Drug tolerance occurs when a subject’s reaction to a drug (such as a painkiller or intoxicant) decreases so that larger doses are required to achieve the same effect. This can easily lead to overdoses, especially of illicit drugs.
Drug tolerance can involve both psychological drug tolerance and physiological factors. Characteristics of drug tolerance: is reversible, rate depends on the particular drug, dosage and frequency of use, differential development occurs for different effects of the same drug.
Tachyphylaxis is a medical term referring to the rapid decrease in response to a drug after repeated doses over a short period of time.
Tolerance may be related to the familiarity of “drug onset cues”. The body is conditioned to respond to environmental cues such as the sight of a needle, and actually produces the beginnings of physiological responses before the drug is introduced. If there is no actual drug that follows, or if the dose is too small to produce the expected effect, it can trigger intense cravings in the addict. This may explain why “just one drink”, or even the sight or presence of familiar alcohol cues, can cause a relapse in a recovering alcoholic.
Drug habituation (habit) is a condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug. Its characteristics include a desire (but not a compulsion) to continue taking the drug for the sense of improved well-being which it engenders; little or no tendency to increase the dose; some degree of psychic dependence on the effect of the drug, but absence of physical dependence and hence of an abstinence syndrome [withdrawal], and detrimental effects, if any, primarily on the individual.
The addictive potency of drugs varies from substance to substance, and from individual to individual. Drugs such as codeine or alcohol, for instance, typically require many more exposures to addict their users than drugs such as heroin, lsd, marijuana or cocaine. Likewise, a person who is psychologically or genetically predisposed to addiction is much more likely to suffer from it.
As drugs become a common place feature of many people’s social lives – particularly in the 16-29 age group – they are leaking into the work place. A large amount of employers are finding employees have problems with drugs at work. It is a serious and growing problem. People who take drugs at work can complete our application form to get help at our drug rehab. A Teen Challenge London Support Worker or the Centre Manager will contact you to arrange an interview. Our services are provided at a very low cost. You can call us on 020 8553 33 if you have any questions.
The report Drink Drugs at Work Don’t Mix, by Alcohol Concern and the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (now called DrugScope) pulls together the statistics and information. The report finds that most people who have a drinking problem are in work, as are 25% of those seeking help for problems with other drugs.
In a survey, 46% of large companies said that alcohol at work was a problem, while 18% reported illegal drug use by their employees in the previous year.
Although problem drinkers and drug users may stay in the workforce, there is evidence that they perform less well, change jobs more frequently, and take more time off sick than other workers – all of which costs employers heavily. One government study estimated that around 14.8 million working days are lost each year as a result of drugs and drink – that’s 3-5% of all absence.