Facts about drugs

Drug Facts You May Not Have Known

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Understanding Addiction

Although drug abuse is far too prevalent in our world today, it is often a topic that people shy away from talking about. Here are a list of some facts that can help you be more aware of this growing problem in today’s world.

Addiction is a chronic disease, just like heart disease and cancer, and it can be fatal if left untreated. Much like other chronic illnesses, drug dependence tends to run in families and have a genetic component. Similarly, heart disease is also a chronic illness that has a genetic component. Also, the environment, such as social interactions, play a part in drug abuse as it does in heart disease. Moreover, if drug use goes untreated, it can have deadly consequences. Likewise, if cancer is left untreated, it too can have a fatal outcome. A family history of addiction, negative life choices, and lack of treatment can all contribute to drug abuse and its negative consequences.

Drug abuse changes your brain chemistry. Many drugs mimic the neurotransmitters inside our brain the processes the information it receives. Drugs can confuse the way these neurotransmitters receive, send and process information. However, the impersonating neurotransmitters caused by drug use do not mimic neurotransmitters exactly the same way as the true neurotransmitters actually work, which will cause them to send and receive abnormal messages. Therefore, long-term drug use can impair the brain’s functioning capabilities, sometimes tremendously.

Drug overdoses kill more people than cars, guns or falling. An overdose can occur while using drugs, after picking up the habit again and even after using drugs for the very first time. In addition, mixing drugs makes the chances of an overdose much more likely because of the dangerous effects that occur when you use different types of drugs together with differing effects. The number increases as we look at those who are treated for drug misuse problems as well. The number of overdoses and drug related injuries continue to rise at a staggering rate.

Research shows that 4 out of 5 heroin users start by using painkillers first. Painkillers and heroin are both opioids, so they have similar effects when used. Since painkillers are generally more difficult to access and are more expensive to purchase than heroin, those using painkillers to get high often turn to using heroin instead. However, not everyone who uses painkillers begins to use heroin, but since painkillers and heroin are both still opioids, they are still very dangerous and also very addicting. Also, since heroin is an illegal street drug, it does not have any safety regulations for manufacturing it either. Painkillers component of addiction makes it dangerous, but heroins component of addiction paired with its unregulated state makes it very dangerous to consume.

Over 50% of painkillers are obtained from a family member or a friend. Over half of those who obtain and abuse prescription medications receive them from their family members or friends for free; whereas only about 20% of them obtained them from their own doctor. However, these statistics do not imply the family member or friend knowingly give the drug away. However, the addict may have taken the prescription medication without the family member or friend knowing from the medicine cabinet or wherever they keep their prescription medications. Although sometimes family members and friends do freely give their medications to others, sometimes knowing about their drug addiction and sometimes not knowing about it.

The best treatment for drug dependence is a rehabilitation program that meets one’s specific needs. Drug abuse treatment is best when it seeks to provide treatment for all areas of one’s life. Not only is treating the addiction itself important, but providing help with other co-occurring mental health problems is pertinent as well. Providing family services is also equally important to help the person’s family understand the process of recovery and what the family member has and is experiencing as well. Legal services may also be needed if a person has gotten into legal trouble while abusing drugs. Furthermore, educational and vocational services may be needed for individuals seeking to break free of a drug abuse problems.

Good rehabilitation programs provide all of these services as well as on-site monitoring to provide accountability and prevent a drug relapse from occurring. They also typically provide or connect individuals with a relapse program after completing treatment in order to continue to hold them accountable to prevent a drug relapse. The best treatment programs provide a combination of services in order to meet each individuals needs. When looking for a treatment program, one should consider these facts.

 

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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