Drugs are any chemical substance that can alter the normal functioning of your body and mind. The continuous use of drugs can permanently damage your body and brain. The repeated use of drugs can result in substance use disorder.
Research shows that about 164.8 million people who are above 12 years of age abused drugs in 2018. Unfortunately, only 10% of this population sought proper treatment. Most of the addictions start as an experiment using prescriptions or recreational drugs. The addiction develops into a fully-fledged habit that is hard to overcome.
Drug use has an adverse impact on the economy. It is reported that the United States loses more than $800 billion annually in healthcare costs and lost employment. Reports from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) indicate that drug abuse in the United States is rising. It is reported that 12% of the total population were abusing drugs in 2019, and the most commonly abused drugs were alcohol, methamphetamines, and marijuana.
Recent research shows that there have been numerous cases of death due to drug overdose in the United States. It is reported that more than 700,000 individuals died as a result of drug overdose from 1999 to late 2017. About 80,000 people die as a result of drug overdose annually.
Commonly Abused Drugs
Recent reports show that more than 14 million adults have alcohol use disorder. Alcohol also contributes to more than 95,000 deaths annually. A study that was conducted from 2018 to 2019 showed that the number of people who abused alcohol increased by 5%.
Stimulants are also commonly abused drugs that can lead to addiction. They can be classified as either street drugs or prescription stimulants. Examples of street stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine (meth). Prescription stimulants include drugs such as Dexedrine and Meridia. A survey that was conducted in 2018 indicates that about 6 million people in the U.S. had abused cocaine.
Marijuana is commonly abused by Americans over 18 years of age as well. Although Marijuana is legal in some states, its use can lead to addiction and adverse health conditions. The abuse of marijuana has increased in recent years.
Opioids or narcotics are typically produced in labs, and they include heroin, methadone, and morphine. Recent research shows that over 800,000 people use heroin.
Substance Use Across Demographics
Substance use disorder affects people across all demographics, but some people are more prone to drug abuse than others. In particular, young people are more likely to abuse drugs. The results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that was conducted in 2019 indicated that 10% of the total population that abused drugs were aged 12 or slightly older.
The report further indicates that marijuana was the most commonly abused drug among this population. About 9 million people (two-thirds of young people) used marijuana that year.
Reports indicate that men are more likely to abuse drugs compared to women. In 2019, it was found that 23% of males abused drugs compared to 15% of women who abused drugs that year. Women are, however, are more likely to abuse drugs when they are with their partners. Substance use disorder is a common thread with suicidal thoughts among women. Substance use disorder in pregnant women can result in congenital disabilities of the unborn child.
Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder
Symptoms of substance use disorder can vary depending on the substance, but there are a few common signs that someone is abusing drugs. Some of these signs and symptoms include:
- Declined performance at school and work
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Failing to meet obligations
- Lack of motivation
- Isolation from the real world
- Anxiety attacks and paranoia
- Using substances that can result in physical harm
- Suspicious behavior
- Shift in appetite or sleep patterns
- Personality or attitude changes
- Taking more of a substance than intended
- Attempting to quit using the substance but failing to
- Withdrawal symptoms when use stops
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from using a substance
- Doing tasks like driving or going to work while under the influence
- Needing more drugs to feel the desired effect
Addicts have a hard time accepting that they have a disorder. They chase high feelings without fear of long-term effects. If you notice some of these signs in your child or friend, they might be deep into substance use.
Factors That Contribute to Substance Use Disorder
There are various factors that contribute to substance use disorder. Biological factors such as gender and an individual’s genes can increase the risk of falling into addiction. An individual’s ethnicity can also increase the chances of taking drugs.
Environment or surroundings can make an individual sink more into drugs. People who live in places with high drug usage rates risk developing substance use disorder. In addition, factors such as increased social pressure and childhood trauma can increase the risk of addiction.
The age at which an individual first experiences drugs can also contribute to the development of addiction. In all age groups, teenagers are more likely to fall into addiction compared to other groups. This is because they can engage in risky behaviors due to peer pressure.
Treatment for Substance Use Disorder
Different people react differently to substance use treatment. Someone might identify they have a problem early and decide to seek help. Others get to the overdose stage. Either way, substance use disorder is treatable.
The first step in getting treatment is acceptance. When you accept that you have a problem, you can seek help from friends and family members.
Different treatment options have proved to work for people suffering from substance use disorder. The level of addiction determines the effectiveness of each treatment option. The treatment options include medication and behavioral counseling.
The first step focuses on identifying the root causes of the problem. A professional counselor can help you identify behaviors that lead to addiction. They also help their clients engage in behaviors that can help them stay sober for a long time. At this stage, we encourage clients to speak out about their problems. An expert can:
- Help you find ways to cope with your cravings for a substance
- Suggest ways to help you overcome addiction and stay sober
- Involve your family members for support and counseling
- Talk with you about your life and relationships
- Provide advice on strategies to use to cope with relapse if it occurs
At Granite Recovery Centers, we offer a multitude of therapy services for our clients. Our program tailors treatment for each person to ensure that they are receiving the treatment that is best for them.
We offer the following therapy services:
There are various types of medications that can be prescribed to an individual battling a substance use disorder. Medical professionals prescribe these types of treatments depending on the phase of addiction and treatment.
Medications can assist with preventing cravings and reinstating the normal functioning of the brain. There are various medications that are used to treat alcohol, stimulants, and tobacco addiction. Individuals who abuse drugs may require separate treatment for all the drugs that they abuse.
There are devices and medications that reduce the withdrawal symptoms when an individual is undergoing detox. Patients should undergo further treatment after detox to avoid falling back to drugs and substance abuse.
Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Coping with Stress
Unfortunately, some people fall back to addiction shortly after treatment. If you find yourself in a relapse, call your therapist for advice. There are ways in which you can cope with treatment and avoid relapse.
You can avoid relapse by sticking to your treatment plan. Changing treatment plans is a sure way of falling back into addiction. You should ensure that you schedule meetings with your therapist regularly. Go to your self-help groups so they remind you of the journey to sobriety. It is important that you avoid toxic environments around you. There are environments and people who can make you fall back into addiction.
Talking to supportive friends and family members about the situation can also keep you from falling back to addiction. Talk to them about your sobriety journey regularly, which will help you remain grounded in the cause. Good friends can help you become accountable and avoid drugs.
You can easily fall back into addiction when faced with challenging times. Speak to your therapist to prevent the urge to use substances to calm the stress. You should involve yourself in activities that will help you not think about drugs. You can start a new hobby or take part in community services helping other addicts.
Working out strengthens mental health and the body. When you feel good about yourself, you will avoid substances that will compromise that.
Ensure that you find ways to cope with stress. At this point, you already know that drugs will not solve your problems permanently. You can join yoga classes or dance classes to help you cope with stress. Approach each stage with clarity to avoid bad decisions. Remember to be gentle with yourself.
Help is Available
Substance use disorder is a major problem. Most people who use drugs do it for fun and end up becoming addicted. Addiction is a potentially deadly disease, but help is available, and it is entirely possible to live a life free of drugs. If you know someone suffering from substance use disorder, be a good friend and encourage them to get help. Facilities such as Granite Recovery Centers help clients overcome addiction and enjoy sobriety.
Granite Recovery Centers helps people throughout their addiction recovery journey. We offer medical detox services for people who need immediate medical help with drug detox. After a successful detox, our clients can transition to inpatient treatment. Our residential treatment centers offer round-the-clock care to patients with substance use disorder. We also offer outpatient programs and many other services and resources to help people overcome addiction.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder, the time to get help is now. Reach out to Granite Recovery Centers and start on the path to recovery.