Other Drugs, Other Addictions
Addicts rarely limit themselves to only one drug or a single
compulsive behavior. I.e. Alcoholics can also abuse benzodiazepine
downers and practice compulsive gambling along with their alcoholism.
The number of substances that are used to alter one’s physical and
mental balance seem endless. They vary from inhalants, to sports drugs,
to smart drugs.
Inhaling substances such as volatile solvents (e.g., aerosol sprays,
gasoline, paint thinner), the nitrites (amyl, butyl, isobutyl), and
anesthetics such as laughing gas, to change one’s consciousness, is
popular among younger age groups where psychoactive drugs are not
readily available. The drugs are popular because they are cheap, easy to
find, quick acting, and intense. They cause a giddiness, elevated mood,
and reduced inhibitions but will also cause impulsiveness, irritability,
dizziness, slurred speech, unsteady gait, lack of muscular coordination,
and even unconsciousness.
Athletes use three class of drugs in their endeavors; therapeutic
drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, and recreational/mood-altering
Non-psychoactive drugs that relieve pain are O-T-C analgesics,
muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, and asthma medications.
Psychoactive drugs that are used to relieve pain are primarily the
opioids and skeletal muscle relaxants.
Drugs that are used for a competitive advantage are primarily
anabolic-androgenic steroids, human growth hormone, and
stimulants such as methamphetamine or even caffeine.
Recreational drugs are the same ones used by the general public
(and usually for the same reasons).
Miscellaneous drugs include such diverse substances as kava, herbal
medicines, embalming fluid, nootropic dugs, and even toad secretions.
Some people become involved in compulsive non-drug behaviors for