Who are most affected or at-risk of addiction?
Almost anyone can become a victim of drug addiction. Drug addiction is a disease that does not have any gender preference. All sorts of people can become addicted to drugs; they can be of varying ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and nationalities. However, research and statistics have shown that there are groups of people that are more likely to be affected by drug addiction.
Those in the younger generation are disproportionately more prone to addiction and substance abuse. Younger people, especially those younger people who overlap with some of the other criteria here, are way more likely to develop an addiction to drugs. And this could be due to a wide variety of different factors, such as peer pressure and so much more.
Mentally ill people
People with mental disorders are more likely to develop a drug addiction. It can be due to some different factors. One of the main reasons why mentally ill people are prone to addiction and substance abuse is because they are already taking some kind of psychoactive drug. And these medications can be highly addictive. The problem with mentally ill people becoming addicted is that mental illness and drug addiction can be a vicious cycle that can feed each other.
Veteran soldiers are also at a higher risk of drug addiction. Drug addiction is not a question of discipline or self-control, as proven by this population that is often a victim of drug addiction. It is because veterans can have higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. And it is because of that, and their PTSD flashbacks which can cause them to turn to using drugs, as a way to cope with their trauma.
People who face discrimination
Populations, such as LGBTQ people, who face a lot of discrimination are more likely to start using drugs. It is because they are more likely to experience problems such as mental illnesses and poverty. It is not that these groups of people are more prone to mental illness or addiction, it is because of the discrimination that they face, which drives them to substance abuse.
People living in poverty
Poorer people are way more likely to turn to using drugs. And this can be a huge problem because more drug use can lead to even further poverty. Statistics have shown that drug use is especially prevalent amongst those who are at the bottom rung of income with society. And this can cause poor people to get even more stuck in poverty because their addiction could be keeping them in poverty.
Addiction does not only affect users
It is not only the addicts that are affected by their addiction. A lot of people around them can also be indirectly affected by their substance abuse too. It is because drug addiction and substance abuse can have long-reaching effects. Therefore, it is only natural that people who are close to or in a relationship with the addict would also get affected by their drug use. So here are some of the people that could be affected by the substance abuse habit of the addict.
Family and friends
Relationships with close friends and family will always become strained due to drug addiction. It is because drugs can create a rift, due to the ever-growing mental and physical dependence that can happen because of prolonged drug use. Addicts will prioritize the use of drugs over the building and maintenance their relationships.
Both unborn and living children can be affected by drug use. Pregnant women who use drugs are more likely to bear children that have got congenital disabilities. These children may even be born already addicted to a specific kind of substance. Children, already alive and born, may also be affected by a parent’s drug use. A child is more likely to develop a substance abuse habit and other kinds of issues if they have got a parent with a drug addiction habit.
It is worth saying that all of the relationships that an addict has, will become strained by their drug abuse. Trust and communication can break down, all due to their use of certain kinds of substances.
What are some drugs and its effects?
Drugs can interact with the body and brain chemistry differently. The effects, therefore, vary according to the chemical composition of the drug. Drugs can also be classified according to their effects. This classification of drugs according to their effects should help you out identify the various kinds of drugs there are.
Depressants: Alcohol, Tranquilizing drugs and sleeping pills, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, pain medications, opiates, heroin, methadone, codeine, morphine, etc.
These drug products induce a feeling of relaxation, well-being and dreaming and sometimes a loss of inhibition.
Stimulants: Tobacco, Cocaine, Crack, Amphetamines, Stimulating and Doping Drugs, Ecstasy, GHB.
These drugs temporarily create a state of increased energy and excitement, and they also mask feelings of fatigue. They induce a fallacious sense of self-assurance and self-control. The effect is usually followed by a state of depression and fatigue, which is called a crash.
Hallucinogens: Cannabis and derivatives, glues and solvents, volatile anesthetics, Ketamine, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms.
These products cause a problem with the sensory perception of the person. It can make it hard for someone to understand their environment and reality: changes in the perception of time and space, exacerbated sensitivity to colors and sounds, confusion of the senses, and experience of hallucinations.
What causes people to become addicted?
Almost all substances associated with addiction trigger some mechanism for reward in the brain. Dopamine is the primary chemical messenger that provides the brain’s reward response. Whenever the person makes use of the drug substance, the brain experiences a feeling of euphoria, which causes it to want to resort to this substance again. Changes occur in the brain slowly over a period, such as decreased dopamine production and the pleasant effects of the substance are reduced; thus larger amounts of the substance are then needed to obtain the same sensation.
The exact and specific reasons for substance abuse are unclear, although many factors can trigger addiction. Genes seem to play a role because the risk of experiencing a substance abuse problem is higher for people who have other people with the same problem in their family. The environment of the person, such as school, work as well as friends, family members, cultural and religious beliefs can also affect substance abuse problems.
Other forms of illnesses, especially mental ones can also play a role in addiction triggers. Taking substances can also begin at a time when people try to cope with unpleasant feelings and thoughts such as sadness, depression and other kinds of emotional turmoil. People who face a lot of discrimination are also going to more likely to turn to using substances and getting into drug addiction.
What are the symptoms of drug addiction in people?
Dependence on a particular substance will involve increasing the tolerance of an addict to a drug. It means that the body requires increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect it had initially. Stopping taking the substance triggers symptoms that include tremors, body pains, constipation, and diarrhea. Stopping a substance may also be dangerous for the life of the person. Other kinds of problems such as those that happen within the mind, like hallucinations, may also occur during detoxing.
Some people may become physiologically dependent on a specific kind of substance or drug without the psychological addiction aspect, especially when the substance is prescribed to a person to treat a medical problem. It is especially common in people that become addicted to prescription medications.
Psychological dependence is the state wherein that substance is necessary for the well-being and functioning of the person. These people often experience an unnatural need for the addictive substance, to the point of doing the greatest harm to get it and relieve their lack. Substances are capable of creating mental dependence work on the person’s brain chemistry, and it can create some or more of the enumerated symptoms, mood changes, feelings of anxiety, sensory hallucination, and delusions of grandeur.
Are there any complications and risks from drug abuse?
Complications related to drug addiction are numerous. Illicit substances and even prescription medications can pose a risk to the human health, as they can damage the brain, create nutritional deficiencies and even cause cardiovascular disease. Certain drugs and illicit substances may cause congenital abnormalities while some drugs such as heroin can cause damage to the nervous and even immune systems as well.
Addicts who are regularly taking amphetamines are at a higher risk heart attacks, aneurysm, paranoid thoughts and even panic attacks. Hallucinogenic drugs, because they can create hallucinations, can induce people to start doing all sorts of psychotic actions, which they would not do, such as stealing, for example. Diseases such as HIV, HPV and other STD, which are spread through the use of soiled syringes, are another indirect consequence of substance abuse.
How is drug addiction treated?
So as you can see, drug addiction can be extremely dangerous. Which is why as a disease, there are many places, such as a drug rehab center that you can go to. Problems that are caused by drug addiction are treatable. It would take some time to get treated, some people need weeks or even months of it, and it is possible that recurrences may occur, but the treatment is effective in the long-term for many people. It is even more effective when a person is sent to a drug rehab center.
Numerous recovery options for addicts are available at a drug rehab center. The treatment plan varies according to the needs of the individual and takes into consideration the specifics of the drug problem, the support network of the person and the motivation of the person to initiate the treatment. Treatment plans and programs may need to be modified to accommodate changing needs. A recovery plan for an addict may include group therapy, support sessions, physical treatments for the withdrawal symptoms or reduction of harmful activities. So within drug rehab, there are a lot of options for recovery for any addict, even those with special needs.
Drug substitutes in rehab
Drug substitutes are used to treat the physical symptoms of withdrawal. In the process of the detoxification of certain substances, the person is given smaller amounts of the drug, which will allow them to “wean” off of the drug, allowing their body to become detoxified. It is also possible to give them a drug substitute alternative than those to which they are accustomed. For example, methadone is often used as a substitute for people who are addicted to the substance called heroin. Methadone and other kinds of similar substances will not harm the brain or the body as much as other drugs.
Addiction therapy in rehab
Within therapy in rehab, a drug addict will understand the harm that their behavior has caused. And they would also learn effective techniques to deal with their addictive behavior.
A person also has other options for the kind of treatment that they receive in rehab. For example, depending on the kind of rehab that they go to, others may not offer substitute drugs. Other kinds of addiction treatment facility would also offer spiritual counseling. This kind of rehab option may be better for more religious people seeking treatment.
Hurdles within rehab
During recovery, many people will experience recurrences or triggers for wanting to use their drug of choice again. These should be seen as temporary setbacks that can serve as a lesson. Such as when an addict is triggered they can determine what kind of strategy should be used to avoid this in the future. Overcoming each of these recurrences will bring the person closer to healing. The road to healing can be a long journey for some, but it does exist. And within a drug rehab center that road will be easier to take for addicts. It is because many people that are running drug recovery programs and centers know just how difficult it to overcome addiction. So they provide the needed support to help recovering addicts overcome their hurdles on their road to recovery.
While a large population of people, from the young to the old, can become affected by addiction, they would be able to get the help that they need from drug rehab. It does not matter what age or gender they are; drug rehab can help those people find a way to recovery from their addiction. Addiction may affect a lot of people, but those same people who are affected by addiction can find further healing and more importantly happiness when they check into a rehab center for addiction recovery.