With a U.S. economy inching laboriously back from recession with a flagging job market in tow, we should be sensitive to hidden costs of this “lifestyle choice.” In a perfect world, we would weigh the right to drink excessively against the $94.2 billion in tax dollars that we spend every year to pay the costs of alcoholism. We should weigh the collective choice against the 1.9 million public school teachers we could hire with that $94.2 billion — or the million public parks that money could build for communities across the country, or the million students we could put through school. And we’d think hard about what cultural shift could moderate this “lifestyle choice” before it becomes disease.
Drug addiction isn’t always an instantly obvious problem; it often starts small. In fact, drug addiction sometimes begins with simple recreational use, or a “one-time” experiment, trying something new, or even a prescription for a much-needed painkiller after an accident or surgery. The trouble is that for some people—the ones who become addicted—the use of the addictive substance becomes frequent and a necessity.
Before starting the treatment process, a person must first recognize their condition and have a desire to quit drinking. Sometimes, an individual may acknowledge they have a drinking problem on their own. Other times, family members or friends may stage an alcohol intervention. This involves loved ones expressing their concerns about the person’s excessive drinking patterns. An intervention also helps to start the discussion about treatment and support options that are available.
When it’s time to take action, finding the right drug rehab facility can become a daunting task. Most people turn to the internet with search engine inquiries like “rehab centers near me” or “local drug rehab.” Finding a center close by can be helpful, but your search may also offer results for programs that require travel. Inpatient drug rehab centers away from home can offer more opportunities for healing in a new environment.
Scholarships: Some organizations offer scholarships to help people with low incomes afford treatment. These scholarships are sometimes offered through private treatment facilities or through organizations concerned with helping those who are struggling with addiction. It is always advisable to inquire about scholarships or grants available for low-income individuals when seeking a treatment center. In some cases, SAMHSA also provides grants for treatment that can be provided through the state or treatment center. A Day in the Life of a Drug Addict *Emotional* (Part 2)
Many physicians believe no effective treatment is available for alcoholism; therefore, these physicians do not refer their patients for treatment. However, more than 13 studies representing more than 4000 patients demonstrate that brief interventions make a difference. Most of the patients in these studies drank heavily but did not yet have a problem with alcohol.
Quality of life improvement. Drug rehab is about helping the patient learn how to avoid relapse on an ongoing basis, but it should also be about helping patients to improve their daily experience. This happens when they are given the assistance they need to handle the other issues in their life that may be diminishing their ability to remain clean and sober. Health problems, legal issues, family problems – all these and more should be addressed on an as-needed basis at an effective addiction treatment program.
Drug addiction starts with drug use. Experimental use, recreational use, social use, occasional use, medical use – any use of an addictive substance for any purpose can and often does lead to a dependence upon that drug. While any and all drug use has the potential for harm, the most dangerous type of drug use in terms of the likelihood that it will lead to addiction, is the type that stems from a desire to numb pain or negative feelings or to cope with problems in one’s life.
Pharmaceutical drugs. When it comes to prescription drug abuse and drug addiction, opiate pain medications are the most widely abused. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that in 2012, over 250 million prescriptions were written for analgesics like Vicodin, Norco, and Percocet. At the same time, the CDC estimates that 46 Americans die every day from overdoses on narcotic pain relievers, and that addiction to prescription drugs now surpasses both heroin and cocaine. However, opiates aren’t the only prescription medications that can cause dependence and addiction. Other commonly abused prescription drugs include sedatives in the benzodiazepine family (Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax), stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta), and prescription sleeping pills (Ambien, Lunesta).