A 2008 study analyzed by Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE, concluded that drug use in America topped 23 million people. Laws.com attributed nearly 25% of unexpected deaths to drug abuse. Over 1.2 million Americans use heroin and more than 50% become addicted. Overdose related to prescription drug use occurs every 4 minutes. In other substance abuse statistics America shows that only 1% of the 23 million needing help ever receive it.
Regarding statistics related to alcoholism, America shows it as the third preventable cause of death in the US. However, illegal drug use and alcoholism continues to rise. In order to gain a better understanding of drug addiction across America, it is necessary to identify signs, symptoms and repercussions.
What is Addiction?
Addiction generally starts with recreational use of addictive substances. This often leads to compulsive behaviors that interfere with nearly every aspect of life. As the drug of choice commands top priority, the individual becomes dependent.
Common Signs of Addiction
Whether your concerns be for you or someone you love, understand that neglect is one of the more prominent signs of addiction. The individual caught in the grip of abuse will often neglect family, employment responsibility, health and many other aspects of daily life.
Fatigue and sickness are generally associated with abuse and are likely the result of poor sleep habits and hangovers that accompany the lifestyle. This should never be ignored.
Those struggling with addiction may also become involved with other illegal activity or neglect financial responsibility to support their growing habit. This may include trading sexual favors, selling stolen merchandise or refusing to pay bills.
Legal trouble is also commonly associated with drug addiction as those struggling with abuse inevitably encounter negative police interactions. These interactions can include but are not limited to arrests associated with DUI, possession or any illegal activity directly or indirectly related to the habit.
Effects of Addiction Upon Friends and Family
To date, there have been no documented cases of positive, long-term outcomes related to drug addiction. As overdose and death loom large in the life of the abuser, he or she is not the only one who suffers.
The pain exacts a tremendous toll on those associated with the addict. Over time, distance is created whether it be by the abuser or those closely related. At his or her lowest point, the abuser often finds himself or herself alone.
Treatment for Addiction Across America
Whether it be drug or alcohol abuse, America provides many treatment options to those haunted by addiction. Some include psychotherapy and full intervention programs. Others may include varying types of self-help groups.
How many drug addicts in America live with little or no hope? If you (or someone you love) is struggling with addition, seek help immediately. There are many, effective means to address this malady.
Regardless of the depth of addiction America is a place that offers opportunity and hope. You must realize you are never beyond a fresh start. Begin the recovery process today and take back your life. Reaching out can be the difference between life and death.