Drug Addiction Information and Resources
Knowing the signs and symptoms of drug abuse is key to help an individual struggling with addiction to get help and achieve sobriety. Abused drugs range from over-the-counter cold remedies to cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. Symptoms of abuse vary widely between different drugs. One thing they all have in common: an inability to manage life once addiction takes hold.
The following article describes some common signs and symptoms of drug abuse and what to look for if you suspect someone of being addicted to drugs.
Drug addiction continues to be a major concern for society, and the concern grows with every passing year. As drug and alcohol addiction ruin lives of those most closely affected, but society at large suffers from addiction's rippling effects. The following article explains the effects of drug addiction on individuals, families, neighborhoods, and society overall. Drug addiction's debilitating effects range from financial, to functional, to emotional and should by no means be taken lightly.
Chronic pain management can be an extremely complex and frustrating experience for both the patient as well as their healthcare provider. Managing a pain condition is often very challenging, and it becomes even more so when a coexisting problem is also present. In fact, one of the most difficult problems is not identifying coexisting prescription drug abuse or addiction problem. There is a significant risk of prescription abuse/addiction problems because as many as 90 percent of people undergoing chronic pain management are prescribed opiates—about 10 percent of people on chronic opiate maintenance will develop a substance use disorder abuse or dependence.
Although the initial decision to take drugs or alcohol is usually voluntary, there is a common misconception that drug addiction is indicative of moral or ethical failure, or a lack of willpower to resist the use of drugs or "do the right thing." When someone is suffering from addiction, the brain is functioning differently than it did prior to the addiction. Drugs change the way the brain functions, specifically in the mesolimbic dopamine system (the brain's reward center), making it extremely challenging for an addict to resist compulsive urges and cravings for more drugs. Because compulsive drug use alters this system, urges and cravings for an addict's drug of choice rarely completely go away, even after years of sobriety.
Recovery from addictions can be a lengthy and difficult process, and successful long-term recovery often requires a lifetime of "practice". Once people complete a primary addiction treatment program, too often there is a tendency for individuals to begin to relax and stop worrying about their addictive nature and past behaviors that resulted in their lives becoming unmanageable. Unfortunately, this is a precarious thought process at best. Indeed, most people complete addiction recovery programs having gained massive insight into the nature of their addiction(s) and having learned tools to cope with life on life's terms without turning to their mood-altering substance or behavior of choice. Practicing those tools however requires work. Many addicts in recovery quickly learn that the implementation of these tools on a daily basis in the "real" world can be a significant challenge, especially without a specific plan of action or support structure in place to help them stay clean and sober long-term.
Addiction and Genetics - the role of genetic research in advancing the field of addiction treatment, and the relationship between genetics and addiction. The following article describes the synergism between addictive liability and genetics based on years of study and continuing research. The field of genetics has seen major advances in the last 20 years, and researchers are beginning to identify specific genes that seem to have specific bearing on the addictive potential of substances and behaviors in the human body.
For the patient that has a history of substance abuse, pain management carries significant risk, because narcotic pain killers (opioids) are extremely addictive. It is a common misconception that the management of acute or chronic pain necessarily leads to addiction. Taking mood-altering chemicals for management of legitimate pain in opiate-naive patients only results in addiction a small percentage of the time. In most cases, pain management and addiction are mutually exclusive. Nevertheless, some individuals do become addicted to pain medication, and for individuals with a history of addiction, taking narcotics for pain management can be a recipe for disaster.
Teen addiction is a dangerous problem facing parents and society at large. More and more adults are taking potentially dangerous and addictive prescription medications, and more and more teens are getting into their parent's medicine cabinets and experimenting with mood-altering drugs. Teens today may have easier access to drugs than alcohol. Teen addiction is a major concern, growing with each passing year.
The following article describes some of the issues with teen addiction, how it begins, and tips on how to recognize, prevent, and treat teen addiction.
A number of information sources are used to quantify America’s drug problem and to monitor drug abuse trends. Foremost among these sources are the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey* and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health** (NSDUH). Since 1975, the MTF survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use as well as related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide. For the 2010 survey, 46,482 students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades from 396 public and private schools participated. Funded by NIDA, the MTF survey is conducted by investigators at the University of Michigan.
Drug abuse, also called substance abuse or chemical abuse, is a disorder characterized by a destructive pattern of substance use that leads to unmanageability in one or more areas of life (i.e. relationships, work, school etc.) Estimates suggest drug abuse affects more than 7% of of the population at some point in their lives. Teens are increasingly engaging in prescription drug experimentation and abuse, particularly drugs classified as opiates (which are prescribed to relieve severe pain), and stimulants, which treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in young people and adolescents.
Drug abuse is something that has devastated families generation after generation. When a family member is abusing drugs, future plans are shattered, relationships are broken and the entire family eventually ends up in turmoil.