Drug addiction or alcoholism can affect anyone at any age. According to the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), upwards of 24 percent of underage persons from 12 to 20 have abused alcohol or drugs within the past 30 days alone, and continued use of these substances can be life-altering and potentially life-threatening. For those that are struggling with one of these vices, it is important to take action as soon as possible.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Each and every year, the National Institute of Drug Abuse carries out massive research on drug and alcohol addictions and the numbers will come as a surprise to many. Between lost productivity and health care, illicit drugs and alcohol have an impact of upwards of $400 billion on the U.S. economy. The abuse of prescription drugs as well as the use of illicit narcotics and alcohol is on the rise in almost every demographic with huge increases for teenagers, young adults, and older adults. Along with traditional illicit narcotics, such as cocaine and heroin, there is also a rise in the abuse of prescription drugs including:
- Sleep Medication
The Stages of an Addiction
Every human body reacts to drugs and alcohol in a slightly different manner and this is why it is so difficult for many to understand when the use of these substances turns into an addiction. In most situations, this process will begin with the experimentation of the substance. This could come about due to a prescription for an injury, one’s inability to sleep, stress, or simply experimenting with friends. The next stage is the regular use of drugs or alcohol and the body will begin to acclimate itself to these foreign chemicals. This stage can take place for years on end or be skipped entirely.
Depending on one’s history, genetics, and environment, they could then transition into risky use. The step between regular use and risky use is tough to pinpoint, but it is typically noted by changes to one’s personality and their habits. They will begin to devote more time to finding and using the drug and may even branch out to new vices. If the individual is not treated at this point, the body will become dependent on the substance and eventually devolve into a full addiction. Addiction affects each person on a slightly different level, but most specialists characterize this stage as anytime the individual understands that they are engaging in risky or deadly activities, but continues to do them anyways.
Effects of an Addiction
Even the mildest use of alcohol or drugs will have both short-term and long-term effects on the human body. Depending on the substance being used, the immediate effects on one’s body include lethargy, a false sense of well-being, and hallucinations. Users will often experience a period of “coming down” immediately after use and the body will be forced to overproduce certain chemicals to once again flush out the toxins. During this period, side effects can range from nausea and vomiting to depression and insomnia.
After the extended use of any foreign substances or chemicals, the body will change in a dramatic manner. With many of these drugs, the body will lose its ability to create certain natural chemicals such as dopamine and adrenaline. Without one’s drug of choice, the body could go into a state of shock and create severe psychological changes that could potentially become permanent.
Finding Effective Treatment with Inpatient Programs
The first thing that all addicts should realize is that inpatient addiction rehab is more effective than ever, and it is never too late or too early to seek out assistance. Those that have been abusing drugs and alcohol must also note that they should never attempt to detox or break the habit alone. This stage of treatment should always be overseen by a specialist.
Unlike other treatments that only attack the side effects of an addiction, comprehensive inpatient programs will closely inspect the root causes of an addiction. Whether it is one’s genetic disposition or even trauma in their past, discovering and treating the base causes is the only way to enjoy long-lasting healing. Inpatient treatment programs can also help addicts move past some of the most difficult stages of treatment with powerful tools such as counseling, group therapy, art therapy, a healthy diet, exercise, music therapy, and much more.
Beating an Addiction Permanently
Finding and utilizing a support system is the only effective and efficient way to completely and permanently move past an addiction. With the assistance of an inpatient program, addicts will have all the tools that they need to once again move forward in a healthy, happy, and balanced manner.