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Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is an ongoing and serious problem for millions of people in this country. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are not the only person living with the addiction. Friends, coworkers, and entire families suffer right along with the addict. Almost one in ten people either has or has had a substance abuse problem. People get addicted for many reasons, and some people can do drugs occasionally without becoming addicted. For those that do develop a substance abuse problem, it can be next to impossible to quit without some help.

Most addicts know that what they are doing is harming them, but they either don’t know how, or don’t want to quit using drugs. Addicts are good at denying things, and it can be hard to get a person with a substance abuse problem to face the fact that they are out of control. Sometimes an intervention can work, but that’s not always the case. The addict has to have the desire to quit for the treatment to be successful.

As we said, there are a multitude of reasons that people develop substance abuse issues. Some are doing it to block out the memories of a bad relationship or a painful childhood. Some do it to relax or escape from the routine of daily life. The ironic thing is that substance abuse creates more problems than the person ever had to begin with.

Some develop substance abuse problems purely by accident. They are prescribed medication by a doctor, and they either take more than they are supposed to or they continue to take the medicine after their doctor tells them it’s OK to stop. Drugs like Xanax and Valium are especially addictive because they give an almost instant euphoric feeling. There are almost as many people with prescription substance abuse issues as there are people abusing street drugs. Many teenagers turn to using prescription medicines to get high because they are often easily obtained. Below is a chart that lists the numbers of Americans who have substance abuse problems, and the drugs they take:

66

People, especially teens, are susceptible to peer pressure and they often begin taking drugs to fit in, or to feel more at ease in social situations. Others are trying to escape the stress of daily life. But, as always, the person ends up with more problems than they started with, and a serious substance abuse issue. Most get caught up in the cycle of use, depression, and guilt. The cycle cannot be broken until the person seeks medical help.

When a person or their family decides to get help for a substance abuse problem, there are programs available in all fifty states that specialize in detoxifying the body, managing painful withdrawal symptoms, and training the person to live a healthy, normal, and drug-free life. There is life after drug addiction, and a substance abuse problem can be fought and won. Don’t be afraid to seek help!

Drug Enforcement Agnecy (DEA) – http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/index.htm
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) – http://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institue of Health (NIH) – http://www.nih.gov/

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