The average drug addict will maintain about one year of substance abuse before their finances, friendships, and family dissolves. The person is left with fewer means to obtain their drug of choice. Harsher consequences often lead to homelessness, injury and crime. Drug addiction turmoil is a severe form of physiological dependence. It manifests in compulsive and repetitive behaviors regardless of the adverse side effects caused by those behaviors. Addiction can predispose itself to any habit and hobby. Otherwise natural and healthy habits like eating, intercourse, and exercise can become dangerous repetitions for people who have predilections for addictive behaviors.
Drinking and gambling are common forms of addiction that leave people in financial ruin with dysfunctional lives. Perhaps the most dangerous addiction is the compulsive use of drugs which are dangerous in moderation, and fatal in excess. The fact that so many drugs contain addictive substances complicates the situation, creating drug addiction turmoil with addictive behaviors in otherwise balanced physiologies and drawing hundreds of thousands more into the endless loop of addiction.
The statistics are alarming, netting millions of drug numbers in the United States alone:
- In 2010, over 20 million people above the age of 12 needed treatment for substance abuse.
- Almost 5 million emergency department visits a year are for drug-related problems.
- Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs have run up over $600 million in healthcare costs.
- More than 60 million prescriptions for Valium were given out by American doctors, highlighting an increasing problem involving drug addictions to prescription medications.
Although recreational use of cocaine and heroin has been contained since the explosion during the 1970s and 80s, they are still widely circulated and illegally available from drug dealers whose businesses have increased their revenue thanks to the introduction of crystal methamphetamine, which has become a drug epidemic unto itself. The worldwide production of meth is estimated at 500 metric tons every year serving over 24 million users. In 2008, 13 million United States citizens used meth, with half a million addicts returning for repeat business. States like New Mexico, Arizona, and California have been ravaged by the drug, while populations in Hawaii report as much as 50% of addicts in rehabilitation centers citing meth as their primary addiction.
The preponderance of prescription opioids has resulted in the drug addiction turmoil of millions addicted to painkillers. Prescription stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall have become the drugs of choice in many universities, and although they account for a small portion of new addictions, the rise in the popularity and accessibility of stimulants does not bode well for future generations. Depressants like Xanax and Valium are also responsible for a slice of the prescription drug market, prescribed to treat sleep disorders and anxiety problems but widely circulating through underground markets and independent suppliers courtesy of their addictive properties.
The Life and Death of a Drug Addict
Addiction is a dangerous compulsivity to have. The lives of drug addicts are remarkably similar in their downward spiral and results. Addicts are abusing something as destructive and poisonous as crystal methamphetamine or a prescription of Xanax. As a result, their physical health deteriorates in tandem with their addiction. Their financial situation will be compromised to continue their habits. Also, their relationships are strained or broken by the person’s inability to quit their drug of choice. Addicts who do not seek help inevitably abuse their drug until it bankrupts or kills them.
The reality of addiction is that it is a compulsion without an end. Addicts will continue to abuse prescription drugs, meth, cocaine, or opioids until they are no longer capable of maintaining their addiction. Unfortunately, most addicts do not stop when they have lost their friends and their finances. They continue to find ways to sustain their habit until their bodies break down.
Addiction Happens With or Without a Person’s Conscious Consent
Questions of why a person would do this to themselves are pointless. Addiction happens with or without a person’s conscious consent. Add in some addictive substances, and the chemical reactions are a proverbial death sentence.
Every drug has its chemical euphoria. This is why many patients get prescriptions from their doctors. Many drugs cause beneficial side effects if used in moderation. But, moderation is a difficult thing to maintain for a person suffering from addiction.
- Stimulants: prescribed balance dopamine and other chemicals. This helps people who suffer from depression. The drugs improve the person’s energy levels and functionality in everyday life.
- Depressants: prescribed to settle down detrimental flares of pain, anger, and other chemical imbalances.
- Recreational drugs: surge dopamine levels, giving people feelings of pleasure. Meth, heroin, and cocaine all fall into this category. The spikes in pleasure are so intense that people without addictive dispositions find themselves at the mercy of repeating the cycle of drug abuse just to chase the feeling.
- Medicinal drugs: prescribed by physicians and the medical community for treating chemical imbalances and diseases. These uses lend some legitimacy to the positive side of drugs.
But even the best intentions and compounds can become detrimental. Especially when a person falls into compulsive cycles of addiction. Drugs are also readily available chemical solutions to many people who suffer from personal problems like abuse, trauma or issues of depression and anxiety. Genetics, environment, and culture can all contribute to their likelihood of substance abuse. Drugs hit the fastest and hardest in areas of extreme poverty.
The Light In The Darkness of Drug Addiction Turmoil
There is good news on the drug addiction front.
The propensity for drugs has created a vast accommodation of treatment centers that specialize in every type of drug. They are introducing addicts to addicted peers and counselors that try to curb the downward spiral of drug addiction turmoil. There is no arguing that drug addiction leads to ruin.
Every addict has their own ‘bottom’ — the point in their addiction when they have lost everything and cannot continue to deny their present circumstances. Addiction puts jobs, relationships, and prospects in jeopardy. But, the addiction itself is not in jeopardy until the addict is away from the environment that propagates the substance abuse. That is a long road to walk when dirt-cheap meth and off-label prescription drugs are around every corner.
The world is more inundated with drugs than ever before, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Drug addicts are in the national spotlight, and with infamy comes coverage. The popularity of drugs has created a national discussion on the topic. Underground channels of crystal methamphetamine, opioids, Percocet, and oxycontin are no longer underground. Mainstream outlets are acknowledging the problem and investing the causes, contributions, and contexts that have created a culture of drug addiction turmoil that reaches tens of millions of US citizens each year.
Increasing Awareness About the Addictive Properties of Drugs
Treatment clinics and outreach programs are spreading just as quickly as the drugs themselves. Also, the over-prescription of addictive stimulants and depressants is a topic of debate in Washington. The rose-colored glasses are off. Legislation is hard at work drafting solutions to a statistically ineffective drug war. A war that began nearly half a century ago under Richard Nixon. As marijuana wrestles with legalization, medical communities are taking a good long look at the addictive properties. They are implementing educational programs to teach the next generation of children about the risks. Treatment clinics and cooperative psychiatrists are making strides in understanding addiction as an illness and treating it accordingly.
Contact A Forever Recovery today for more information on drug addiction turmoil and how you or a loved one can benefit from our treatment program.