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Drug abuse costs U.S taxpayers nearly $500 billion each and every year . Nearly 10 -22 % of all automobile crashes are caused by drugged driving. Nearly 1/3 of all alcohol abusers arrested for Driving under the Influence are repeat offenders. Alcohol and drug abuse are obviously monumental problems in the United States.

What is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is any use of a substance that is outside the normal limits or purposes of the drug. Cocaine, heroin, street methadone, barbiturates, marijuana and other drugs are all illegal to possess and use in the United States; although marijuana is available in some places by prescription. Prescription drugs and alcohol cause addiction in both adults and teenagers. Learning the signs of addiction can help families and friends identify and reach out to those struggling with drug abuse.

Illegal Drugs and Drug Abuse

Most drugs used for recreational purposes are illegal. Cocaine continues to be one of the most popular illegal street drugs. Cocaine works in the brain by producing feelings or euphoria, excessive energy, increased heart rate, insomnia and increased blood pressure. It is extremely dangerous when combined with alcohol. Ecstasy is a popular party drug and also produces feelings of euphoria and heightens the senses. Heroin and other opiates work in the brain and combine to opiate receptors, slowing heart rate and respiration to dangerous levels. These and other illegal street drugs are highly addictive. As addiction progresses, addicts use more of the drug to achieve the same results increasing the risk of overdose and death. If you or a loved one struggles with drug abuse, look for these signs of addiction:

  • Focusing more time on getting and using the drug
  • Unable to stop using the drug on your own
  • Keeping a supply of the drug at all times
  • Participating in risky behaviors while on the drug
  • Using the drug to deal with your problems
  • Spending money that you don’t have to get the drug
  • Engaging in illegal behavior to get the drug

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are nearly 17.6 million adult alcoholics in the United States. Alcoholism is the number one drug problem in the country. It is estimated that 40 to 50 million people are affected by alcoholism in some way. The symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • A strong need to drink
  • Inability to limit alcohol
  • Needing more alcohol to feel normal
  • Unable to remember conversations, events or commitments
  • Drinking at specific times during the day
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Hiding alcohol in your home

Prescription Drug Addiction

A growing drug problem in the United States is addiction to prescription drugs. Pain relievers, anti-depressants and stimulants are prescribed to manage pain after surgery, injury or for chronic pain conditions, to treat depression and anxiety and to control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other neurological conditions. These drugs are highly addictive when used in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed.

Prescription drugs can cause dependency and tolerance quickly, and people who are addicted take these drugs before the next scheduled dose or in more than the prescribed dose. Prescription drug abuse also leads to doctor shopping for those trying to get a new prescription from a different doctor for the same drug.

Help for Drug Abuse

If you or someone you love is abusing drugs or alcohol, there is help available. Addiction treatment centers offer medically supervised detox, individual, group and family therapy and ongoing support groups. Admitting you have a problem is the first step on your journey to a drug free life. Getting help for your addiction through rehab and support groups can give you the tools you need to get free from drugs. Don’t wait. Call our toll-free drug helpline now.

Let addictionwatch.com Help Today

Have you found yourself searching for answers to an addiction problem? Whether you are a concerned loved one or struggling with addiction yourself we are here to help. Please call addictionwatch.com at our toll-free number listed above. If calling causes anxiety or inconvenience please fill out our simple form in the right column of the page.  Contact us today and make a change.

Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse

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"I have to tell you I was not ready to accept what you had to say, at all. I couldn't believe nor did I like what I was hearing. At first you really made me mad, but as things progressed what you were telling me became ever so true. My husband's alcoholism was tearing our family apart. Thanks for your honesty and your willingness to put up with my unbelievable attitude. Its people like you who make the world go round, only in a saner manner! Thanks again! " - DH

"I had no idea why my son, who have watched go from the most gracious caring kid, to a lying thieving con artist who I didn't want to wipe my feet on. Heroin addiction has to be the worst thing a family can go through, not only did you guide me through what is probably the worst experience I have ever had, you followed up to make sure we were doing okay. You and the counselors at AddictionWatch are truly an asset to society." - HS

"When my daughter finally appeared on our doorstep, thanks to your advice we knew exactly what to do. I felt as though I have known you for years, and we are forever grateful to the knowledge we have gained through your service. My daughter's prescription addiction, lead to a heroin addiction and she was doing unimaginable things to support her habit; it was a life of hell. She has been in the program you referred us to and we are already seeing drastic changes for the better. Thanks so much!" - BC