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.
People seek drugs for all kinds of reasons. Some are trying to find an escape from a struggle or difficulty that they are facing in life. Others are peer pressured by their “friends” into using drugs. Some want to experience something different, something that makes them feel good.
We see this often with people who are self-medicating on anabolic steroids. The misuse of anabolic steroids is harmful enough by itself. When we add another drug habit into the mix, for example, self-medication on opioid pain relievers, the drug habit becomes far more severe.
In a concerning research paper published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that more than half of the 4.2 million people in the United States who misused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also struggled with binge drinking habits.
When people think of drug and alcohol addiction, they generally think of a heroin addict or a cocaine addict or a pill addict or an alcoholic . They associate just one type of drug or substance with the individual, as though the individual is addicted to x drug and nothing else.
One of the problems that we are seeing now more so than perhaps ever before is the problem of poly-substance abuse. This is also called poly-addiction, or poly-drug addiction. What it means is simply to have multiple addictions at once.