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Drug and Alcohol Addiction in The United States

More than 13 million Americans use illegal drugs, more than 2 million are known to abuse prescription drugs, 60 million are hooked on cigarettes, 33 million binge on alcohol, and 12 million are heavy drinkers. There are some 450,000 compulsive gamblers, and about 41 million Americans are physically dependent on caffeine. If we are anxious, we want tranquility drugs (sugar, alcohol, marijuana, heroin) that mimic the natural sedatives we are missing. The cure will be easiest and most permanent when we stop masking the problem with drugs.

 
   

Drug Addiction

Many people view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem. Parents, teens, older adults, and other members of the community tend to characterize people who take drugs as morally weak or as having criminal tendencies. They believe that drug abusers and drug addicts should be able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to change their behavior.

Addiction does begin with drug abuse when an individual makes a conscious choice to use drugs, but addiction is not just "a lot of drug use." Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that not only do drugs interfere with normal brain functioning creating powerful feelings of pleasure, but they also have long-term effects on brain metabolism and activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug abuse into addiction, a chronic, relapsing illness. Those addicted to drugs suffer from a compulsive drug craving and usage and cannot quit by themselves. Treatment is necessary to end this compulsive behavior.

Understanding drug abuse also helps in understanding how to prevent use in the first place.
It is necessary to keep sending the message that it is better to not start at all than to enter rehabilitation if addiction occurs. Overcoming misconceptions and replacing ideology with scientific knowledge is the best hope for bridging the "great disconnect" the gap between the public perception of drug abuse and addiction and the scientific facts.

Alcohol Addiction

People who are not alcoholic sometimes do not understand why an alcoholic can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. However, alcoholism has little to do with willpower. Alcoholics are in the grip of a powerful “craving,” or uncontrollable need, for alcohol that overrides their ability to stop drinking. This need can be as strong as the need for food or water.

When a person drinks alcohol, the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream, and goes to all the tissues. The effects of alcohol are dependent on a variety of factors, including a person's size, weight, age, and sex, as well as the amount of food and alcohol consumed. The disinhibiting effect of alcohol is one of the main reasons it is used in so many social situations. Other effects of moderate alcohol intake include dizziness and talkativeness; the immediate effects of a larger amount of alcohol include slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, and vomiting. Alcohol, even at low doses, significantly impairs the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol can also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and child abuse. Hangovers are another possible effect after large amounts of alcohol are consumed; a hangover consists of headache, nausea, thirst, dizziness, and fatigue.

Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to alcohol addiction (alcoholism). Sudden cessation of long term, extensive alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Long-term effects of consuming large quantities of alcohol, especially when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. In addition, mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants may suffer from mental retardation and other irreversible physical abnormalities. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics.

If you or someone you know needs help with a drug addiction or alcohol dependancy
please call or confidential and toll free number now

1-800-419-7941



Recovery from addiction is a process that begins with honesty and a desire to change.
Self-destructive behaviors like the abuse of drugs and alcohol lead many people to wish for a
better and more secure life. There is hope if you have a problem with alcohol or drug addiction.
USA Drug Rehab
can assist you in locating an addiction treatment center in the USA
by means of our free drug rehabilition placement program.

Please fill out a confidential contact form or call us toll-free at 1-800-419-7941
We are here 24/7 to provide the help you need.


 
   

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