7 Facts You Have To Know About Drug Abuse

Drugs and alcohol are killing 2.7 million people annually and impair millions of others, causing them to lose their lives and even themselves. These numbers from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence along with those provided by the United Nations, are staggering and show the magnitude of the addiction problem. There are many support networks available for addicts who want to reach out and ask for help, but sadly too many addicts don’t take this step.

Education is the key of reducing the number of addicts and the number of deaths, so here are 7 facts on drugs and alcohol you have to know.

You can get hooked from the first taste

One sip from a drink or a sniff from a drug is enough to become addicted. About 4.8 million young adults drink and 3.4 million do drugs and most of them were hooked from the first taste. There are drugs which have a stronger effect, being considered highly addictive, that encourage the user to try again and again. For teens and young adults the pressure from their entourage is highly important when it comes to becoming addicted, as they are usually encouraged to try again.

The best thing to do in order to avoid becoming addicted is to avoid trying drugs. In the case of alcohol, limit your intake and avoid mixing different beverages.

Staying clean is harder than it seems

Many people who drink or use drugs claim to be able to stay clean or quit whenever they want. Unfortunately, things are completely different. An addict can stay sober for one, two, maybe even three days, but staying sober for longer periods of time is not possible. This is one of the many deceiving faces of substance abuse: the user has the impression he or she can quit at any time, but it’s just an illusion.

Genetics and biology in addiction

There are evidences that substance abuse might be linked to family history. This doesn’t mean you have to become addicted if you had an addict in the family, but it does increases your risk of addiction. Biology also plays a part: when you use drugs or alcohol for a long time, your body becomes used to it. This means the substance is not going to have the same effect, which makes the user increase the dosage, but it also means that your body will crave the substance if you don’t provide it.

Overdose is not the most dangerous thing

For an addict the most dangerous thing is his own mind on the substance. Drugs and alcohol impair decision making, so the user is prone to making bad decisions, like driving or engaging in dangerous behavior.

There is not a stereotypical addict

We are used to think of addicts as poor, dirty hobos, engaged in criminal behavior, but the reality has more shades of gray. An addict can be your neighbor, the mother of three who is baking cookies, your work colleague who is always dressed up and smiling. As strange as it may seem, there are many addicts who manage to function daily, until their body collapses.

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