Drug abuse and addiction is a major health issue in America today. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.9 million adults needed substance abuse treatment; however, only 3.6 million adults received any treatment at all. These numbers indicate just how large the scale of the problem is, but the statistics fail to capture the causes of taking drugs and the and effects of using drugs. Addressing the root causes of addiction and treating the effects can help the individual user rebuild his or her life without substance abuse.
Why Do People Take Drugs?
There is not one simple answer to this question; different people begin abusing drugs for different reasons. However, there are a few main causes behind drug abuse:
- Genetics: people with a family history of substance abuse are at higher risk of substance abuse than others. This does not mean that children of addicts are doomed to a life of addiction, but they probably have a genetic predisposition toward addictive behaviors. If you are aware that you have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse, it may be wise to monitor your own behavior.
- Poverty: there is a demonstrated correlation between poverty and substance abuse. People who struggle financially often feel the stress of not having enough money, and may use substance abuse as a method of coping with that stress. Sadly, treatment options are limited for people with low incomes, making it less likely that they will recover. Once people become addicts, they often choose to spend their money on drugs or alcohol instead of paying their bills, leading them into further financial disarray.
- Trauma: Many studies have shown a connection between prior trauma and current substance abuse. Victims of physical or sexual assault may use substance abuse as a form of self-medication.
- Peer pressure: this can be overt, such as teenagers pressuring one another to try drugs or alcohol, knowing it is against the law, but it can take a more subtle form among adults. If a spouse or partner uses drugs or alcohol, that behavior can begin to seem normal to the sober spouse. He or she may begin using at a low level, thinking that it is harmless in comparison, but over time, that low level can develop into an addiction.
How Drugs Affect Your Life
Drug abuse and addiction have a profound and far-reaching impact on the life of the user. These effects can be biological, leading to malnutrition and damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, digestive system, and lungs. Sharing needles or engaging in risky sexual behavior can increase the risk of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Drug use damages a user’s social life, as they alienate friends and family by neglecting commitments, asking for money, and lying or stealing to fuel their use. Substance abuse can lead to financial ruin as users spend their money on drugs instead of paying bills, and users may lose their jobs for poor performance or failure to show up.
Can Vitamin C Help?
Over time, drug abuse may lead to malnutrition. The user may become malnourished because:
- Drug use reduces the user’s appetite
- He or she may choose to use drugs instead of eating
- The body’s nutrition stores may be depleted trying to repair damage to the body
In some studies, it indicates that high-dose vitamin therapy can reverse vitamin deficiencies and improve long-term sobriety rates.
If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse, call our toll-free number today. We can help you find the treatment approach that best suits your needs.