Facts on Drug Abuse – An Overview Study
Drug abuse has reached its epidemic in the USA over the past few years. It is destroying families, jobs, relationships, the person’s health and welfare and the future of the young generation. One thing for a fact is that the impact of drug abuse whether it be prescription pain killers or so called street drugs (cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, bath salts) causes addiction. On this article I will show you the facts on drug abuse.
It all starts with a simple pain for example, then a trip to the urgent care center or the emergency room where he or she gets a prescription for the pain. But if the effect is not good enough the individual goes another. Now this is where addiction starts.
The question is what are the pathophysiology, signs, causes and side effects of long term use and abuse? Do you want to know? Then please read on. But first let me show you some statistical data.
According to the Addiction Center there are 21 million Americans who have at least one addiction, yet only 10% receive treatment. Addiction can come from alcohol, opioids (prescription pain killers), heroin and street drugs. By the far the most commonly abused substance is Marijuana (Cannabis) according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse about 22.2 million.
Yes, there is medical marijuana for chronic pain but you will need a card and prescribed by a doctor licensed to prescribed this substance. And yes you read ti and have seen it just recently we now have CBD Oil which is now legal to buy at your local grocery store or online without the psychoactive component THC. For a more recent detailed study on drug abuse statistics please click the table from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
What happens to the brain?
Well the answer is that when a person is addicted to drugs the brain has a reward system where it releases a feel so good neurotransmitter otherwise known as Dopamine. By abusing drugs the dopamine released by the brain produces a rush of euphoria which induces more drug seeking behavior in order to get the same feeling. Therefore the more a person uses drugs the more they conditioned the brain the same substance fueled pleasant sensations. And so the person develops dependence and tolerance to the drug.
What are the Signs?
Substance abuse whether alcohol or opioid drug related can present in physical changes in appearance or personal hygiene and behavioral changes such as anxiety, depression and frequent mood swings. I have seen it in my practice as a nurse where one day they are themselves then a week later they feel they are either not taking their prescribed medications or are busy with something else. You can see it in their behavior. But let me outline to you things I have seen. The following are the physical signs:
- Blood shot eyes and pinpoint pupils
- Runny nose
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Poor personal hygiene — wearing the same clothes, not bathing, poor dental hygiene, body odor
- Sleep problems – insomnia or hypersomnia
- Weight changes – poor diet choices
Behavioral changes can include the following :
- Job related issues – frequent absenteeism, arguing at work
- Poor performance in school – poor grades, skipping classes
- Isolation – family and freinds
- Financial problems – borrowing money from someone to support the habit, stealing money
- Anxiety and depression
- Sudden changes in mood – irritability to angry outburst
- Lack of motivation
- Paranoid ideations
What are the causes?
Now let us look at the various ways that motivates a person to take drugs. Who is likely to take drugs or better yet why take them in the first place? Here they are:
- Genetics – drug abuse can run in families
- Co-Occurring Conditions – anxiety and depression
- Environmental Factors – parental abuse, neglect, poor relationship with the parents
- Experimentation – curious what is like to get high
- Peer pressure – to be accepted in a group
- Chronic Pain
What are the side effects?
The effects and abuse of drugs has no limits as it will affect the mind, body and spirit of the individual. It will not spare anything due to the person’s dependence and tolerance. While the side effects of vary from among individuals the most common are presented here:
- Weakened immune system – makes one prone to diseasesAddiction and tolerance
- Increased infections
- Impaired decision making
- Financial loss
- Ruined family relationships – divorce
- Cardiovascular complications
- Seizures and strokes
- Permanent brain damage
If you are addicted to abusing drugs then by all means seek treatment before it is too late. Seek a drug abuse referral treatment center online in your local area where you can find detox centers, sit down with a psychiatrist, drug abuse counselor, peer support specialist and have someone come with you (friend or family member). You are not alone here. You can recover and I have seen it in my practice as a nurse. You can do it and nobody else. And remember “You are Precious.”
It is a fact that drug abuse has reached its epidemic here in the US and has no boundaries. It affects all walks of life. There are many sources where an individual can acquire and abuse drugs whether it be a prescription from a doctor, acquired from the street or just simply the medicine cabinet. Knowing how it affects the brain and its pleasurable effects that can lead to dependence and tolerance. Its many signs such as chills, tremors and poor personal hygiene to causes such as genetics, anxiety and depression to its side effects such as impaired decision making, financial loss and medical issues one can see that it is growing problem.
So again I advice you if are reading this far to seek online for referral to a drug abuse treatment referral center. Remember recovery is possible only if you take action now.
If you have comments or additional questions please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you. Please share this blog by clicking the social media buttons below. Cheers to your recovery and celebrate !