Drug addiction affects all socio-economic classes and ethnicities. With all we know about the disease, it is unfortunate that this fact continues to be ignored by the majority of the general population. It is ignored because drug addiction has a stigma and unfortunate because good people get locked into a destructive cycle.
The faces of drug addiction are easily seen in the classic frame of “Skid Rows” in every major city. The general term leads people to think of heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and other illegal drugs. While these are all indeed a part of the problem, they should no longer be considered the major problem. The effort to help these individuals needs to continue while more attention is paid elsewhere.
Prescription drug addiction has become a common issue at the workplace. But two things keep it hidden from public view. First, the drug addict is very secretive about needing a drug because it is considered a sign of weakness. Second, if co-workers are aware of the drug use, they avoid confronting the addict because they don’t want to pry.
On the other side of stigma is marijuana addiction. This drug has become more accepted in society, and therefore has lost much of the stigma attached to its use. But it must be understood that social acceptance does not eliminate the fact that some individuals are addicted to marijuana, and more will addict to it.
As more people educate themselves about drug addiction, more addicts can get into drug detox and treatment and lives can be saved. Drug addiction has the power to destroy the lives of those it affects and their loved ones.
The following is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website. The full article, linked below, includes basic information about drug addiction.
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What is drug addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual who is addicted and to those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person’s self control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs.
It is because of these changes in the brain that it is so challenging for a person who is addicted to stop abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are treatments that help people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects and regain control. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications, if available, with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse.
Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And, as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse, however, does not signal failure—rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated, adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed to help the individual regain control and recover.
-- http://www.drugabuse.gov/Infofacts/understand.html --
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community. The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.