It is estimated that each years thousands or more Americans develop an addiction to some type of drug. Whether it is a recreational stimulant like cocaine, a powerful prescription painkiller, or legalized substances like beer and wine, constant abuse of drugs can put one's life at risk. Irreversible health problems, inability to hold down a job, and estrangement from friends and family are just a few negative end results of addiction if it is not properly treated.
In order to better understand how an addict can be guided to recovery, though, one must consider how a person comes to use drug in the first place. Different environmental factors are at play when it comes to addiction, and here are just a few possibilities that have lead people to try drugs:
People in general, especially teenagers and young adults, have a desire to be popular and well-loved. Often when a person seeks to be included among a clique he may compromise his own standards to achieve the attention he craves. If that particular clique indulges in a line of cocaine or a marijuana joint after school or work, there comes with it the pressure for the new person to emulate the gang.
Peer pressure accounts for a strong percentage of drug abuse among young people. The school-age years can be a trying time, with kids wanting to fit into a microcosm of clashing cultures. A teen may be pressured into trying drugs or drinking because “it's cool, " and little thought is given to the consequences.
Beyond school and family life, many endure the pressure to be perfect. One must be a top performer at work to win the promotion, and one must constantly make straight A's to get a full college scholarship. While the human mind and body have potential to do great things, we all have our limitations as well. The idea to expand those limitations can lead people into using stimulants in order to achieve their goals.
Unfortunately, stimulants like speed and other high-energy pills can becoming habit-forming, more so as the body develops a need for them and is not satisfied with small dosages. Soon the pressure to do well in school and work is replaced by the need to do more drugs.
Patients who undergo surgery or suffer from chronic conditions may be prescribed strong medications to aid in recovery. When taken properly, painkillers can be effective in improving health. However, patients do run the risk of becoming dependent on such drugs to prolong the numbing and euphoric sensations. Such addiction may not be intentional, but it poses a dangerous risk to the patient all the same.
It is important, if you are aware of a loved one abusing drugs, to seek professional help as soon as possible. Regardless of the situation that leads a person into addiction, all paths can take that person down a dangerous slope to poor health, poor finances, and worse if not treated.
Stephanie Loebs is the executive director of Williamsburg Place, one of the top drug rehab clinics in the nation. Williamsburg Place aids those who suffer from drug and/or alcohol addiction, and specializes in caring for health care professionals. For over twenty years Williamsburg Place and its joint rehabilitation center, the William J. Farley Center, have helped thousands of people from all walks of life take back their lives and overcome substance abuse.