Drugs and Substance Abuse
Drug abuse can be defined as using drugs or chemical substances in ways that are illegal or were not prescribed by the doctor.
The abuse of drugs is very popular in not only the United States but also countries around the world.
Despite the danger and harm associated with these hard drugs or substances, individuals still abuse them without regard to the effect they would have on their lives and that of those around them who care for them.
These substances could be found in household items for instance nail polish.
Using them makes the addicts derive pleasure and euphoria.
Drugs which are abused by different individuals are often addictive and could leave a long-lasting effect of always craving the usage of this substance on the addict.
Without the intake of these substances, the addict becomes dysfunctional and is unable to function effectively.
Research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States of America shows that 12% of high school students use inhalants, 21% of these students abuse marijuana and 3% take cocaine.
This goes to show that the issue of substance abuse is not only rampant amongst the adult population but also the teenage population as well.
Most of these teenagers abuse these drugs due to peer pressure and in a bid to be adventurous.
Like adults, under-aged substance abusers also take these various substances as a form of escape from their reality or to relieve themselves from the stress school brings along.
Drug addiction can begin or stem from so many ways.
Intake of these substances may have started for a recreational activity or a mere social experiment.
However, it is not particularly hard to get addicted to these substances.
Addiction to substances also varies depending on the particular substance.
The report shows that it is easier to get addicted to opioids than any other form of substance that could be abused.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
There are symptoms to identify in individuals who abuse substances. However, it varies from person to person and also with consideration to the fact that the severity of each case varies.
Below are some of the peculiar symptoms of substance abuse:
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- Excessive or Intense Cravings for this Substance: A poster boy feature or characteristic of someone with drug use disorders is they experience intense cravings for this drug or substance. Regardless of any difficulty attached to getting access to this substance, a drug abuser is willing to go the extra mile to acquire the substance to feel alright. This often leads to so many unpleasant occurrences such as spending huge amounts of money to get their hands on this substance, experiencing intense discomfort when the addict is unable to get his or her hands on this substance as well as dropping everything down to ensure that they get their hands on this substance, regardless of if they have to involve themselves in shady deals for this.
- Deterioration in Relationships with Loved Ones: It is often rumored that drug addicts only move with themselves. As sad as this may sound, this statement is affirmative. As a result of not wanting to be judged for their habit and lifestyle, people who abuse drugs often tend to withdraw from certain relationships. They also hang out more with people who they feel would be able to connect more with them and would understand the current lifestyle they are adopting. Besides, they most likely would not feel comfortable abusing drugs in the presence of their clean friends in fear of being reported to the police. This is why a symptom of drug or substance abuse involves the slow deterioration in strong relationships.
- Loss of Financial Stability: It is not news that individuals who abuse drugs are often in one financial trouble or the other. They have lots of debts all around and always seem to run away from loan sharks. This is because obtaining illegal substances are expensive and they come at exorbitant prices. As a result, this lifestyle eventually becomes too expensive for them to manage and they lose they are financial and subsequently start running into debts. Also, most drug abusers or addicts stop taking their jobs seriously and get retrenched. This means that their source of livelihood is being taken away from them. Despite this fact, they still find a way to purchase these substances.
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- Only wanting to be involved in drug-related activities: Most individuals who abuse drugs tend to detach themselves from the things that matter in life. They stop going to work, attending family gatherings, some even drop out of school and do not see the essence of being a part of anything that isn’t drug-related. This feature of the symptom of drug abuse is highly common amongst young adults but could also be seen in a few older adults.
- Issues with the law: It is not uncommon to see a drug abuser facing issues with the law. This is because the United States of America criminalizes the wrongful possession of some of these substances. Drug or other substance abusers often end up running away from the law to protect their interest as they are aware that they would not have the leverage to utilize the drugs or substances they are addicted to in prison.
- Withdrawal symptoms: This is one of the most prominent and common features or symptoms of substance abuse. This occurs when an individual who is already addicted to a certain substance tries to stay away from it for too long (this is relative depending on the severity of each case). The addict begins to experience the effects of trying to be away from this substance in the most painful of ways. This is why it is important to go to a drug addiction treatment or rehab center to be able to remedy this situation.
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Solutions to Substance Abuse
America recognizes the increasing amount of substance abusers in the State and as such, has provisions for drug or any other substance abuse in the forms of treatment centers.
These treatment centers may be privately owned or state-owned. They provide different treatment programs which include inpatient treatment programs, intensive outpatient treatment programs, detoxification, partial hospitalization treatment program as well as after-care for patients who require that or are specifically asked for them.
- Inpatient Treatment Program: This treatment program provides full residency for the patients all through their stay in the treatment program. Although a bit expensive, it is very effective and ensures that the patient resides in a healthy environment free from temptations and consisting of like-minded individuals who also want to be rid of the addiction.
- Detoxification: Medical detox is the first stage of the healing process which drug addiction treatment entails. It consists of flushing out or getting rid of the toxins contained in the patient’s body to prepare them for the second phase of the treatment.
- Outpatient Treatment Program: This treatment program involves the patient attending therapy sessions not more than three times a week except weekends. It is ideal for individuals with mild addiction and also those who do not have enough to afford the in-patient program in a private facility.
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In conclusion, substance abuse is a situation that can be remedied.
However, this would require the right attitude to the treatment from the patient and commitment by the treatment facility.