Substance Abuse Disorders commonly referred to as Addiction affects millions of Americans every year and costs the United States economy billions in lost productivity every year. There is an increase in drug use among the youth as well, owing to increased accessibility and exposure due to the media and internet.
Addiction is a degenerative chronic disease characterized by an inability to moderate or stop the use of a substance, despite overwhelming psychological, physical, and mental drawbacks. Those afflicted are trapped in a cycle where they build up a tolerance to the drug and the lack of the drug causes withdrawal symptoms. This forces patients to continuously have to take increased amounts of the drug, despite the fact that it ends up preventing them from maintaining a job or their lifestyle.
Most people are initially exposed to substances as part of social conventions. Think of the social pressure around drinking at 21 or the pressure to try drugs that others in your friend group are using. The risk of developing an addiction based on initial exposure boils down to the motive for trying drugs. Individuals who have mental conditions or come from abusive situations and try to use these substances as a means of escape are at higher susceptibility to repeated use.
Individuals at this stage have moved past experimenting and begun to implement drugs as a part of their lives. They may make it a regular ritual and start to prioritize it over other things in life, such as commitments at work or with people. It is at this stage that people start to build up a tolerance to the drug and find that they have to take increasing amounts to get the same effect.
This stage is categorized by mental and physical changes in the body. Consistent exposure to the drug can result in an increased inability to function without the drug. Patients at this stage find it increasingly difficult to maintain a job or relationship and a lot of their daily energy is devoted to the procurement or use of the substance they are abusing.
This is the stage where a patient can be diagnosed with a Substance Abuse Disorder. They are unable to stop using the drug and need increasing amounts of the drug to feel the same effect. This condition is degenerative and, without intervention, is fatal.
What can you do?
Admitting the problem and getting help is the most difficult and important step. Because addiction is a condition that inhibits our decision-making and impulse-modulating responses, having trained medical supervision, like a drug rehab austin, can be crucial in making the journey to sobriety easier.
The first step usually includes a detox, where the harmful substances are removed naturally while managing the symptoms of withdrawal. There are professional centers, such as drug detox austin, that are licensed to provide this service.
Sober living austin are communities that provide a support system and life skills, in addition to healthier coping mechanisms, that are focused on long-term sobriety and minimizing the chances of a relapse.
However, you choose to go about it, having help is going to make a world of a difference, and being able to identify the stages will go a long way towards identifying the signs and responding early.