Millions and millions of Americans abuse illegal drugs each year. Although overall drug abuse rates are down somewhat from levels found in the 1980s and 1990s, drug abuse remains a serious problem that impacts almost every sector of our society.
Understanding the world of drug abuse is important for every man, woman and child in the United States. Simply put, if abuse and drug addiction have not yet had an impact on you or family, statistics show that at some point they will.
The following information is designed to help those who are suffering from a drug abuse problem better understand their condition. There are both physical and psychological effects of drug use. This page will also help the loved ones of an addicted individual find the most effective ways to turn that person’s life around.
What Is Drug Abuse?
Drug abuse is a condition in which the individual continues to use drugs despite a clear understanding of the harm it is causing them and their families. Drug abuse is not drug addiction, which is typified by such things as developing a tolerance for drugs or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs.
Different Types of Drug Addiction
Currently, there are more drugs available to abuse than ever before in our history. Drug treatment centers and emergency rooms report a steady stream of cases involving the abuse of (and addiction to) the following drugs:
- Crystal meth
- Percocet and others
Each of these drugs carries different dangers and health hazards. Each also provides different “highs” and “lows” for the user. One thing that they all share in common is that they possess the ability to take otherwise happy, healthy individuals and tear their lives apart.
The Dangers of Drug Abuse
Although many people will tell you that they can “handle” their drugs, make no mistake about the dangers of drug abuse. There are a number of potential ill effects from drug abuse, including:
Long-term health problems: These include heart disease, kidney disease and other serious issues.
Psychological problems: Many drug addicts report experiencing depression, anxiety or even dementia as a result of long-term drug use.
Loss of relationships: Many people engaged in a drug abuse problem will make everything in their lives secondary to the drugs, including close personal and family relationships.
Criminal behavior. Drug use is against the law in many instances, including the buying and selling of drugs. Also, many individuals will resort to theft or other criminal behavior in order to support their drug abuse problem.
Getting Professional Help
Although having a drug abuse problem makes many people feel alone and isolated, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The United States is home to thousands of outstanding drug abuse treatment facilities – many of which are staffed by caring individuals who are ready to reach out to help the individual change their behavior.
Seeking help for a substance abuse problem can be as easy as asking your physician or psychiatrist where to find treatment. Many individuals also opt to call a drug abuse helpline where they speak confidentially with someone over the phone about their treatment options. If you’d like more information on drug treatment, including facilities that offer top-notch care, contact us today.
Once an individual has reached out for help, they have two primary rehab options: residential treatment and outpatient treatment.
- Residential drug abuse rehab. These programs have recovering addicts move into the facility for an extended period of time so they can focus on overcoming their addiction without the distractions of the outside world.
- Outpatient drug abuse rehab. In outpatient rehab, the individual attends treatment programs during the day, but returns home in the evening to be with family and friends.
Residential drug rehab is the better choice for those individuals who need a safe place to get away from it all and achieve recovery. It suits men and women who live in a destructive environment or who have become a danger to themselves and others in the “outside world.” Not everyone, however, can drop everything in their lives to attend rehab. For these individuals, outpatient rehab gives them the ability to participate in treatment while still maintaining a presence at work or in the home.
Drug Abuse and Teens
Perhaps no group of people has more to lose as a result of drug abuse than teenagers. The teen years are a natural time of experimentation and pushing the boundaries, but drug abuse is too serious to chalk up to youthful indiscretion. There are a number of serious reasons why teen turn to drugs, including:
- Peer pressure
- Problems in the home environment
- Past sexual or physical abuse
- Self-image issues
- Academic pressure
Parents are urged to talk to their kids about drugs at an early age; by the time they reach their late teens years, it may be too late and they may already be involved in drug abuse. And if, unfortunately, an adolescent has developed a drug abuse problem, they should be enrolled in a teen drug rehab program that addresses many of the core issues listed above as soon as possible.
Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment
As with teens, there are drug abuse issues specific to both men and women. Some individuals may feel more comfortable seeking treatment in a program that only treats members of their own gender. Women specifically may feel more comfortable discussing certain issues in an environment where only other women are present. In women-only treatment, patients may feel more comfortable discussing:
- Codependency (being involved in a codependent relationship)
- Self-image or appearance issues
- Eating disorders
- Coping with past sexual abuse
Recently, there has been a rise in the number of gender-specific treatment programs. Many female addicts feel that these facilities provide a safer environment than “co-ed” treatment centers and create an atmosphere where women enhance the recovery process by supporting one another throughout treatment. Likewise, there are also men-specific treatment options for males who wish to focus on their treatment without distractions from the opposite gender.
The Current State of Drug Addiction in the United States
Although overall drug abuse rates are down from highs experienced in the 1980s and 1990s, there is still a serious problem with drugs in this country. Some areas of the country have actually seen a recent rise in drug abuse rates, including prescription drug abuse among teens and the elderly. Specific types of drugs come in and out of fashion, but professional drug treatment centers are crucial to helping men and women overcome their addiction problems.
If you need more information on drug addiction treatment for you or a loved one, contact us today. We can discuss treatment options and help you find a program that is a good fit for your situation.