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Drug Addiction News

Nation's ER's Report: Abuse of Anti-Anxiety Drugs Up

drug treatment center pills addiction drug rehabThe number of drug-abuse related visits to hospital emergency rooms (ERs) involving benzodiazepine medications exceeded 100,000 in 2002, a 41 percent increase since 1995, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Nearly half of the emergency department (ED) visits involving benzodiazapines -- which include such psychotherapeutic sedatives as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan -- were connected with suicidal ideation, gestures or attempts.

> Read the Nation's ER's Report
 

Prescription Drug Abuse in The Military

drug treatment center pills addiction drug rehabToday, some of the most pressing substance-abuse concerns in the U.S. military involve prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Some health officials contend that too many troops are being authorized to take antidepressants and sleeping pills, while others are worried about the illicit sharing of prescription drugs and the overuse of OTC meds by men and women in uniform.

> More on Prescription Drug Abuse in the Military

For Many, Stress Leads to the Use and Abuse of Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco...

drug treatment center pills addiction drug rehabSome of the Basic Facts
Stressful events can have a direct affect on the use of alcohol or other drugs. Stress is a major contributor to the initiation and continuation of drug addiction and alcohol abuse, as well as to relapse or a return to drug use after periods of abstinence.

Stress is one of the major factors known to cause relapse to smoking, even after prolonged periods of abstinence.

Children exposed to severe stress may be more vulnerable to drug use. A number of clinical and epidemiological studies show a strong association between psychosocial stressors early in life (e.g., parental loss, child abuse) and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior, and substance abuse in adulthood.

> More on Stress Related Usage
 
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Drug Addiction

The Hard Truths About Drug Addiction

Those who struggle with drug addiction don't set out to destroy themselves and everyone and everything in their path--rather, these disastrous consequences are the effect of the vicious cycle of addiction. For many, drugs seem to be a means of averting emotional and/or physical pain by providing the user with a temporary and illusionary escape from or way to cope with life's realities. In fact, more problems--often life-shattering ones--are created by using drugs. Over time, a person's ability to choose not to take drugs can become compromised. Soon enough, the person rationalizes the need to use consistently and will do anything to get high...

Drug addiction is complex. It's characterized by compulsive--at times uncontrollable--drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even in the face of extremely negative consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.

Essentially, drugs are a pain killer. They may seem to avert emotional and physical pain by providing the user with a temporary and illusionary escape from or way to cope with life's realities. In fact, more problems--serious ones--are created by using and abusing drugs.
Over time, a person's ability to choose not to take drugs can become compromised--soon enough the person rationalizes the need to use consistently and will do anything to get high. They are now caught in the vicious cycle of using to alleviate pain and creating more pain by using...They now display the physiological symptoms of addiction. They become difficult to communicate with, are withdrawn, and begin to exhibit other strange behaviorisms associated with addiction.

The compulsion to use drugs can take over the individual's life. Addiction often involves not only compulsive drug taking but also a wide range of dysfunctional behaviors that can interfere with normal functioning in the family, the workplace, and the broader community. Addiction also can place people at increased risk for a wide variety of other illnesses. These illnesses can be brought on by behaviors, such as poor living and health habits, that often accompany life as an addict, or because of toxic effects of the drugs themselves.

Because addiction has so many dimensions and disrupts so many aspects of an individual's life, treatment for this illness is never simple. Drug treatment must help the individual stop using drugs and maintain a drug-free lifestyle, while achieving productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Effective drug abuse and addiction treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences.

Three decades of scientific research and clinical practice have yielded a variety of effective approaches to drug addiction treatment. Extensive data document that drug addiction treatment is as effective as are treatments for most other similarly chronic medical conditions. In spite of scientific evidence that establishes the effectiveness of drug abuse treatment, many people believe that treatment is ineffective. In part, this is because of unrealistic expectations. Many people equate addiction with simply using drugs and therefore expect that addiction should be cured quickly, and if it is not, treatment is a failure. In reality, because addiction is a chronic disorder, the ultimate goal of long-term abstinence often requires sustained and repeated treatment.
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Millions of Americans in Denial About Their Own Drug Abuse

Results of the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reveal that, while millions of Americans habitually smoke pot, drink alcohol, snort cocaine and swallow prescription drugs, too many drug users who meet the criteria for needing treatment do not recognize that they have a problem. The figure of those "in denial" is estimated at more than 4.6 million--a significantly higher number of individuals in need of professional help than had been previously thought.

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