Getting Help for Drug Addiction in San Jose
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use regardless of the negative consequences. Though this is true, it does nothing to illustrate the agony and destruction the disease causes.
For those addicted to drugs, life is absolute hell. The addiction becomes more than a full-time job, but a constant unrelenting race for one’s own survival. People often compare weaning off drugs to drowning and the persistent need for air.
People who aren’t addicted to drugs often wonder why the user cannot simply stop, and the answer is because they are addicted, suffering from a disease of the mind. Those who are not affected might never understand that the need for the next fix becomes more important that life itself.
Addiction Epidemic in the United States
Forty-five percent of people who use heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Heroin use was decreasing until people became addicted to prescription pain medication, which was being prescribed in mind numbing amounts by the medical professionals. In 2014, deaths attributed to overdose from prescription drugs alone reached 25,000, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
People from all walks of life found themselves addicted to narcotic pain medicine and as the government began to put pressure on the medical field to stop prescribing drugs like OxyContin, people turned to the streets. With the street price of up to eighty dollars a pill, many people switched to heroin, which is less than a quarter the cost.
With so many people addicted to drugs such as heroin, it is not surprising that the number of overdoses, deaths, and other ramifications of an addicted nation are also increasing. In 2014, the number of heroin related deaths is 3.5 times higher than just three years earlier in 2010.
Negative Effects of Drugs on Mind and Body
It seems obvious to suggest drugs are bad for your health. Clearly, drugs not only cause horrific and irreparable damage, but also easily cause death by overdose or accident. Shockingly, younger people today do not seem to realize the danger of drugs, especially street drugs such as heroin and meth.
The negative effects to one’s health are numerous and vary depending on the drug or drugs used, duration of use, genetics, physical health and other factors. In short: drugs damage vital organs, which in turn cause chronic and debilitating illnesses, and may cause sudden death.
The organ that may suffer the most is the brain. The disease of addiction is classified as a disease because drugs alter the structure of the brain, irreparably. Drug use has been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, according to the National Institute of Health. This leads to the drug cravings, seeking and use on an involuntary basis, even though the very first time was a voluntary choice.
The greater the quantity and duration of use, the greater the damage to the brain, which becomes less functional and, therefore, the person has less overall cognitive functioning. With less cognitive function, a person’s memory, problem solving ability and other crucial functions are damaged. As a result of diminished brain power, the person is less functional, more susceptible to mental illnesses such as depression, and generally cannot cope with life as well as before he or she used drugs.
The results are more impressive if witnessed firsthand, but perhaps you can imagine the devastation of watching a young, bright person wither away until he or she has become more zombie-like than human when using. If you or someone you love is struggling with addictive substances, get help now.
The physical consequences of drug use depend on the drug of abuse, however, eventually every organ feels the strain. The heart and cardiovascular system are heavily affected by all drug use, but especially in cases of amphetamines or other uppers. The strain on the heart can cause permanent damage, leading to an abnormal heart rate, heart attacks, collapsed veins, infections, and others issues. It is not uncommon, sadly, to hear of a young person dying suddenly from cardiac arrest after using either prescription or illicit drugs.
Other vital organs such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs are also heavily affected with drug use. The respiratory system is negatively affected, and life-long debilitating conditions are not uncommon. People with emphysema, for instance, experiences life feeling as though they are constantly running a marathon while trying to perform normal daily activities. If that sounds unpleasant, consider that and all
the other potential health consequences, such as cancer, gastrointestinal problems, liver malfunction and so on down a seemingly endless list of health maladies caused by drug use.
The good news is that even though drugs wreak havoc on your body, with care and support, you can regain a good portion, if not all of your health. Proper nutrition, vitamin supplements, and other health care methods provided by medical professionals can help you get back on your feet. The body has an amazing ability to heal, however you have to start with abstinence from the drug or drugs that caused the damage in the first place.
Drug Rehab Programs
Drug abuse rehab programs are increasing in number and sophistication, as well as becoming more accessible. Inpatient programs are the most comprehensive and intensive and provide the individual with the more support and accountability than other options. Outpatient programs provided similar therapy programs, but on a part-time and less intensive basis.
With the help of professionals, you will learn coping strategies, communication techniques, and other necessary tools to help you overcome past problems and future obstacles. Individual therapy, group therapy and others help each individual work through issues and learn better ways of handling stressful situations.
Help and Hope for Addiction
In 2013, of the 22.7 million Americans who needed addiction treatment, only 2.5 million received the help they needed. Often, the reason a person does not get much needed addiction treatment is due to guilt and shame about his or her addiction and fear of being stigmatized.
If you are struggling with a drug addiction, do not hesitate to call out of fear. Millions of people are in the same situation you are and, sadly, many will die from the drug abuse. You are not responsible for your disease, but you are responsible for your recovery.
There are drug treatment programs waiting to help you. You are not alone and professionals are standing by to help you find a drug rehab center in your area.