Drug Addiction Treatment Centers
It may have started with a joint behind auto shop in the 10th grade. It may have been at a friend’s house. It may have started even earlier in life. It may have been a pill or a line. It may have been a concert or a party. It may not have been any of these things, but there is one thing that it most definitely is: It’s a problem.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the percentage of the American population that had ingested an illicit substance in the month previous to being asked spiked to 9.4% in 2013. That may not seem like a very high percentage point, so perhaps the raw number is more appropriate:
When asked, 24.6 million Americans admitted to doing drugs in the last 30 days.
It’s no secret that illegal narcotics navigate The United States through the underground tributaries of the drug trade, eventually finding their ways into homes and families countrywide. The likelihood of an addict’s testimony being a story of how his drug of choice is the best thing that ever happened to him is pretty slim. Drugs have found their way into your family and they are leaving in their wake nothing but destruction and pain.
The benign nature of this academic definition tells the reader what a drug is, but in the context of drug addiction and substance abuse, the more appropriate discussion is what the drugs do. This is a collection of discussions that revolve around the different drugs that are available via both legal and illegal channels.
The Stuff in My Body: How Bad Is It?
In a gang of misfits, marijuana would be considered in today’s society to be the “goodie-two-shoes” of the group. With every passing day, “weed” slips further and further down on the list of dangerous substances to try. Medical science seems to come across steadily increasing amounts of data that indicate medical benefits of prescribed marijuana use, but the somewhat less dangerous consequences of misuse are not to be mistaken for a “safe” drug. States across America have legalized use of pot for medical purposes and some states like Colorado and Washington are deregulating the substance all together.
If the government says it’s ok, then what’s the problem?
The answer is this: Marijuana is a drug and can be used irresponsibly, causing some of the following complications:
Lung disease (from inhalation of smoke)
Many businesses accept the increasing legalization of marijuana and still have no interest in hiring those with THC (TetraHydraCannibinol – the substance that causes the high) in their system. A user of marijuana could fail a drug test over 30 days after his last use.
In America’s “War on Drugs” marijuana had the dubious distinction as the “gateway drug”. This term suggests that use of marijuana exposes the user to the idea of getting high and causes curiosity about what other kinds of drugs are available.
Psychedelic drugs, known more officially as hallucinogens, take hold of the mind of the user. After ingesting this variety of substance, different styles and amounts remove users from reality and place them firmly in an altered mental state. This is known as a “trip” and the seductive power of this euphoric state often leads to serious problems. Some well known drugs fall into this category:
A user may try to make the case that it’s just about “expanding your mind” or “enhancing your consciousness”. But continued use and overuse is dangerous. There is no shortage of horror stories about users being poisoned ingesting something they thought was their favorite drug. Users who are lucky enough to escape death are still at risk of altering their consciousness permanently or causing brain damage.
Stimulants: Your Dance with the Devil
The United States got a wakeup call in the early 1980’s with the popularity and subsequent mass distribution of cocaine. In a very short time, the substance made from the coca leaf was everywhere in our society. Its presence at every level was romanticized and openly promoted by many in the public eye from movie stars to politicians. America was in a toxic love affair.
Just over 30 years later, this deadly love affair rages on with other uppers like methamphetamine. Also known as “crystal” or “chris”, meth wastes no time taking over the life of its user. This dangerous and affordable substance is made from poisonous chemicals, usually in the home, by amateur chemists in a deadly push to move as much product as possible.
Ingestion of meth can be done by snorting powder, inhaling its smoke, or injection. The user enjoys an intense euphoria and unnaturally heightened levels of focus that can also be found in meth’s legal prescription siblings: Ritalin and Adderall (prescribed for ADHD patients).
Has Meth Moved In? Signs That "Tweak" Is in Your Home:
Quick temper, violent outbursts
Jittery movement, tremors, constant scratching
Opiates and the Danger of Prescription Painkillers
The most recent and most rapidly growing trend in the United States today is the increasing overuse of prescription painkillers. It’s well known that heroin, having made its big boom just after the Vietnam war in the 1970’s, takes its fair share of American lives every year. But, at least Americans know that the heroin on the streets is illegal.
Prescription pain killers are easy to get for those who have health insurance. Assuming the patient fills the prescription because he or she is hooked may be assuming too much. The financial motivation to resell the pills in the bottle on the street is sometimes very high.
The average pill was 20 milligrams at 60 pills per bottle: 1200 milligrams total.
This makes the profit in one bottle $1,185.00 on the street.
Oxycontin is just one of many painkillers that are claiming more and more habits daily. Some other names you might hear are:
The legal status of these drugs tends to conceal their dangerous effects that range from gastrointestinal complications and liver disease to mental illness, amnesia, and even death.
The addictive properties of these substances are ruthless and, much like the “uppers” and “downers” noted above, getting out from under this addiction is very difficult without the help of knowledgeable and experienced medical professionals.