In the past, drug and alcohol addiction was viewed as a poor behavior choice, an indicator of character flaw or sign of weakness. Even those who treated alcohol and drug addicts believed, at one point, that behavioral changes would be sufficient to stop someone from substance abuse. For the past few decades, it has been a known fact that addiction is a serious and complex disease that requires more than a change in behavior to overcome it, explains the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This disease affects more than the user and, as the loved one of an addict, you’ve likely already experienced the difficult consequences resulting from drug or alcohol abuse.
The Socio-Economic Impact of Addiction
The United States Office of National Drug Control Policy states that nearly $110 billion is the annual bill society must pay for the presence of illegal drugs. Add alcohol to the mix and the cost increases by $235 billion. Although these figures are staggering, they only represent one of the costs of addiction. Families and individuals suffer tremendously and pay high prices for addiction, too.
As someone who’s struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, or who has a loved one who is, you’ve probably already paid some of these heartbreaking costs, such as loss of job, end of relationship, loss of home, compromised health or legal problems. Professional treatment with a caring staff that focuses on addiction recovery is the most effective way to overcome this disease. Learning more about drug and alcohol addiction can help you make the right choice and reach out for help today.
- What is Addiction? New York University’s Langone Medical Center defines addiction as a compulsion to abuse drugs or alcohol despite the severe consequences faced by doing so. Because your body or your loved one’s body has become dependent upon the substance abused, a greater amount or frequency of abuse will eventually be needed to achieve the same effects and avoid painful withdrawal symptoms.
- Why Does Someone Become Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol? Drug and alcohol addiction cause changes to occur in the communication center of the brain, states the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Neurotransmitters, the messengers of the brain, send out messages of pleasure to the body when substance abuse occurs. Eventually, the brain and body associate good feelings and feelings of normalcy with drug or alcohol abuse and, to maintain these feelings, the abuse must continue.
- Symptoms of Addiction. As alcohol or drug abuse continues, it will be impossible to hide the side effects and symptoms. According to the US National Library of Medicine, those suffering from addiction behave secretly to hide substance abuse and, when caught, make excuses for using drugs or alcohol. You or a loved one may become confused, disoriented, experience hallucinations and loss of appetite or ability to sleep. Performance at work or school and taking care of family responsibilities will suffer. As the addiction continues, physical side effects can place you or your loved one at risk of serious health issues or death.
- How to Stop an Addict From Using Again. Talking to your loved one about addiction can help lead him or her to get help. Begging and threatening are not effective methods because your loved one’s brain and body are controlled by the need for their chosen substance. A closely supervised, professionally monitored detox program can help you or your loved one stop using drugs or alcohol, and then recover from addiction through counseling and learning to live a healthier, more positive life.
Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction Saves Lives
The consequences of continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol are great, placing your loved one and your family at risk for irreparable damage, as well as compromised health or loss of life. Seeking the compassionate and thorough assistance of the counselors and staff at BestDrugRehabilitation.com can be the single most important step you make in gaining help for yourself or someone you love who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol. Professional treatment and rehabilitation can help you detoxify and recover safely, while learning how to live a healthy, happy life in sobriety.