Treatment For Addiction

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Americas Growing Need For Addiction Treatment

An estimated 9% of the population of the United States above the age of 12 is current or former users of illicit drugs. Addiction refers to the habit of taking certain substances and being dependent to such an extent that withdrawal leads to emotional and physical discomfort.

Treatment For Addiction

Treating an addiction may seem like the hardest task in the world. Every step taken may seem like an uphill task and there are no easy options. Recovering addicts should take heart and realize that others have been in the territory before and pulled through. While the path to recovery is different with each addict, here are a few tips on addiction treatment.

Treatment Tips

  • Assess one’s life. This is the most important step addicts can take to reclaim their lives. It involves making an admission that there is a problem.
  • Get out of the addiction. This step involves removing any of the substances from one’s reach or environment.
  • Join a support group or organization.
  • Inform friends and family members about the decision to go clean.
  • Commit to change. Full recovery does not happen overnight and treatment may take some time to be effective.
  • Be positive and try again in case of a relapse.

Symptoms Of Drug Abuse

Drug addiction may cause depression, which may lead to social withdrawal, changes in sleep patterns and in some cases suicide.
This symptom may cause people to avoid their friends, family members and acquaintances and hide away from public places.
This is a behavioral symptom of drug addicts. It leads to dental problems, infections with lice, injuries from injections and poor eating habits, which leads to malnutrition.
Addicts may have sudden angry outbursts that affect relationships with their families and jeopardize business relationships.
Addicts sometimes commit criminal activities such as burglaries and prostitution to get money for a quick fix. The addiction drives them to find any means possible to get money to buy the abused substance.

The Problems Of Addiction

Substance abuse costs people and health care facilities billions of dollars each year. Some substances such as nicotine, alcohol and prescription drugs may be legal but can also be addictive and present various health risks.

Alcohol and cigarette abuse is believed to be one of the greatest risk factors for various diseases including certain forms of cancer. Overuse of prescription drugs can damage the liver and other vital organs.

Death as a result of overdose is common with certain drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Since 1980, the number of deaths as a result of overdose has risen by 540%. Many drug users contract various diseases such as HIV through intravenous drug injection. Stimulants cause rapid weight loss, teeth and gum disease and may cause cardiac arrest.

Since drugs tend to create addiction in users, many people use them long enough until they develop the stated health problems.

In most cases, the first sign of drug abuse is legal problems. According to the Coalition against Drug Abuse, more than 700,000 people were arrested in 2012 on drug related charges. Since 1990, the number of people taking prescription drugs illegally has risen by 500 percent.

Many addicts take risks with their lives and that of others. This makes them bound to get into problems with the law enforcement authorities. One of the legal problems that may befall some addicts includes DUI convictions. Addicts often sell drugs to finance their habits or to make money from other people’s addiction.
In any case, they still get access to more drugs to abuse, which hooks them further.

Addicts may also get embroiled in violent crimes. This increases their chances of being incarcerated. Because drugs impair judgment, addicts may also engage in domestic violence, which also has legal consequences.

Many families are broken as a result of substance abuse. Addicts focus their efforts and attention towards obtaining the drugs of choice. They care little about the consequences of their addiction on their families, friends or acquaintances. Trust is lost because most addicts engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, steal family property to obtain money for drugs and lie to their families to hide their addiction.
Many addicts clear their entire bank accounts in order to buy drugs of choice. The financial cost of drug addiction in terms of crime, number of hours absent from employment, cost of treating the addicts and money used to buy various substances is more than 600 billion dollars annually.

Drug dealers often look for wealthy and successful customers because they provide steady business. They do not care about the financial cost to the addicts or their families. Some addicts in a position of authority use their positions to embezzle funds to maintain their habits.

Substance abuse leads to loss of resources however minimal. The resources could be used on other meaningful activities. Good use of resources is the not a forte of addicts.

Emotional effects of drug addiction include:

  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Black outs
  • Drug induced psychosis
  • Guilt
  • Confusion
  • Disillusionment with life
  • Fear
  • Long-term memory loss

The Most Critical Element In Treatment For Addiction

A critical element of addiction treatment is support. Though seeking professional assistance is one of the first steps towards recovery, having a solid support system goes a long way. The most helpful form of support is that offered by family members and close friends.