Drug Abuse and Treatment Awareness

According to the SAMHSA, “In 2013, in a single-day count, 1.25 million persons in the United States were enrolled in substance use treatment—an increase from 1.18 million persons in 2009.”  High rates of addiction and relapses after treatment have become quite common and expected among drug abuser populations.  Multiple treatment episodes are often necessary before the person gets it right and enjoys significant and long-term abstinence.

For help finding a treatment center that fits your needs, call 888-414-2380 (Who Answers?) .

Drug Abuse Awareness

The NIDA reports that “Drug addiction has well-recognized cognitive, behavioral, and physiological characteristics that contribute to continued use of drugs despite the harmful consequences.“  While it’s nothing new in regards to how drugs have a major impact on the brain as a chemical and neurological organ that regulates every other bodily function, we are now able to delineate connections between cascading effects, geographical areas targeted by drugs, and the capacity for the brain to “rewire” itself based on neuroadaptations, conditioned cues, and other interactions.

Self-medication through an abundance of drug availabilities is a multi-generational problem that stems from perceived risks of taking the drug versus the satisfaction or gains of doing so.  Like people who have other health disorders, people with a substance abuse or mental health problem are complacent, if not ambivalent, about getting help before a crisis or significant threat occurs as a result of the condition.  A lot of this stems from stigma and undeserved punishments for a problem that can be effectively treated given the right set of tools and care.

Dangerous Behaviors

Drug Abuse

Many drug abusers suffer form a co-occurring mental illness.

According to the CDC, “From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses… We now know that overdoses from prescription opioid pain relievers are a driving factor in the 15-year increase in opioid overdose deaths.”  Drug abusers who hear of another person overdosing will often congregate to the source of the supplied drugs to get their own powerful experience rather than avoiding the danger.  They love to brag about potent dope connections and people who they, unaccountably, refer to as “friends”, but, for many it’s just about getting the “biggest bang for their buck”.

Addiction to the addiction associations and behaviors (seeking, finding, and adapting to the knowledge of knowing where to find, obtain, and use drugs) can become a powerful skill that serves the addict well when their supplies run low.  It’s not uncommon for them to share and trade this knowledge which often leads to combining drugs with other drugs or alcohol and consuming them via alternative routes of administration (injecting, snorting, smoking…).

Drug Abuse and Mental Health

Impaired mental health and social functioning are nothing to balk at as co-morbid mental illnesses are on the rise right along with addictions and overdoses.  According to the SAMHSA,” By 2020, mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.”  These individuals can have a lot trouble concentrating at school, functioning at work, or dealing with everyday stressors in their home environments and relationships.

Anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, suicidal or violent tendencies, personality disorders, and schizophrenia are just a few of the notable conditions that drug abusers commonly exhibit. Drug abuse and mental health disorders both activate stress and anti-stress mechanisms in the person to allow them to manage or suppress underlying conditions which are almost always exacerbated when the disorders co-exist.  It’s difficult to determine which scenario may have come first without a professional diagnosis, but, science-based public health strategies confirm the effectiveness of maximizing treatment outcomes by treating both conditions at the same time.

How Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders Works

Integrated Services

Many changes in the fields of addiction treatments are geared toward supportive services as overall recognition and awareness of the needs hit home to nearly 1 out every 4 Americans.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” Studies have also shown that the most effective treatments are those that include a set of comprehensive medical, social, psychological and rehabilitative services that address all the needs of the individual.  Therefore, integrating substance abuse and mental health services into primary care is a high priority.”

Focusing on strengths and not weakness, the confrontational approaches of the past are being replaced with other disciplines and proven to be more client-centered and motivational in recovery success than ever before.  According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, even in the most “relatively brief treatment contacts, one can be helpful to clients in evoking change through motivational approaches.”

To learn more about integrated treatment services, or for help finding a treatment center, call us toll-free at 888-414-2380 (Who Answers?) .