The increased stigma attached to drug and alcohol addiction has been the main reason behind the lack of awareness and knowledge about this problem. As a result, people often fail to recognize the warning signs related to substance abuse. In fact, the risk of exacerbation of mental health conditions increases due to the misinterpretation of the symptoms of addiction as signs of personality flaw. This leads to the occurrence untoward incidents one after one, such as delay in treatment, development of depressive symptoms, poor performance at work and school, etc.
Drug and alcohol addiction, a major problem in the United States, affects the overall well-being of a person by causing serious consequences on his or her mental and physical health. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the increased abuse of drugs and alcohol is costing the U.S. over $740 billion annually due to the increment in lost work productivity, crime, lost work and health care. While alcohol addiction inflicted a loss of $249 billion, tobacco abuse caused an overall loss of $300 billion. Illicit drugs and prescription opioids increased the economic burden by $193 billion and $78.5 billion, respectively.
In order to interrupt the unabated increase in substance abuse, it is essential to know the symptoms and warning signs of such disorders before they get out of control. Since substance abuse can affect people, irrespective of any age, economic status, sex, etc., it becomes difficult to weigh the problem. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Family history of addiction
If the immediate family members like parents or grandparents have problems related to alcohol or drugs, then a person’s chances of becoming addicted to such substances go up considerably. Therefore, a positive family history significantly increases one’s susceptibility to addictive substances. Overall, one can say that addiction arises majorly due to genetic predisposition and poor coping skills.
- Inability to manage stress
There is a strong relation between substance abuse and chronic stress. Stress causes changes in the brain that can make a person more susceptible to addiction. While some people are good at managing their stress level, many are not able to tackle it with ease. Therefore, they might resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms like self-medication and drinking to alleviate their pain, increasing the risk further.
- Experiencing loneliness and social problems
Individuals struggling with loneliness and other social difficulties are more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol or drugs. They find it very hard to tackle such painful psychological feelings, which make it difficult for them to function normally. Therefore, they start finding comfort in drugs or alcohol as the best way of coping with stress.
- Experimenting with drugs
In order to keep drug abuse at bay, users need to stop experimenting with drugs that leads to addiction, such as barbiturates, cocaine, alcohol and heroin. It is not necessary that every person who takes these drugs will develop addiction. However, any person suffering from a mental illness or having a family history of addiction is more susceptible to addiction than others. While around 21 percent users experimenting with cocaine develop an addiction, one in four consuming heroin stands the risk of becoming addicted.
Road to recovery
The first step toward helping people suffering from substance abuse is to offer them a proper treatment plan under the guidance of professional mental health specialist. The therapy for drug or alcohol problem needs to be personalized for every individual as per his or her requirements. An effective de-addiction treatment program must help a person to stop using drugs or alcohol, stay drug-free, and become an integral part of the family and society.
The Texas Substance Abuse Helpline can answer your questions on addiction, as well as provide information on some of the finest substance abuse treatment programs in Texas. Generally, addiction recovery programs helps a patient by purging the toxins accumulated from the long-term use of substances from his or her body. A successful detoxification prepares a person for further treatment. Call our 24/7 substance abuse helpline 866-971-2658 or chat online with our representatives to locate the best substance abuse treatment centers in Texas that offer customized treatment plans.