About Addiction

According to a study analyzed by Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE, 23 million Americans were addicted to drugs and/or alcohol in 2008. What’s even scarier is that Laws.com reported that nearly 25% of unexpected deaths are in relation to some sort of drug abuse in general. These are frightening statistics, and it only seems that drug abuse in America is continually on the rise with each passing year. To understand addiction and its caustic grip on the nation, it helps to break it down into the basics by understanding exactly what it is, the symptoms, and the repercussions of a blatant problem with drug abuse.

What is an Addiction?

To put it as plainly as possible, an addiction is a condition that starts when a person partakes in possibly addictive behavior, such as drug abuse, and does it so much that it becomes compulsive and begins to interfere with other aspects of their life. The substance that they are abusing becomes first priority, and it seemingly impossible for that person to stop doing what they’re doing. They have no control and take no moderation in the usage of the drug, and it eventually becomes integral enough to their lifestyle that they need it to get by in their daily life.

Common Signs of Addiction

Now that you understand what addiction is in its truest form, you might be here because you wonder whether or not you or someone else has a problem with it. These are a few of the most common signs of addiction.

One of the first, most prominent signs of a problem with addiction is the user neglecting their responsibilities with their job, family, health, or other life aspect to abuse the drug. Maybe the user frequently feels too sick to go into work from a hangover with their drug of choice. Maybe they’re out at all hours of the night while their spouse stays at home to take care of the kids. When drug abuse has reached this point, it is a definite warning sign for an addiction.

Someone that is addicted to drugs or alcohol might also do questionable things to get the drug that they want. For example, they might have sexual intercourse with someone in exchange for the drug or money to get the drug, or they might steal or neglect to pay bills so that they can have expendable money to spend on their addiction.

Legal trouble is also a notable part of an addict’s lifestyle. Maybe the addict is frequently in court for drug abuse or other drug-related activity. Maybe they’ve been caught on multiple occasions driving under the influence. A recurring problem with authorities over the drug problem is a major red flag and indicator of a problem with addiction.

Negative Effects of Addiction to Dangerous Substances

Because addiction controls practically all aspects of an addict’s life, it definitely comes with some negative repercussions. There is not a single case of drug abuse where anything beneficial was being done for the user’s health. All forms of drug abuse are highly caustic to the user’s health, and in most cases, it can be life threatening.

Any time there is an addiction to a substance present, the chance for overdosing looms. This is the most severely negative effect of an addiction problem. Death is not out of the cards for anyone who abuses drugs.

Many people that are addicted to substances will also suffer from financial problems. They often have trouble making payments for bills on time, making payments at all, and saving money. You will also hardly ever find a drug addict that has cash lying around unspent. Typically, if they have access to money, it will probably be spent within a matter of hours on their drug of choice.

Lastly, the user’s family and friends might also begin to disconnect due to not being able to relate to that person anymore. Most people that don’t abuse drugs typically don’t want to be around people that do. Therefore, many addicts will find themselves to be truly alone when the addiction is at its worst.

Treatments for Addiction

There are many different types of treatment options for people that are addicted to substances. Some addicts will undergo psychotherapy, while others will enroll in full blown treatment programs. Others seek help through self-help groups, where they often get a chance to get support from others who are suffering from addiction as well.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, seek help immediately. There are many different types of treatment options available to help people out that struggle with addiction. It’s never too late to start the recovery process and gain back control over your life. Simply reaching out for help could be what ultimately saves your life in the long run.