The StatisticsSubstance abuse is characterized as the consistent use of any substance with mind-altering effects and a detrimental effect on the user's character and mental stability. Addicted persons typically suffer from a pattern of cause and effect with destructive behavior and stress resulting from the addiction. Currently an estimated 7% of the population suffers from an addiction at one point in their lives, with an average of 2% of the population addicted at any given time.
The substances in question range from prescription drugs to household cleaners and everything in between. Out of those statistics, alcohol related addiction is the most common, making up some 41.4 percent of treatment facility admissions. Heroin and opiates come in second at some 20 percent of admissions, while marijuana accounts for some 17 percent of admissions. However, prescription drug abuse is an equally large threat, although less well documented. Misuse of prescription drugs, including sleeping pills, pain relievers, and stimulants, are responsible for 45 percent of all drug related deaths, as opposed to the 39 percent caused by 'hard drugs' like heroin and methamphetamines.
While the latter are more dangerous in terms of detrimental effect on the body, more people overdose, or mix substances and alcohol with prescription drugs. You can check the National Survey of Drug Use and Health by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for more information.
What are the Causes of Substance Abuse?
There are many causes of substance misuse including peer pressure, social and mental problems, stress, psychiatric issues, unemployment, etc. Some people are more easily addicted to substances than others are, as they are more sensitive to the neurotransmitters released into the brain or to particular compounds.
Fortunately, treating the physical addiction is almost always possible if the addicted person agrees to it. However, solving the underlying mental and psychological issues is more important for ensuring that the person doesn't relapse. The majority of treatment centers focus on a 12-step process of guilt admission, religious beliefs, and group therapy. Behavioral therapy that treats the actual issue is now growing in popularity.
Treatment for Substance AbuseTypically, treatment options vary depending on the level of addiction, the substance used, and the person's age. Many people in the early stages of addiction go through outpatient rehabilitation where they continue with their jobs and their lives while seeking help. The help groups are typically either a clinic or one of the substance anonymous groups, or a combination of the two.
Inpatient drug rehab is an option for people who are very addicted as residential stays in hospitals and clinics prevent the addicted person from accessing the substances they are addicted to. These programs typically include long-term treatment options with a minimum stay of 30-90 days, and then outpatient care to ensure that returning home doesn't cause a relapse.
Most traditional substance abuse treatment is characterized by periods of relapse before the patient is truly free of their addiction. This is mainly caused by familiar triggers, temptations from 'friends', and stress, all of which can be avoided by learning how to handle these triggers through behavioral therapy.
Anyone looking to get into a drug treatment program should consult with their doctor to determine the best options and treatment possibilities for their needs. While there are many different types of rehabilitation, some treatment methods are better for certain levels or types of addiction, so it is always a good idea to get a professional opinion first.