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5 Need-to-Know Facts You Didn’t Know About Drug and Substance Addiction

Dangers to society are not always agreed on. Perspective change over time and threats to a productive way of life are various. One thing that is agreed on and is growing ever more prominent is substance addiction. It seems like every day the news tells sad tales of the impact that the growing number of addicts is having on individuals and families.

Knowing some of the jargon and being able to understand what you are hearing in the news or from your friends on this topic will enable you to take part in prevention and healing actions. Drugs can be a touchy and uncomfortable topic, but taking the time to learn what is involved can be helpful when you find yourself in a situation that requires such knowledge and familiarity.

What Is Addiction?

What does it mean when someone is addicted? Substances can interact with the natural chemistry of a person to produce effects that are typically found to be enjoyable. People intake various chemicals for various reasons. Many times stress or anxiety lead people to reduce negative effects thereby associated through the use of drugs.

Addiction is the term that describes a person who has participated in an action that has forged unnatural chemical situations in the body. The body adapts and becomes used to the introduction of a foreign substance or practice. Because the body adapts to a drug it reaches homeostasis only when that drug is in the system. When the user stops using a drug it causes the body to essentially panic, which causes extreme headaches, nausea, and other symptoms.

Because addiction induced forces are so strong many people who desire to stop using drugs have to seek professional medical help. Find out more about treatment options if you or a loved one are suffering from addiction.


A shockingly high amount of adults throughout the world use substances that lead to addiction. Some reports indicate that over 70,000 people die every year from drug abuse. These people are across all ranges of age, gender, and ethnicity. Around 44,000 of the 70,000 deaths are from drugs alone. The extreme risks of using drugs are often apparent to users and the desire to quit is not uncommon. Desire is not enough, however. Of people who complete a drug rehabilitation program only 30% are deemed a successful case.

Economic Costs

Beyond the human toll is the economic damage caused by people who are addicted to drugs. $26 billion dollars are lost every year from harmful prescription opioids use. $ 11 billion dollars are lost from illicit drug abuse. These numbers are representative of widespread consequences of a single user. Employers and customers alike suffer because of someone who is addicted to drugs.

The Variety Of Drugs

It is not enough to be wary of a single type of substance that is commonly trafficked and used illicitly. Drugs are typically categorized into seven categories: stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, dissociatives, opioids, inhalants, and cannabis. While some types are more common amongst those who are addicted, all can be used in a way that tends to promote addiction.

Short And Long Term Effects of Substance Abuse

Drugs work on a timeline. Certain amounts used over a certain amount of time produce different effects and at different strengths. Most illegally used drugs have versions and doses that are prescribed by medical professionals. Using them in unapproved ways leads to damage to the body. The short term effects of drugs are what produces ‘highs’. These can are not long lasting and can be worked around by a functioning addict. Long term effects include heart and lung damage as well as social repercussions.

The Best Way To Help Someone Who Is Addicted

Being open to conversation is one of the best ways to help someone who is struggling with drugs. A friend or family member who is exhibiting symptoms of addiction needs to understand that the first thing they need to do to put themselves on the road to recovery is to admit that they are powerless to control their addiction. Being someone that they can trust and confide their addiction to is perhaps the most compassionate and honorable thing you can do to help.

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