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Anxiety, worry, fears and consistent conflicts are all common experiences people have when addiction is an issue. Whether a person is addicted to alcohol, heroin, meth, prescription pills or any number of substances, this is a disease that can completely take over a life and twist it to something almost unrecognizable. From teenagers to adults with careers to senior citizens, the disease of addiction favors no gender, age or background of a person. This disease can be deadly and can ruin families, destroy careers and ultimately lead to death or institutionalization if it is not dealt with effectively.
Taking a Close Look at National Addiction Statistics
According to the government-operated National Institute on Drug Abuse, the costs of addiction amount to more than 600 billion dollars on an annual average. These costs primarily stem from loss of wages, as well as crimes committed that stemmed from addiction and healthcare costs.
Shocking but also sobering statistics provided by Foundation for a Drug- Free World display addiction and substance abuse in teenagers is on a steady incline. More than 3 percent of youth between the ages of 12 years old to 17 years old confessed in a national survey to using illegal prescription drugs within the past four weeks. Additionally, six percent of young adults up to 25 years old admitted to abusing prescription drugs within the last four weeks.
Harrowing Drug Addiction Numbers
Prescription drugs rank the highest out of all drugs that are abused, according to statistics provided by Foundation for a Drug-Free World. A child between the ages of 12 to 17 abuses a prescription drug every single day.
• Cocaine
• Marijuana
• Heroin
• Hallucinogens
• Methamphetamines
• Prescription Drugs
With statistics like these growing at an alarming rate, it has become even more pressing for family members and friends of addicts to get informed about the disease of addiction. Addiction can settle over any person from any walk of life. From people in poverty situations to people who have professional careers and stable families, the disease can place its cemented hold on a person from any type of background or age.
Noticeable Signs of Substance Abuse
Watching for signs of addiction can help people close to a person who is suffering from substance abuse to get back on the right path. People can become addicted for many different reasons, and it is common for a family to believe they will never be affected. However, being alert and informed can help someone to spot a person who is displaying signs of addiction. Having this information tucked away can ultimately be a life-saving resource for the person who is struggling with the disease.
Common Signs of Addiction
These signs are commonly associated with people who are addicted:
• Disrupt in sleeping habits for no apparent reason
• Irritability level seems to increase unexplainably
• Begins missing school, work or starts skipping out on family responsibilities
• Money problems become apparent
• Seems overly-anxious and nervous, unable to carry on full conversations without seeming distracted
• Bloodshot eyes, weight loss or gain, extreme change in complexion, dilated eyes
• No longer engages productively in healthy friendships or relationships
• Personal grooming habits begin to deteriorate, unkempt appearance that is out of the normal pattern
• Slurring of speech
• Appears paranoid, frightened or hyperactive
The signs easily vary from one person to the next and are also dependent on the type of drug a person is using. It is very common for a person to be on more than one drug at a time and this can increase the physical and physiological signs of substance abuse.
It is important to remember that because a person may display one or two of these signs, it is not a definite indicator that the individual has an addiction problem.
However, being watchful and paying close attention to behavior patterns and physical changes will play a helpful role to family members who are concerned that a loved one may be addicted.
Understanding What Causes Addiction
The cause of addiction can be any number of things. If a person realizes that this disease can range from alcohol abuse to the abuse of serious drugs and prescription medications, it is easier to be aware of the risk factors of over-using or indulging in substances. Some people become addicted because a social drinking habit turned into a more serious drinking habit. This can lead to showing up late for work, missing out on obligations and in drinking and driving criminal offenses.
Some people become addicted as a result of suffering a personal tragedy. An inability to cope with a heavy issue in a healthy way often leads people to depression. The depression, if not dealt with in a positive way and in a timely manner, can lead to substance abuse. This often happens with people who are abusing prescription medications, alcohol and drugs like cocaine and heroin.
Seeking Treatment for Addiction Can Lead to Long-term Recovery
Seeking treatment for addiction does provide a new hope and a new future for addicts and alcoholics. It is important for any person who is struggling to defeat the disease to know he or she has an opportunity to kick the habit once and for all by enrolling in an in-patient treatment facility.
At an inpatient substance abuse facility, the person will have a chance to be physically removed from drug and alcohol temptations. This is an important first step because it is easy for a person to cave in and give up when inpatient rehabilitation is not something he has pursued. Professional counselors use an effective combination of teaching tools and provide group therapy and one-on-one talk therapy to help an addict to understand the source of his problem. Being able to identify the problem is at the core of successfully treating every addiction issue.
Embracing a New Life After Addiction
Entering into a new life free of addiction is something many people do successfully once they have completed a professional substance abuse in-house program. The support of family and friends is vital to a person’s recovery, but an individual will also gain tools from a professional treatment facility to maintain healthy daily habits if this support is not available.
Author Bio:
Marilyn Kegley works with several addiction treatment centers to educate individuals about the dangers of substance abuse. After watching numerous loved ones struggle with addiction, her goal is to help as many people as possible get effective and successful rehabilitation treatment. To learn more about drug and alcohol rehab, please visit: