Here are some facts that may surprise or sadden you about drug abuse and addiction. As with most issues about addiction, there is much that is unexpected; the costs are much higher than expected and much of people believe to be true about drugs are wrong.
"Marijuana is not harmful or addictive" is often stated by those who use it regularly. Research, that's more than a decade old, shows that in fact marijuana is addictive and in fact is causing one of the highest incidence of addiction in the United States. This shows that we believe what we want to believe about drugs.
Drug/Substance/Chemical ABUSE is people making bad decisions, like having too many drinks at a bar on Saturday night. Drug/Substance/Chemical DEPENDENCE is not being able to stop using. It is impaired use of the drug, characterized by the inability to not use.
DSM 5 outlines the criteria for any drug/substance/chemical dependence or use disorder (addiction). Three or more of the following must be present in order for an individual to be diagnosed with a chemical use disorder:
• Substance taken for a longer time and in greater amounts than intended
• Desire or efforts to reduce or control use
• Much time spent trying to obtain substance
• Social, recreational or occupational activities given up or reduced
• Continued use despite knowing problems caused by substance
DSM-IV-TR criteria for drug/substance/chemical abuse is characterized by the one or more of the following:
• Failure to meet obligations
• Repeated use in situations where it is physically dangerous
• Repeated substance-related legal problems
• Continued use despite problems caused by substance
Dependence or addiction is a brain disease caused by a brain “disregulation.” It is characterized by impaired decision making, an inability to stop using without help.
Folk Lore: The following statements have no basis in fact:
• Crack babies are addicted. No, crack babies are distressed because their mothers are probably also using alcohol and are malnourished. NOT TRUE! Read more about Cocaine Addiction Facts
• Marijuana is not addictive. NOT TRUE! The truth is, statistically, 1 in 10 will become addicted
• Using certain drugs, even once, means you’re automatically addicted. NOT TRUE! Each person is different and some do use once and become addicted while others use hundreds of times and NEVER become addicted.
• Addiction can be cured by medicine. NOT TRUE! Addiction requires a psychological intervention to end it.
• Children should be permitted to drink in the presence of their parents because a drink or two is “harmless.” NOT TRUE! The younger a person starts regularly drinking the more likely they are to become an alcoholic.
According to the National Institute of Health NIH, addiction/alcoholism impacts EVERY one of us, because we all pay the cost for it. Statistics show that drug abuse and drug addiction cost Americans nearly $610 billion every year. Included in this is medical costs; lost wages, traffic accidents and DUIs, and the costs of the crimes committed related to drugs. The actual number that it costs us is likely to be much higher but $610 billion can be measured.
Approximately more than 13 million people have a dependence on alcohol... are alcoholics.
Children who start drinking in their early teen years are much more likely to develop problems with alcohol than those who wait until they are 21.
Alcohol is more toxic than many other drugs because it impacts the entire body, not just the brain.
Drug abuse is involved to at least 50% of the major crimes in this country, with at least half of the suspects arrested for violent crimes were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when they were arrested.
Stress is a major factor in drug use and abuse.
Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people in drug abuse treatment report that they were physically or sexually abused as children. Child abuse is a major contributing factor to drug addiction.
Marijuana and LSD ARE addictive!
Among persons aged 12 or older who used pain relievers non-medically in the past 12 months, 55.7 percent reported that the source of the drug the most recent time they used was from a friend or relative for free.
The Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” and medical science are compatible.
Spirituality can play an important role in treatment and recovery. Meditation, for example, can have the same effect on the brain as an opioid analgesic.
The 12 Step Recovery process works. The greatest reason for failure rests on the unwillingness of the individual to turn to God, as he/she understands God.
12 Step is NOT religion. It is NOT tied to any faith tradition. It is the collective thinking and experience of addict/alcoholics who have walked through the dark tunnel of their disease and found recovery.
Treatment for any drug/substance/chemical use disorder should be individualized. While there are accepted practices, one size does not necessarily fit all. If you have tried and failed, keep trying.
Click here for Alcoholism Facts
Drug Addiction Facts Summary:
Drug Addiction Facts are more available today than every but aren't necessarily going in the right direction.
Drug Addiction Facts are being discovered every day because drug addiction is a disease of the brain and more information is now known about the brain then ever before.
Drug Addiction Facts are useful to help kids understand that drugs are bad for them.
Drug Addiction Facts show we spend a HUGE amount on addiction to drugs and alcohol in the US and it is increasing.
Drug Addiction Facts will help researchers eventually to find cure for addiction but they are a long way from it right now.
Drug Addiction Facts are important to help support good public policy decisions.
Drug Addiction Facts will surprise a lot of people because drugs are having such a negative impact on the community and culture.
Drug Addiction Facts are important and must be communicated to as broad of audience as possible.
Please ask your question or share your story drug addiction facts.
Click below to see contributions about drug addiction facts.
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Joe Herzanek discusses the importance of Step 6 in a successful 12-Step recovery, this week on Recovery Now!