Addicted to Drugs? You’re Not Alone.
Here’s a hard pill to swallow. In the United States alone, there are over 22 million people who are facing some sort of substance-abuse problem (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). Only 4 million of these people have sought treatment.
Drug abuse in the U.S. is at epidemic proportions. Many are addicted to prescription medicines like Adderall, Ambien, Ativan, Hydrocodone, opiates, Oxycodone, sleeping pills, stimulants, Suboxone, and anti-anxiety meds like Valium, benzodiazepines, and Xanax. Others have turned to illegal substances like cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana, and meth.
The toll that drug addiction takes on people, on families, and on entire communities is devastating.
- It increases instances of domestic violence.
- It increases instances of serious crimes, like theft, assault, and murder.
- It creates overflows in prison systems.
- It destroys families and relationships.
- It can lead to overdose, long-term disability, and even death.
At Rehab-Finder.Org, our mission is to help as many people as possible find the right treatment plan to help them recover. There are so many pathways to recover from an addiction to a legal or illegal substance. We’ll work with you to find the approach that best suits your needs so that your chances for lasting sobriety are greatly enhanced. There’s no magic bullet, but you CAN kick your drug habit and once again live a fulfilling life, clean and sober.
Call 877-251-4813 to learn more about how we can help you get into the right rehab program.
Understanding the Addictive Mind
Many people experience substance dependencies. Think about someone who has to grab a cigarette, have a drink, or pop a pill in a stressful situation to calm down. Addictions take dependencies to a more dangerous level. Someone who is addicted to a drug is more likely to engage in compulsive, even destructive behaviors to access this substance. He or she is no longer in control of his or her life. Instead, the need for this drug has consumed them.
Signs of addiction vary from person to person. A few examples might include:
- Using the drug throughout the day, several times.
- Inability to stop using the drug, no matter how hard they try
- Theft to obtain money to buy the drug
- Driving under the influence
- Can’t get through a day without using the drug
There’s no time frame in which to predict someone might go from casual use to full-on addictive behavior. Some people might use for years and build up a tolerance for which more of the drug is needed to get the desired high. Others might become addicted quickly. Heroin and cocaine are substances known to hook users fast.
No one starts off wanting to be an addict. Someone might try a substance like marijuana at a party. He or she might try it again the next weekend. Soon, this person is using during the week and before long, his or her life is in disarray as the only motivation becomes scoring their next high. An addict’s choice to use is no longer up to him or her as now it’s about what the body craves.
The Allure of Drugs and Why It’s Deceitfully Easy to Get Addicted
Despite all of the PSAs and warnings about drug use, every day more people begin to use drugs for any number of reasons. Not all of these motives are bad, at least in the beginning. People can become addicted to prescription medicines they’ve been given to heal them from an affliction or to ease pain. The common reasons people use drugs can include:
- Performance Enhancement: Adderall and other stimulant drugs can provide people with the kick they need to get more done at work and school. They find their focus and energy levels are better.
- Pleasure: Probably the number one reason people use recreational drugs, like marijuana or cocaine, is due to the impact it has on the brain’s pleasure centers. They feel good, maybe more confident or more mellow. Some people use these drugs to mask the pain of depression or other mental issues that cause them to feel bad.
- Medicinal Purposes: People are prescribed medications such as Xanax, Valium, or others to deal with stress and anxiety in life. They might use more of these drugs than recommended or turn to illicit drugs to deal with mental illnesses. Pain-relief medications, such as opiates, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone, are among the most abused medicines out there, with addictions reaching epidemic proportions.
- Peer Pressure: Teens are particularly vulnerable to experimenting with illegal drugs as the result of intense pressure from other teens to just try them.
No matter what reason people opt to use drugs, the physical impact on their bodies can lead to long term use and craving. Drug use might start as simply wanted to feel good. Once that initial high occurs, the person (and their pleasure centers) remember the experience and opt to try again. Over time, the body needs more and more of the drug to achieve the same high. This creates dependency.
Are Some People More Easily Addicted to Drugs Than Other People?
Addiction can be passed down through generations like eye color and a propensity for diabetes or high cholesterol. It’s a trait that resides in our DNA. This is why some generations of families have multiple relatives who have faced drug addiction. Certainly, this is why it’s important to know of and inform medical professionals of any family history with drug addictions.
“Teens are in more danger from drug abuse, as their brains are still developing and are thus more susceptible to the impact of chemicals.”
However, not all addicts have a genetic predisposition to substance abuse. Environment plays a key role in who is more likely to get hooked on drugs as well. Drug abuse does not discriminate based on color, creed, or socio-economic status. If the place in which someone lives, works, or goes to school has prevalent drug use, this ups the chances that this person might experiment with a substance. An affluent private school could have as many issues with drugs as an urban public school. Some professions, such as the entertainment industry, have a higher number of people who abuse substances as a way of coping.
The age someone is at when he or she starts to use drugs can influence his or her ability to kick the habit. Teens are in more danger from drug abuse, as their brains are still developing and are thus more susceptible to the impact of chemicals. A teenager who tries heroin is likely to become addicted faster than an adult, since the rush is stronger. Teenage boys tend to be more inclined to take risks overall, hence more likely to give into the peer pressure to experiment with drugs and become addicted. In fact, a 1999 study indicated that nearly twice as many boys twelve and older had tried drugs than girls of the same age. (“Young Men and Young Women.” (2009 July). Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.)
Many people turn to drugs during times of trouble as a coping mechanism or to escape the reality of their current situation. This type of drug use is incredibly dangerous, as it might be masking mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or panic disorders. Over time, these people still need this drug to get by, even after the situation that led to use has improved.
Seeking Help is Not a Sign of Weakness
To someone who has never been addicted to a substance, the obvious answer to kicking a drug habit might be to just quit. However, recovery from drug addiction is much more complex than simply going cold turkey.
The first thing to understand about drug addiction is that the person who is experiencing it is not weak because he or she needs outside help. In fact, this mind-set has long since been proven ineffective in getting someone clean and sober.
As more research has been conducted on addictions, it’s clearer that the addict’s brain is impacted by the chemicals. Long-term use of the drug changes how the brain works, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to simply quit using. In fact, this could be dangerous, as there are withdrawal periods best handled under medical supervision.
How do drugs impact the body? They can affect the amount of glutamate, or neurotransmitters, produced by a person’s body. This has a devastating effect on the brain’s cognitive functions, such as decision making, learning, and judgement. Over time, the person addicted to the drug is incapable of understanding why this drug is hurting him or her. His or her memory skills, motor function, and language abilities can be greatly diminished. Drugs like meth or heroin can have lasting impacts through the person’s entire life.
There Is Help for Drug Addiction. . . and Hope
If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs, you can overcome this addiction. It’s not easy, but it’s possible with the right treatment plan.
How Friends and Family Can Help
For family members and friends, it’s grueling to watch a loved one spiral into the throes of addiction. You feel helpless. Fortunately, you can also be a lifesaver, if you know what steps to take to get your loved one the help he or she needs to recover.
“Intervention is only the beginning of the process and the role family and friends play in helping someone recover from drug addiction. ”
Intervention is a sound way to start the rehabilitation process. This method describes when family members and others calmly gather to confront the addict about his or her drug use and the impact it has had on those around him or her. Those attending might share how this person has endangered themselves or others while high. The purpose of the meeting is to, in a nonjudgmental way, help the addict recognize the pain that his or her behaviors are causing. The end goal is to encourage this person to enter a treatment facility and get well.
There are several approaches to interventions. This is why it’s important to engage a trained interventionist who can help pinpoint the best way to reach your loved one and help him or her to achieve success. This professional can provide guidance on how to approach the addict, what to say and do, which family or friends should be present, and where and when is the best time to move forward.
Remember, intervention is only the beginning of the process and the role family and friends play in helping someone recover from drug addiction. He or she will need long-term love and support during the recovery process and aftercare. This is vital to a person’s long-term chance for full and lasting recovery.
If You’re Seeking Help for Yourself
First, congratulations! You are taking the first step in becoming clean and sober. The road ahead might have some bumps and will take time, but in the end, you’ll be able to regain your life and relationships.
The most important thing to remember is this is not something you can do alone. Let our experts at Rehab-Finder.Org give you the guidance you need to get started on your new life.
Choosing a Facility
Not all treatment facilities are the same. Each facility specializes in different methods and different types of addiction. Therefore, it’s important to have an expert who can help you navigate the waters. Our trained experts at Rehab-Finder.Org will listen to your needs and personal preferences. They’ll make recommendations based on the drug to which your addicted and the treatment plan that’s best for you.
Give us a call at 877-251-4813. Our trained experts are available 24/7 to help you identify the rehab center that is best for you. We’ll work with your insurance provider to determine what coverage is available and even make arrangements for you to travel if the preferred facility is in a different city or state.
If you are addicted to one of the following, click on the link to learn more: