How does ‘Chitta’ drug affect internal health, what are the symptoms, and how do we know if someone is a ‘drug addict’?

By Srishti Agrawal, Clinical Psychologist

“Chitta” are synthetically produced drugs, such as “heroin”. Heroin is considered to be the highly addictive, fast-acting, and most abused drug. It is an illegal drug prepared from the fruit of poppy plants. Its pure form is bitter in taste, usually in the form of white colored powder. The ranges of color are from white to brown to black if it is in less pure form. This can be smoked, snorted, or injected into the veins of a person.

CHITTA DRUG EFFECTS
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS – Short-Term Effects On Health:

  • Euphoric rush
  • The legs and arms feel rubbery and heavy
  • Warm reddening of the skin
  • Mouth becomes dry
  • InsomniaConstipation
  • Hyper-alertness drowsiness
  • SevereitchingVomiting and nausea
  • Breathing and heart function slows
  • Decreased breathing can also cause coma and permanent brain damage.


PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS – Long-Term Effects On Health:

  • Changes in the structure of the body as well as the function of the brain
  • Mucosal tissues damaged due to snorting Heroin
  • Prolonged injection use can cause scarred veins and other major bacterial infections
  • Injection/needle sharing can cause infections like HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne viruses
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Pulmonary complications
  • Liver disease
  • Lung complications (including pneumonia and tuberculosis)
  • Organ damages
  • Fatal overdose can even cause death

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS:

  • The mental capacity diminishes
  • The emotions become dull
  • Hormonal imbalance (affects the abilities in making decisions, the ability in regulating the
    behavior, and responses to stressful situations)
  • Various types of mental health-related disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety
    disorder, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress
    disorder.

CRITERIA OF HAVING GOTTEN ADDICTED TO HEROIN

  • A strong desire or irresistible urge for substance intake or use
  • The problem in controlling substance use behavior
  • Tolerance develops: in order to maintain a similar level of intensity, individuals need to intake
    more of heroin.

This results in physical addiction eventually Physical dependence occurs when the body gets used to its presence.
drug withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms: When substance intake has been reduced or ceased the symptoms of withdrawal happen. Cold flashers, diarrhea, insomnia, leg movement, muscle and bone pain, restlessness, panic, and vomiting are withdrawal symptoms.

  • Individuals have presented with continuous signs of withdrawal from almost a week to several months.
  • Avoidance of other responsibilities, interests, or hobbies due to substance intake

Continuing with substance intake despite harmful consequences: When heroin is used repeatedly will result in heroin addiction or heroin use disorder. The addition is considered to be uncontrollable seeking of drugs with any consequences. Once a person has heroin use disorder, seeking and using the drug becomes their primary purpose in life.

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