Addiction is an incredibly dangerous situation. Addiction can affect anyone and any community. There are very few, if any, communities in the United States that has not been affected by addiction. Addiction specialists have defined addiction as a chronic relapsing brain disease. The changes that occur in the brain create a situation that many addicts are unable to face and overcome on their own. In this sense the disability is considered a disease, but it is still opposed by other professionals. Drug and alcohol addiction affect the brain, emotions, and body so severely that many family members are unable to recognize a loved one. Most individuals are unaware of who someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol. The previous theory was that addicts were weak minded, had no self-control, and were the derelicts of society. They were thought to be less than everyone else and that assumption played a pivotal role in addict’s views of themselves. As science, medicine, and technology advanced society gain a better understanding of what addiction actually is; thankfully it has changed the perception of the problem. By changing the perception and image, forgetting the negative imagery, it has made treatment and seeking treatment more effective and available.

Addiction Information and Statistics

Drug and alcohol addiction do not discriminate, addiction affects all races from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Addiction does not only affect those alcohol and drug addicts themselves, but can also have a significantly negative effect of friends, family, and the community. The abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs has been increasingly affecting our county, demanding over $600 billion annually in costs that re related to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare. In 2012, 23.9 million Americans 12 and older had used an illicit drug or abused prescription medication in the past month. The use of marijuana steadily increases across the nation, which could be a result of the legalizing of the substance. Cocaine has been reported to decrease in the last few years. Similarly, alcohol abuse has decreased in underage persons, driving under the influence of alcohol has also decreased in 2012. While these numbers are decreasing it is proven that there is a significant increase in prescription medication and heroin abuse. Therefore, these numbers could be skewed from the distribution of past drug abuses to opioid and heroin abuse today.

How Someone Becomes Addicted

Addiction begins with peer pressure, curiosity, and trying to fill a void in an individual’s life. The quickness of an addiction varies from person to person, drug to drug. Drugs like opioids, Meth, and heroin have a very quick onset of addiction due to the drugs’ effects on the body and their concentration. Tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana addictions arise over longer exposures to the drug. While at the same time, an individual’s temperament has a great deal of influence of their addiction. Those not suffering from anxiety or depression have a less likely chance of becoming addicted to those who do not.

Addiction is a progressive disorder in that it gets worse over time. Addiction is not an issue that happens within the first use of drugs, but rather it progresses over time. Depending on the drug and the individual that time will vary. Drugs like heroin and Meth have been reportedly quick in creating addicts. Inversely, marijuana or alcohol addictions happen over a longer period of time. In most cases the changes in the brain are the same. The chemicals that are ingested affect the mind by creating numbness or pleasure. As these chemicals drain from the body the individual goes through a withdrawal, to which the severity of will vary on the drug. Over time the individual must continue to use the drug at increased dosages and frequencies to achieve a high and eventually they must continue to use drugs to feel ‘normal’. At this point an addict is born.

Signs and Symptoms

-Change in behavior

-Hanging out with different people, in different places

-Neglecting responsibilities

-Decreased efficiency or attendance at work or school

-Trouble maintaining relationships

-Change in financial situation

-Lost or missing items from home

-Seclusion

-Depression

-Extreme weight loss

-Anger or aggressive behavior

-Red, dilated, or glassy eyes

-Hyper-activity

-Extended periods of rest

-Withdrawal symptoms: these will vary depending on drug

Importance of Getting Help

If you or someone you know might have a problem with addiction it is important to seek help immediately. The longer someone continues using alcohol or drugs, the harder it can be for them to get sober. It also can have significant effects on their bodies, minds, and social lives that can be difficult or impossible to reverse. Seeking a professionals help is the best thing you can do for yourself or a loved one. While you may not be the one suffering from addiction it does affect you, therefore it is important for you to speak with someone so you do not get completely wrapped up. A professional is the best person to speak to if you have an addiction or know someone who does. Addiction advisors are the ‘go-to’ for getting all the information and help that someone would need in times of struggle.

Addiction Advisory

Advisors or specialists are experts and professionals that are available to give advice and direction to those that need help in their given area of expertise. Over 20 million Americans suffer from addiction. If you or a loved one is suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction then you should seek an addiction advisor. An addiction advisor offers professional advice to those suffering from addiction.

When you first believe that you need to seek the professional help of an addiction advisor it is important that you choose one that is accredited. Addiction advisors are professionals, experts in the services available for alcohol and Drug addicts that are seeking help. Therefore you must check to see if they have any types of certifications and where those certifications have come from, who is recommending them, and how long they have been working as a legitimate addiction advisor.

Services

An addiction advisor should be one of the first people you talk to if you believe you or a loved one has an addiction problem. The addiction advisor will have a detailed conversation with the addict, so that they can be better suited for directing the individual. The adviser will help map out the best treatment program as possible. After having collected all of the proper information about the addict’s addiction, personality, family, friends, career, job, finances, and hobbies they can go about helping the addict. They will then:

-help you locate a treatment facility for the services of either short-term, long-term, in-patient or out-patient program; based on the best suited for your needs,

-depending on the drug and severity of the addiction give you the options of detox programs and doctors that are adequately qualified to help the addict.

Saving a loved one’s life from overdose could only take one phone call, but it is the love and support of the family that can help them remain sober.