Families often struggle to get a loved one into treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction. It is not easy to start a conversation about addiction, and many times the person struggling with addiction responds with excuses, anger, denial or minimization. A conversation can easily escalate to an argument where nothing is accomplished.
Drug and alcohol addictions are common. Some people use alcohol or other substances and can stop when they want. For others, the need for the substance becomes compulsive and can result in dangerous behaviors.
The summer, and the “Turn on, tune in, drop out” movement it inspired, may have faded into autumn, but recreational drug use numbers continued to grow. As of the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 130 million Americans have tried illegal drugs in their lifetime, and up to 30 million report usage within the “past month.”
Many people abuse more than one substance and have what is commonly referred to as polysubstance or polydrug abuse. Sometimes people abuse different substances to intentionally create different reactions. Certain substances make them feel better or give them a “high”, while other substances cause sedation and help them relax or sleep.
According to the Center for Disease Control, overdose deaths in the United States have increased from 16,849 in 1999 to 70,237 in 2017. That is a more than four times increase in deaths in less than 20 years.
What is 50 times more potent than heroin? What is 100 times more powerful than morphine? Same answer to both questions, Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a strong synthetic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be medically used for pain relief and as an anesthetic.
WalletHub recently delved into the substance abuse problem with a major research article, examining all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They found that while some states ranked much higher with substance abuse issues than others, those ratings could change as the data is examined in different ways.
Methamphetamine never received the notoriety or news attention that opioids did – at least not until recently. Now headlines from medical journals, government agencies, popular magazines to radio stations are screaming warnings about the dangers and increases in methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine (meth) abuse is growing. The drug is becoming easier to get and is inexpensive. It is also highly addictive, and methamphetamine treatment can be complicated. Unlike some substance abuse disorders that are treated with medications, at this time there are no medications that have proven effective to counteract the effects of methamphetamine or improve abstinence rates for people seeking recovery from methamphetamine addiction.