sedatives = potential destruction

Consider the destruction that is caused by these drugs being abused and what it is doing to the human body, to you, your family, spouse, children, and financial well-being. The destruction caused by abusing these drugs is off-the-charts-serious. It’s astonishing how many people abuse and then become addicted to these drugs. Addictions come too easy; they destroy.

People on the fast track to becoming addicted seem to say that these substances either taste or feel “so good”. Good? Really? Tunabudget believes there is nothing “good” about abusing addictive drugs. Besides, if you or anyone else keeps it up, you and they will be in serious trouble. And, so goes the budget and your financial well-being. Tunabudget also believes there are solutions, and that these addictions need not be, and that physical and financial well-being can be restored in most cases. So, yes, there are solutions. Your financial well-being is dependent on your body being free from abusing these drugs and their addictions.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse at

Painkillers (Codeine, Vicodin, Oxycontin)

Opioids, used to treat moderate to severe pain can be misused and abused.

In the short-term, opioids can also have harmful effects, including:

  • Drowsiness

  • Confusion

  • Nausea

  • Constipation

  • Euphoria

  • Slowed breathing

Opioid misuse can cause slowed breathing, which can cause hypoxia, a condition that results when too little oxygen reaches the brain.

Hypoxia can have short- and long-term psychological and neurological effects, including coma, permanent brain damage, or death.

Other health effects of opioid medications:

  • Older adults are at higher risk of accidental misuse or abuse because they typically have multiple prescriptions and chronic diseases, increasing the risk of drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, as well as a slowed metabolism that affects the breakdown of drugs

  • Sharing drug injection equipment and having impaired judgment from drug use can increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and from unprotected sex.


Short-term health effects of cocaine include:

  • Extreme happiness and energy

  • Mental alertness

  • Hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch

  • Irritability

  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others

Other health effects of cocaine use include:

  • Constricted blood vessels

  • Dilated pupils

  • Nausea

  • Raised body temperature and blood pressure

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

  • Tremors and muscle twitches

  • Restlessness

Long-Term Effects:

  • Some long-term health effects of cocaine depend on the method of use and include:

  • Snorting: loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing

  • Smoking: cough, asthma, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections like pneumonia

  • Consuming by mouth: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow

  • Needle injection: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood borne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, as well as scarring or collapsed veins


Short-Term Effects

People who use heroin report feeling a "rush" (a surge of pleasure, or euphoria). However, there are other common effects, including:

  • Dry mouth

  • Warm flushing of the skin

  • Heavy feeling in the arms and legs

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Slowed breathing and heart rate

  • Severe itching

  • Clouded mental functioning

  • Going "on the nod," a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious

Long-Term Effects

  • People who use heroin over the long term may develop:

  • Insomnia

  • Collapsed veins for people who inject the drug

  • Damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it

  • Infection of the heart lining and valves

  • Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)

  • Constipation and stomach cramping

  • Liver and kidney disease

  • Lung complications, including pneumonia

  • Mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder

  • Sexual dysfunction for men

  • Irregular menstrual cycles for women

Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Diazepam, Klonopin)

  • More than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines (“benzos”), a prescribed sedative for anxiety/insomnia called diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin)

  • Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids

  • Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67%, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million

  • The quantity obtained also increased from 1.1 kg to 3.6 kg lorazepam-equivalents per 100,000 adults

  • Combining opioids and benzodiazepines can be unsafe because both types of drug sedate users and suppress breathing—the cause of overdose fatality—in addition to impairing cognitive functions

  • In 2015, 23 percent of people who died of an opioid overdose also tested positive for benzodiazepines

Stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin)

Generally used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy—uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep

Short-term effects:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate

  • Increased breathing

  • Decreased blood flow

  • Increased blood sugar

  • Opened-up breathing passages

At high doses, prescription stimulants can lead to a dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures

Other health effects of prescription stimulants

  • Repeated misuse of prescription stimulants, even within a short period, can cause psychosis, anger, or paranoia

  • If the drug is injected, it is important to note that sharing drug injection equipment and having impaired judgment from drug misuse can increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis

Inhalants (gasoline, cleaning products, aerosols)

Short-term effects

Most inhalants affect the central nervous system and slow down brain activity.

Short-term effects are similar to alcohol and include:

  • Slurred or distorted speech

  • Lack of coordination (control of body movement)

  • Euphoria (feeling "high")

  • Dizziness

  • People may also feel light-headed or have hallucinations (images/sensations that seem real but aren't) or delusions (false beliefs)

  • With repeated inhalations, many people feel less self-conscious and less in control

  • Some may start vomiting, feel drowsy for several hours, or have a headache that lasts a while

Long-term effects of inhalant use may include:

  • Liver and kidney damage

  • Hearing loss

  • Bone marrow damage

  • Loss of coordination and limb spasms (from nerve damage)

  • Delayed behavioral development (from brain problems)

  • Brain damage (from cut-off oxygen flow to the brain)

Sedatives/barbiturates (Lunesta, Ambien)

Sleeping disorders, treating tension

Effects from use and misuse can include:

  • Slurred speech

  • Poor concentration

  • Confusion

  • Headache

  • Light-headedness

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Problems with movement and memory

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Lowered breathing

Long-term use:

  • Larger doses might be needed to achieve therapeutic effects

  • Continued use can also lead to dependence and withdrawal when use is abruptly reduced or stopped

  • Suddenly stopping can also lead to harmful consequences like seizures

Addiction - Those who have become addicted and stop using the drug abruptly may experience a withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms - can begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken—include:

  • Seizures

  • Shakiness

  • Anxiety

  • Agitation

  • Insomnia

  • Overactive reflexes

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature with sweating

  • Hallucinations

  • Severe cravings


  • Have you ever sat down and taken a look-back inventory of just how many, say, prescribed and non-prescribed pills you have consumed in your life, in the past year, month, week, or day?

  • What are the side-effects of all those consumed medications; how have they affected your body and organs?

  • What might the total sum of such an inventory actually look like, and how much damage might it have done to your body?

  • What if there has been damage? Are you willing to fix the problem and be grateful with the results? If not, why is that?

  • Have you done anything illegal to obtain these addictive substances, and if so, how much money has it cost you, and others?

  • Could you readily admit the root cause of your addiction?

  • How has your addiction injured others, and especially those you love?

  • Will you seek assistance from those who love you, and can direct you for help?

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