drug-use-in-america

Drug Use in America: 10 of America’s Most Frequent Drug Addictions

Drug addiction is becoming an epidemic, with over 70,000 people in the US dying from drug addiction each year.

Its effects are devastating. Drug addiction affects the workings of the brain and body making the user feel numb and eventually losing self-control.

Drug addiction and its harmful effects on the body can sometimes prove fatal. Initially, you may take a drug because you like it and you feel good.

With time you begin to lose control and succumb to its frequent use.

Drug use in America has led to many problems and deaths due to gang crime and overdoses.

Is Drug Abuse Treatable?

Drug abuse is defined as when you use legal or illegal substances in unnecessary amounts. Mostly, people use drugs to avoid reality or to live in denial.

It changes your mental and physical health throwing you in a dark pit. However, with strong will power and medical treatment, you can overcome the addiction.

This article will provide a list of common addictions and their symptoms that can help you recognize drug abuse easily.

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Understanding the epidemic is important otherwise drug overuse death would continue to increase. In the U.S it has increased to an alarming level.

It is essential to know about the symptoms and behavioral patterns.

Following are some of the symptoms and behavioral patterns of drug addiction:

  • The need to use drugs daily or several times a day.
  • Having a strong urge to use the drug.
  • Taking large amounts of drugs.
  • Spending a large sum of money on drugs even though you are facing financial issues.
  • Unable to socialize or perform better at a job due to drug addiction.
  • Continuing the use of drugs despite the fact that it harms your body.
  • Making unsuccessful attempts to stop using it.
  • Having a neglected appearance is also one of the symptoms.
  • Seclusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramping
  • Sweating

These are some of the symptoms that a frequent drug user shows. Intervention can be helpful in some cases.

However, you need to know about 8 elements of a successful intervention before you can hold one.

10 of America’s Most Frequent Drug Addictions

Drug use in America has increased in the past years. There are many popular drugs in America that have resulted in the unnecessary deaths of individuals.

The situation is worrying and each day the number of people falling prey to drug addiction is alarming.

Here are the most frequent drug addictions.

1. Nicotine

Having easy access to this drug has become the reason for its frequent use. Many people despite the knowledge of harmful effects continue smoking.

The use of tobacco is harmful to health as it affects the lungs leading to the development of fatal diseases. Over 40 million people in America are addicted to nicotine.

2. Alcohol

It is sometimes hard to find a person who is addicted to alcohol. It has become more of a social ritual and has engulfed the U.S. There are many negative effects of this abuse.

Apart from affecting mental and physical health, many people drive under the influence that results in death or injury.

3. Cocaine

A powerful stimulant drug, Cocaine increases the levels of dopamine in the brain that leads to various health effects like extreme mental alertness, increased levels of happiness and energy, paranoia and irritability.

Intake of large amounts of cocaine can lead to violent behavior. Its frequent and binge use can damage the heart, nervous, digestive and respiratory systems severely.

4. Marijuana

A highly potent drug and its legalization in some states have led to its frequent use. It has become one of the most popular drugs in the U.S.

5. Painkillers

Painkiller addiction is another rising epidemic that can be lethal in some extreme cases. Drugs like Oxycontin, Codeine, and Vicodin are considered common painkillers.

They are often prescribed but this does not mean that they are not addictive. Patients who become addicted to such painkillers do not realize how much they have become dependent on it.

6. Heroin

Known for its euphoric effects, this drug is used for recreation purpose. In the United States, the drug is becoming popular among women.

It is also spreading diseases like HIV and AIDS. Its treatment is not easy and users often have to undergo a twelve step program along with some medication.

7. Hallucinogens

This type of drug causes hallucinations and is often used for religious rituals. Its effects vary from person to person due to different levels of chemicals found in the body.

8. Benzodiazepines

This drug group is known to regulate moods and help in managing stress and anxiety. Many people who use this drug are unaware of this addiction until they have to function without using it.

Forced withdrawal is dangerous, it can lead to death.

9. Ketamine

This type of drug causes hallucinations or disassociation. Other effects include sedation, pain relief, memory loss, trouble thinking, agitation, increase in blood pressure and heart and depression.

Its overdose can be dangerous.

10. 4-MTA AKA “Ecstasy”

It is sold as tablets and makes users feel peaceful. In some cases, it can lead to insomnia. Some negative effects are sweating, confusion, dizziness, intoxication and memory loss.

These are some of the popular drugs in America. The impact of drug addiction to mental health is severe and should be treated immediately.

Drug Use in America: An Epidemic

Drug use in America has become an epidemic and drastic measures should be taken in order to treat the addiction.

There are many rehabilitation centers built to help people recover. You need to know the symptoms in order to discover the drug addiction. Learn about the various levels of addiction treatment and help your loved ones today.

A little effort and concern can help you in saving a precious life.

Contact us today for more help or information on drug addiction recovery.

References

addiction in the media

Study Finds Media Skews Depiction of Drug Problem

addiction in the mediaPeople in the addiction treatment and recovery community have long been fighting an uphill battle regarding the stigma surrounding addiction. Although it appears that progress is being made in educating more people about addiction, there is still a tendency to err on the side of criminalizing the behavior rather than supporting treatment and successful recovery programs.

One of the biggest offenders of this has been traditional mainstream media, and a recent study examined how prescription painkiller abuse was depicted by some of the largest media outlets over more than a decade.

According to the study, the number of stories having to do with prescription opioid abuse increased significantly since 1998. Of the sample of media outlets examined, the number of stories jumped from 13 that year up to 63 by 2012, which was an increase of 484%. Two-thirds of these stories depicted opioid abuse along with criminal activity, while only 3% of them offered readers or viewers treatment solutions.

“Results of a recent experimental study suggest that portrayals of successful treatment of opioid analgesic abuse can improve public attitudes toward and reduce willingness to discriminate against individuals experiencing the condition, but only slightly over one-third of news stories depicted an individual engaging in treatment,” explained the researchers.

While most treatment professionals would agree that more coverage of the substance abuse problem is needed to increase overall awareness, having a more balanced and responsible approach to the subject would be a much better service to the general public. The truth is that addiction does not discriminate and can affect anyone. It is also true that prevention, intervention, and treatment are effective and that long-term recovery is made possible every day.

Prescription Painkillers

The Problem with Pain Management and Addiction

Prescription PainkillersPain management is a tricky problem that many healthcare providers struggle with addressing on a daily basis. Measuring to what degree a patient is in pain is very subjective and oftentimes the most important factor in determining whether or not they should be prescribed narcotic painkillers.

Doctors and nurses are taught to take pain very seriously. The American Pain Society designated pain to be the fifth vital sign in 1995 and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) developed monitoring standards in which to measure pain in a patient. So, with the increased awareness of pain and the understanding that it is necessary to treat pain, doctors are put in a strange position. They are tasked with addressing and helping to alleviate a person’s pain, but they also need to make sure that they are not prescribing narcotic painkillers to someone who is lying or exaggerating about their symptoms in order to receive drugs.

The American College of Preventive Medicine reports that 5.3 million Americans abuse narcotic painkillers every month. Some of these people get their pills off the street and some of these people get them directly from a doctor. No matter where they are obtaining their drugs, one this is clear, the pills came after some diagnosis of pain somewhere. Dealers who have a chronic pain problem can acquire the pills and then sell them on the street for one dollar per milligram, or addicts can go into a hospital and complain of pain and hope that a doctor is willing to write them a prescription. It has become the general consensus that we have created the problem together – doctors, patients and drug companies.

There is an incredible amount of people who abuse pain management attempts by doctors, but there is also a large group that suffers from legitimate chronic pain and needs the aid of medication as part of their therapy. The Institute of Medicine came out with a report that stated that more than 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Recent reports of the ineffectiveness of opioid narcotics to treat chronic pain, along with their intensely high potential for abuse, have spurred leaders to develop and use non-narcotic treatments instead.

Homeless Women More Likely Abuse Heroin Other Drugs - Addiction Treatment Services

Homeless Women More Likely to Abuse Heroin, Other Drugs

Homeless Women More Likely Abuse Heroin Other Drugs - Addiction Treatment ServicesAlthough drug and alcohol abuse is on the rise nationally among several demographics, substance abuse among the homeless is still more prevalent than in the rest of the population.

Thirty-eight percent of homeless people were dependent on alcohol and 26 percent abused other drugs, according to estimates back in 2003 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

According to more recent data, only 10.1 percent of all Americans older than the age of 12 reported using illegal drugs within the previous month, the 2015 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found.

Homelessness and Addiction Statistics

It’s well known that there is a strong correlation between addiction and homelessness. However, because homeless people often get ignored or overlooked by the health care system, actual stats are hard to find.

The most recent data available comes from Homeless Link, a U.K.-based charity that aims to provide help for the homeless. To determine what sort of help was needed, the group conducted a survey of 3,355 homeless people in 2015 to investigate the mental and physical health of this population.

The study found that:

  • 90 percent of all homeless people were suffering from some type of mental illness.
  • A total of 37 percent of those polled admitted to abusing alcohol within the last month.

Homeless Women at Even Greater Risk

Homeless Women And Men Abuse Heroin Statistic - Addiction Treatment ServicesThe study also found that homeless women are more likely than men to abuse heroin and crack cocaine.

  • 33 percent of women who were polled admitted to abusing heroin, while “only” 28 percent of the men did.
  • 31 percent of the women who were homeless stated that they abused crack cocaine in the last month, compared to 29 percent of the men.

The results from the study indicate that there is a severe lack of health care for people living on the streets, at least in the U.K. – although the United States would appear to be in a similar predicament.

The Homeless Link report recommends focusing on providing mental health and preventative care to the homeless to reduce the substance abuse problem.

“The details revealed by this research may be surprising, but they illustrate how useful a health-needs audit can be in accurately assessing the needs of those experiencing homelessness,” Jacqui McCluskey, director of policy and communications at Homeless Link, told a local CBS affiliate in D.C. “This evidence is vital for local areas to ensure the most effective responses to people’s needs are commissioned.”

Given that these statistics are already a few years old, the reality of the problem of addiction among the homeless may be even more severe than the stats indicate.

The Link Between Homelessness and Addiction

In some cases, drug or alcohol addiction is the cause of homelessness. In other cases, alcohol and drugs are abused after the participants became homeless, as a means of trying to cope with the situation.

The Mental Illness Factor

People who suffer from mental illness often have difficulty keeping employment and maintaining relationships. As a result, they may end up on the streets. They commonly turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the stress and discomfort of living without adequate food or shelter, and as a way to self-medicate the symptoms of their mental illness.

Many non-homeless people with mental illness also use addictive substances to self-medicate, so those with mental health issues may already be addicted when they become homeless.

The Opioid Epidemic and Heroin

The number of people in the U.S. who are addicted to heroin, an opiate drug, has exploded in recent years. In 2014, an estimated 2.5 million Americans were addicted to either heroin or prescription opioid drugs, and in 2015, more than 30,000 deaths resulted from overdoses on those same drugs.

This alarming trend is due in large part to the widespread use of prescription painkillers. These legal opioid drugs are extremely addictive and should only be used for short-term, acute pain management. However, many people use them for too long and become addicted. Once their painkiller prescriptions run out, they turn to heroin as a cheaper and more readily available alternative.

When the chase for the next high leads to loss of job and home, many of these heroin addicts end up on the streets.

We Must Stop the Cycle of Addiction and Homelessness

One study found that overdose has surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death among the homeless population, with opioids alone being responsible for more than 80 percent of those deaths.

Since drug use often leads to homelessness, it’s likely that as the drug problems in this country continue to grow, the homeless problem will also continue to grow. This would further increase the addiction problem. And it’s why it’s critical to break the cycle by getting homeless people the help they need.

In addition to traditional forms of support for the homeless, like food and housing, our society needs to also make sure these individuals also have access to addiction treatment and resources for managing mental illness.

Learn More About Heroin Addiction and Treatment

Understand Heroin Addiction

More Doctors Prescribing Buprenorphine

sacovergDrug treatment programs have long been regarded as the best solution to help someone get clean from illegal drugs. While the country grapples with the increasing use of drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers, some wonder why more addicts are not seeking help from rehabilitation facilities.

Experts agree that the stigma attached to drug abuse prevents some people from feeling comfortable in enrolling in a treatment facility. In addition to the perceived shun from society, users often have a difficult time admitting that they need help and following through with their admittance into treatment. Many point out that the painful withdrawal symptoms from heroin or prescription painkillers cause addicts to give up their quest for sobriety in favor of preventing the painful, flulike symptoms. However, a recent study shows that the gap between addicts and at some forms of treatment might be getting smaller, due to more physicians ability to prescribe medication to help with the process.

Buprenorphine is a medication that, when taken, helps to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms that people feel when they stop using heroin or prescription painkillers. In order to obtain a prescription for buprenorphine, someone has to go to a doctor that is approved to prescribe, or they have to turn to a treatment program. In the past, many addicts have found it difficult to locate a doctor with this ability, but now more and more doctors are obtaining the certificate that allows them to treat addicts. In fact, it has been reported that 98.9% of physicians were not licensed to dispense buprenorphine prior to 2011. That number has since dropped to 46.8%. The dramatic increase of doctors who are willing and able to help treat opioid dependency has led to a 74% increase in the availability of this form of treatment.

It must be stated, though, that the administration of buprenorphine alone doesn’t cure an addiction to heroin or painkillers. Long-term maintenance programs don’t provide the full solutions either, as the end goal should be to get off any opioid if at all possible. This is evidenced by the fact that buprenorphine itself is a drug that is abused on the street, and why doctors who prescribe the medication typically refer people to a treatment facility to address the full issues related to the substance abuse problem. If you are looking for help to recover from an opiate addiction, contact us today we’ll help you locate a treatment program that works.

CDC Indicates Sharp Rise in Heroin and Opioid Overdoses in US

cdcodsOverdose deaths from heroin abuse and prescription pain medication abuse (opioids) increased through much of the United States in 2012. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed the data from 28 states and found that twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses than died from heroin overdoses.

There are a couple of things that appear to be driving the increase of heroin overdoses. First, there is the widespread exposure to painkillers that can often find addicts winding up on heroin. Second, there seems to be an increase in heroin supply to meet this increasing demand. No all prescription opioid users become heroin users, but previous research showed that 3 out of 4 new heroin users abused painkillers before using heroin.

Heroin’s cheaper price and increasing availability have been contributing factors. Since heroin and prescription painkillers are in the same category of substance, users experience the similar effects from both drugs. Therefore, the relationship between the two drugs is not surprising.

CDC Director Tom Frienden, MD, MPH says that reducing inappropriate prescribing practices is an important part of the strategy targeting overdoses from both heroin and the medications. “Addressing prescription opioid abuse by changing prescribing is likely to prevent heroin use in the long term,” he said.

Researchers also believe it is important to help those who are addicted to heroin and painkillers with effective treatment services in conjunction with the preventative measures. While some may recommend opioid replacement therapy, we work with facilities that help people fully detox from heroin and other opiates, and incorporate long-term residential treatment.