Drug and alcohol addiction are killing almost 3 million people each year, while harming millions of others people. And these numbers from the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence don’t include the addicts who live and die struggling with different substances in their own private home, away from the society.
While the numbers are amazing, they also represent a lot of hope: addicts are not alone. The prevalence of addictions is so high there are plenty of support groups where you can find the help you need for your suffering friend, family member or yourself.
It only takes a try
Each day millions of teens try alcohol and drugs, just to see how it is. Most of them become addicted and some of them are lucky enough to end at a rehabilitation clinic, but millions die. The rate of first-time usage of drugs and alcohol is alarming, as more and more teens and even smaller kids try a drug and find themselves in the never-ending cycle of addiction.
Bottom all: don’t try it!
Staying sober is very hard
Most alcoholics can quit drinking for one or two days, but they can’t live sober for long time. It takes more than a strong will to remain sober, especially since daily life often puts you face to face with the object of your addiction: alcohol.
Addiction is partly genetic
Studies revealed that addiction is partly genetic. This means that you have higher chances of becoming addicted if there were addicts in your family. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will be an addict if your parent or grandparent was an addict, as you are a different person. However, you have a higher chance of addictive behavior.
Biology is also an important player in this game, as your brain can actually tell you that you need to take the drug. The addicted person’s brain perceives the time when they do abuse a substance as being normal and the sobriety as abnormal, instead of the other way round.
There are many things one can become addicted to
Alcohol and drugs are not the only things someone can become addicted. As strange as it might sound, people can become addicted to adrenaline, stress, shopping, exercising or tanning. No matter the object of the addiction, this illness is always serious and requires professional treatment.
Addiction comes with many dangers
When you are addicted to a substance there are many risks involved, apart from overdosing. Long time usage of pretty much any substance leads to permanent brain damage. One of the brain part that is affected is the one controlling your ability to make decisions. An addict can easily get behind the wheel, engage in risky behavior or simply be unable to react timely when something bad happens.
Addiction is curable
Full recovery from addiction is possible and does happen, as many people manage to kick their addiction for good. However, the road to living sober is long and full of challenges, as well as relapse. With a good support network and professional treatment everyone can beat their addiction!