The term abuse drug is used to designate all substances that create dependence and that are obtained illegally.
Drug dependence is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication affecting adversely the individual and the community, originated by repeated consumption of a natural or synthetic drug.
According to the WHO, drug-dependence must meet the following requirements:
- An unbeatable desire or urge to continue taking drugs and obtaining them by any means (psychical dependence).
- A trend to increase the dose progressively (tolerance).
- Presence of a withdrawal syndrome when consumption of the substance is discontinued suddenly (physical dependence).
- Harm to the subject and to the community
Drug dependence causes in the person serious physical and psychological diseases, that have an impact on the personal, family, work relations, interfering with social welfare in all its areas and frequently associated with a high criminal activity.
At present, the most common consumption is polytoxicomany, with a reduced use of the intravenous route, a trend to community consumption, and associated with recreational weekend activities.
The type of abuse drugs has also changed.
These drugs include most remarkably synthesis amphetamines, that are taken at several million tablets a year in Spain.
Cocaine and its derivatives are frequently used, and new forms as phencyclidine, STP, “peace pill” (LSD with mescaline and cocaine) and the so-called “crack” (compound obtained from cocaine hydrochloride without using volatile solvents, with sodium bicarbonate and at low heat), with a fast action and resulting in some sudden deaths.
Any drug consumption is serious for its direct toxic effects, the disinhibiting action of latent psychopathology or exacerbation of that already existing, for the progressive psychosocial breakdown of the consumer, or for the susceptibility to commit crimes.
According to the experts, it has been shown that the use of methamphetamine causes abnormalities in the brain areas associated with selective attention and other associated with memory.
Neuronal changes associated with long-term use of these drugs could not be permanent and be reestablished after prolonged withdrawal.
The most frequent direct effects caused by the drug in the subject are the appearance of psychotic disorders, anxiety reactions, delirium, and confusional and aggressiveness states.
In these cases, the drug addict can commit crimes such as injuries, sexual assaults, and even homicides, without counting the very frequent attempts of suicide with hallucinogens such as LSD, that can result in serious behavior disorders, in the jargon called “trip.”
There is a significant controversy on the matter if drug addicts have previous personality disorders or if these traits trigger the consumption of toxics, or if, on the contrary, the consumption of toxic substances affects modifies and structures the personality of drug addicts.
Many personality disorders try to make up for their shortcomings or intrapsychic conflicts with the use of toxic substances.
Sometimes, a latent morbid condition such as schizophrenia comes to the surface due to the consumption of toxic substances.
Furthermore, personalities with marked traits such as instability, impulsiveness, and limited tolerance to the frustration decompensate with the use of some drugs, evidencing abnormal behaviors that somewhat frequency are followed by states of complete amnesia.
Some authors even consider that 45% of drug addicts arrested for presumed crimes suffer personality disorders, and 10% a history of major depression.
Advice on drugs and management. Criminal behavior
- Drug consumption induces both individual and social dangerousness and is disabling for driving.
- The patient who stops taking drugs with medical and support therapy will be assessed for possible non-recoverable neurological or psychiatric sequels, that can continue limiting him for driving.
- If the medical report is favorable, without neurological or psychiatric handicaps, and the patient does not take drugs any more, he can obtain again the driving license.
- The psychological and/or psychiatric report detecting personality or behavior disorders that are disabling for driving is important for patients treated on drug dependence with a favorable outcome and who want to drive again.