Drug addiction has been an issue that has affected millions upon millions of lives throughout the world. Today, approximately 40 million people in the United States from the age of 12 and older have a drug addiction. This means that 1 out of 7 people’s lives are being hindered by an addiction to alcohol or a drug. Heart conditions, diabetes, and even cancer have interfered with others lives less than drug and alcohol addiction has in the United States.
Types of Addictions
There are many different types of addictions. These range from nicotine to something more severe such as methamphetamine. Approximately 17 percent of drug addicts are addicted to more than one drug. Typically, the easier the drug is to obtain, the higher percent of addicts addicted to that drug as well. For example:
- 9% of addicts are addicted to nicotine
- 7% of addicts are addicted to alcohol
- 2% of addicts are addicted to an illegal drug
- 1% of addicts are addicted to controlled prescription drugs
What Makes Drug Addiction Difficult to Overcome?
How you feel pleasure, depression, and other such emotions and senses of feeling are controlled in the brain with many of them through chemicals that are released in the brain. Many of the most dangerous drugs are those that release abnormally high chemicals in the brain such as endrophins. These feelings are what many addicts chase. The harm done to the body in the process is dangerous enough. However, after used multiple times, the user will feel less of the drug taking effect on their body. This results in many drug addicts requiring more or a higher dose of the drug and sometimes leads to accidental overdoses. Drug addiction is considered a disease. It affects the mind, body, and lifestyle.
Treatments and Recovery
Unfortunately, only 1 out of 10 drug or alcohol addicts will seek treatment for their problem. It is best that even if you suspect a loved one needs help, or fear that you may have an addiction, encourage seeking help or seek it for yourself. Many drug addicts believe that they can end their addiction on their own. Although there may be some cases where this is possible, it rarely works for most people. Even those who may be able to quit often find themselves relapsing shortly after.
You may have a drug addiction if any of the following apply to you:
- Taking higher doses than intended
- Extending use longer than intended
- Interfering with your relationship between family and friends
- Interfering with your work or career
- Causes you substantial financial loss to obtain the drug
- Has caused legal issues
For some people, outpatient treatment fits their life and situation best. However, this will depend on the severity of their addiction and whether or not it poses an immediate threat to their health or others. Most addicts, however, are better off with inpatient treatment. This may require staying at a facility to receive around-the-clock help with any addiction problem the patient may have. Another positive factor that many patients experience is that it is much easier to recover from addiction once they are no longer in the environment of those drugs and cannot obtain them as easily. Due to every case differing from another, a treatment plan should be planned out by a professional to increase chances of recovery and reduce the chances of relapsing later on.
Support and Relapse
Even with the best physicians and facilities, there are still chances of a relapse. Drug use has an effect on the family and friends of drug addicts as well. However, it is crucial that those in a recovering drug addict’s life remain supportive throughout treatment and during recovery as well. As many as 90 percent of drug addicts began using drugs before the age of 18. Due to the alarming amount of teenagers and even children who begin using drugs at such a young age, parents should consider all signs and symptoms to decide whether or not drug use is happening. Prevention is the best solution, but it cannot always be prevented. However, treating an addiction or abuse in the earlier stages has a much higher success rate than the long-term drug addicts when it comes to treatment and recovery.