Drug addiction is defined as the compulsive and repetitive use of a substance, such as illicit drugs or prescribed medications. It is estimated that 19.7 million people in the United States use drugs, with approximately 6.4 million of those people addicted to prescription medications. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine/crack cocaine, benzodiazepines (such as flunitrazepam and temazepam), opioids (such as Vicodin and oxycodone), and methaqualone.
Recovering from drug addiction is a constant battle and requires a strong support system. Addicts must learn new, healthy ways to cope with daily stress, especially if there is an underlying mental disorder. A qualified drug treatment program can be very beneficial in helping the individual find the coping mechanisms that work best for them. Support groups can also be helpful in dealing with emotions and stress by providing an outlet for them.
Prevention starts with educating children about the negative effects of drug abuse. It is also important for parents to be role models for their kids by not using drugs themselves. Developing a strong bond with the child also lowers the risk of future drug addiction. For those who are recovering from drug addiction, it is best to avoid high-risk situations and past associations to prevent temptation.