It is estimated that about 18 million people misuse prescription drugs in the U.S. each year. About 5,480 people abuse such medications for the first time every day . Not all of those who misuse prescription drugs “just once” will become addicted to them. But many of them will.
There’s been a lot of talk about the addictive nature of tech, the internet, cell phones, and social media. From the Help Guide to Consumer Affairs and countless other publications, big media centers and online resources are beginning to report on the harmful effects and the addictive nature of tech, social media, and the internet.
For anyone who has a family member or loved one who is addicted or is in recovery, the big question is this. “How can we guarantee long-term recovery?” We know how dangerous relapses are. We know about the ever-present risk of an overdose. We know that addiction is a life or death matter.
One of the challenges that we face when addressing our country's drug problem is a lack of relevant and current data about the drug problem. It seems that every time we research the drug crisis, we find that the majority of published data on the subject is somewhat dated. Granted, the data might only be five to ten years old. But when examining a severe health issue which changes rapidly and which is also a life or death matter for millions of Americans, not having current data creates a stumbling block for us when we then try to resolve the problem.
Over the last 50 years, the way we look at addiction has evolved. Then, as in earlier times, it was seen as a moral failing or weakness. Individuals who found themselves addicted felt they had nowhere to turn for help, and the social stigma of addiction created barriers to those desperately trying to find recovery.
I was recently on a short trip and the motel I stayed at gave patrons a complimentary copy of USA TODAY. I generally don’t like to read newspapers because all they put in the papers is bad news and I don’t think a lot of it is even true, let alone news.
“Addiction does not discriminate.” How many times have we heard that line? But what if I said to you that addiction does discriminate? What if I told you that discrimination in addiction is part of the fundamental reasons why we have such a cataclysmic addiction problem in the first place?
We’ve often heard the question “Can someone be predisposed to addiction?” The question indicates that there can be something inherently or genetically different about a person that makes him more likely to use drugs and alcohol.
Last year, physicians and medical professionals became extremely concerned with a noticeable increase in Gabapentin (Neurontin) abuse.
A connection between stress and substance abuse may be obvious to many. The question that remains, however, somewhat resembles the “chicken or the egg” theory. Does stress lead to addiction? Or is it addiction that leads to stress? The presence of substance abuse (drug addiction or alcoholism) produces a significant amount of stress.