The Consequences Of Drug Abuse
In 2017, the cost of drug abuse in the US was nearly $272 billion, taking into account crime, healthcare needs, lost work productivity and other impacts on society.
- $193 billion was incurred in overall costs for illegal drugs in addition to $78.5 billion for prescription opioids.
- $11 billion was incurred in healthcare costs related to the use of illegal drugs and $26 billion for prescription opioids.
- 326,000 hospitalizations occurred for nonfatal drug poisonings or overdoses occurred in 2016, including unintentional, undetermined intent, and intentional self-harm.
- 577,794 emergency room visits occurred for nonfatal drug poisonings or overdoses in 2016 with the most patients experiencing opioid poisoning.
- There are new psychoactive substances entering the market every year. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of known psychoactive substances being sold increased from 269 to 479.
- Drug abuse often results in comorbidity- nearly 50% of persons who have substance abuse disorder also experience mental illness.
Heightened Risk of Disease
High-risk behaviors and drug abuse also result in much higher chances of contracting viral infections such as hepatitis or HIV.
Getting Help For Addictions
Addiction is a treatable condition. Whatever the addiction, there are lots of ways you can seek help. You could see your GP for advice or contact an organisation that specialises in helping people with addictions.
You can use the following online directories to find addiction treatment services in your area:
Models Of Addiction Treatment In Primary Care
One approach thats being replicated by other states is Vermonts hub and spoke model of addiction treatment, launched in 2013 to reduce long waiting lists for treatment.8 Using a state plan amendment, which allows for higher federal matching payment for Medicaid patients, Vermont designated addiction treatment hubs, which are specialized drug treatment centers that serve the most clinically complex patients, and spokes, which are primary care offices willing to provide medication-assisted treatment to less complex patients. The spoke practices receive additional resources to hire new staff, typically nurses to help manage the treatment protocols and social workers to help patients find counseling and social services. Primary care clinicians in the spokes can take part in learning collaboratives to hear from experts and their peers about successful strategies for assessing and managing addiction, and can consult with addiction treatment experts at the hubs on an on-demand basis.
The hub-and-spoke program was designed to address the concerns of primary care providers about treating addiction, says Beth Tanzman, executive director of Vermonts Blueprint for Health, which leads the initiative. Doctors said, we dont have access to higher levels of care when we need to refer patients. We dont have anyone we can call to consult like we would for treating other chronic conditions, and we dont have the staff to provide team-based care.
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We Know Disturbingly Little About Addiction Treatment In America
While reporting on addiction treatment in the US and asking experts about the evidence for addiction care, there has been one answer Ive gotten used to hearing a lot: I dont know.
It was a common response when I asked if certain addiction treatments worked. Many facilities, for example, now use equine therapy, in which patients connect with horses. But we have next to no research on whether this works. The same is true for wilderness therapy that emphasizes outdoors activities, which also has little reliable scientific evidence behind it.
Its not that these methods are proven to not work. We just dont know if they work. This is a very strange thing to occur in whats supposed to be health care: Normally, treatments follow evidence. Patients usually dont want doctors trying a bunch of stuff on them and hoping something works out.
But the lack of evidence for effectiveness is largely standard in addiction treatment. The vast majority of treatment facilities dont even track real outcomes for what they do. Some of these facilities claim to do so, but they usually only use follow-up surveys that are riddled with bias and errors for example, a patient can claim he hasnt used drugs, and the survey taker will make no effort to actually verify that.
For now, though, patients are largely left in the dark about whether a treatment facility really is following the evidence.
The Different Type Of Addiction Treatment Centers
Various types of care are available for different needs. Residential treatment centers provide users with a place to live so that they can focus on their recovery without getting distracted by the need to go to a job or raise a family. This type of treatment center is typically situated in an idyllic setting, which speeds recovery because it helps people feel more at peace and serene. These facilities offer both short-term residential programs, which last from thirty days to ninety days, and long-term residential treatment centers that last six months or longer. People in residential programs typically have access to all kinds of amenities, including opportunities for outdoor sports such as horse-riding or hiking on trails. In contrast, outpatient treatment provides services in a place where people can still maintain their regular family life and hold down a job while getting regular treatment.
This type of care is often used for people who are classified as high-functioning alcoholics. Basically, this means that they can still function in society despite their addiction. Finally, there is intensive outpatient care. This provides treatment services in a place where the people can still live at home and get treatment. These rehabs are similar to regular outpatient treatment, but as the name suggests, they receive far more intensive treatment than regular outpatient care.
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Binge Eating Disorder: Food Addiction
For years, Americans have argued over whether food obsessions can actually be food addictions or whether this “disorder” is more of an excuse. In truth, binge eating disorder is a real problem that affects about 3 percent of adults in the United States. Symptoms include eating to ease emotions, overdoing it on food while alone, and feeling guilty after the binge. The cause of eating disorders is not known, but it is probably linked more to depression than addiction.
Harmful Effects Of Video Game Addiction
There are several short and long term negative effects of video game addiction. In the short-term, individuals may experience disruptions to their sleeping habits, leading to fatigue, sleepiness or insomnia. They may also have a disruption in their eating habits, leading to skipping meals, poor nutrition and hunger. People may isolate themselves and miss out on socialization opportunities, which can potentially lead to a loss of friends and decreased social skills. People may also be at increased risk for seizures due to the flashing and fast-paced images included in video games. Long-term effects of video game addiction may impair a persons academic, career or financial success.
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Statistics On Addiction In America
Whether its a problem with alcohol, Opioids, Cocaine, or any other substance, addiction kills thousands of Americans every year and impacts millions of lives. Addiction, or substance use disorder , is a chronic mental health condition.
Because it affects the brains normal functions, an SUD compels someone to repeatedly use substances or engage in behaviors even though they have harmful consequences. Addictions can destroy marriages, friendships, and careers and threaten a persons basic health and safety.
- Almost 21 million Americans have at least 1 addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.
- Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.
- Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year.
- About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
- More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.
- Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.
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How Many Rehabs Are In The Us
Each year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducts the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services , which is intended to be a comprehensive look at the facilities in the United States that provide alcohol and other drug rehabilitation programs. 13,688 rehabs responded to the last survey, which was about a 94 percent reporting rate. This means that there are roughly 15,000 drug and alcohol rehabs in the country.
Here are some of the survey results:
There were about 8,000 private non-profit facilities, 4,000 for-profit centers and more than 2,000 programs that were sponsored or run by various local, state, tribal and federal agencies. On the day they were surveyed, there were about 1.2 million Americans receiving some sort of addiction treatment services, with only about 85,000 clients under 18 and the rest were adults.
Unfortunately 80 percent of the facilities were outpatient and accounted for 90 percent of the total number of people served. This left only about 120,000 people in residential or inpatient drug and alcohol rehabs. In addition, only 6 percent of the total treatment population was receiving long-term rehabilitation services.
While the survey didnt report what types of treatment programs or therapies were being used in each center, suffice to say that not all drug rehab centers are the same, and some are much more successful than others.
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How Are Addictions Diagnosed
To diagnose addiction, your provider may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist or a drug and alcohol counselor. Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your activities and patterns of substance use. Tell your provider if youve tried to stop drinking or doing drugs, and why. Share whether youve had physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms whenever you have tried to stop.
Your provider will do a physical exam and may obtain a blood and urine test from you. These tests give your provider information about your overall health. They can also help rule out underlying health conditions.
How Addictions Can Affect You
The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships. In the case of substance misuse , an addiction can have serious psychological and physical effects.
Some studies suggest a person’s risk of becoming addicted is partly genetic, but environmental factors, such as being around other people with addictions, are also thought to increase the risk.
Behaviours such as substance misuse can be a way of blocking out difficult issues. Unemployment and poverty can trigger addiction, along with stress and emotional or professional pressure.
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What Is The Outlook For People Who Live With Addiction
With treatment, many people manage addiction and live full, healthy lives. But recovering from substance use disorders is not easy. It takes self-discipline and a strong commitment on a daily basis. Supportive friends, family members and healthcare providers play an essential role in effective treatment as well.
Without treatment, addiction can cause serious health problems, even death. It can damage personal relationships, lead to financial difficulties and cause legal problems. Untreated addiction also harms family members, and the effects can last for generations.
What Are The Signs Of Addiction
For people addicted to substances, the signs of addiction are a lot more evident than someone experiencing a behavioral addiction such as sex addiction. Some of the symptoms associated with addiction include:
- Drastic weight gain or weight loss.
- Changes in behavior and personal hygiene.
- Dilated pupils or red eyes.
- Slurred speech and erratic behavior.
- An increase in anger, irritability and aggression.
- Rapid mood swings.
- Loss of motivation, low self-esteem or memory loss.
- Social isolation and financial problems.
- Sudden involvement in criminal activity.
There are many other signs of addiction and substance use disorders to watch for, and for someone who feels addicted, there are many symptoms, too.
Contact An Admissions Counselor
Contact Tikvah Lake Recovery today for a chance to speak to one of our addiction treatment specialists. Help is waiting.
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National Institutes Of Health
NIH is another part of the US Department of Health and Human Services dedicated to learning about and preventing disease. It is a broad organization of research programs referred to as institutes that delve into specific health topics. NIH funds, supports, and performs research intended to aid in curing, preventing, or helping recovery from disease or other public health issues.
As such, there are three institutes within NIH that are focused specifically on substance abuse and mental health issues:
These institutes not only perform research that is intended to help in the quest for recovery from mental health issues, but also provide educational and support resources regarding different types of substance abuse and mental health issues, how they affect individuals and the general public, and what efforts are being made to prevent, mitigate, or treat these conditions.
What Causes A Non
Addiction is a chronic disorder of a persons brain activity. Simply put, your brain is wired that way. Doctors cant say why certain people cant control behavior. But the behavior combines reward, motivation, and memory in an unhealthy way. This triggers physical, emotional, and social responses. Doctors believe the behavior provides a rush or a thrill. For example, people addicted to gambling may experience a rush when winning or losing money. A persons experiences and personality type play a part in addiction.
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What To Know About Chemical Addiction
This is partly why the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recommends using the term substance use disorder. This classification includes more diagnostic criteria to help healthcare professionals differentiate between mild, moderate, and severe cases.
Many experts also prefer it because it avoid terms like abuse, which can further stigmatize addiction and prevent people from seeking help.
Common symptoms of substance use disorder include:
- cravings intense enough to affect your ability to think about other things
- a need to use more of the substance to experience the same effects
- unease or discomfort if you cant easily access the substance
- risky substance use, like driving or working while using it
- trouble managing work, school, or household responsibilities because of substance use
- friendship or relationship difficulties related to substance use
- spending less time on activities you used to enjoy
- an inability to stop using the substance
- withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit
Some of the more common addictive substances include:
While most medical experts agree certain behavior patterns can become problematic over time, but theres still some debate around:
- the point when behaviors become addictions
- specific behaviors that can become addictive
Types Of Residential Addiction Treatment Centers
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Drug Abuse Among Veterans
Mental illness and substance abuse is relatively common among military veterans.
- 7% of veterans struggle with illegal drug use compared to 5.3% of the general population in the US over age 18.
- 80% struggle with alcohol abuse, and 7% have an issue with both alcohol and illegal drugs.
- 7% of the veteran population has a serious mental illness compared to 14.4% of adults over 18.
- 505,000 veterans misuse prescription pain relievers compared to 59,000 who used heroin.
- 10% of veterans between the ages of 18-25 misuse prescription pain relievers compared to 5.5% of the general population in the US in the same age group.
Center For Integrative Medicine: Treating Addiction As Part Of Complex Care
Spectrum Healths Center for Integrative Medicine, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is an integrated behavioral health and primary care clinic that was designed to treat patients who repeatedly turn up in the health systems emergency department. About 70 percent of these patients have a substance use disorder, though it often hasnt been diagnosed, according to Scott Haga, a physician assistant there. Many patients come with chronic pain or anxiety, he says. We find out they are getting large numbers of controlled substances or multiple prescriptions. Some knew they had a substance use disorder, but many didnt. Haga provides MAT to such patients, though he typically starts by trying to understand the sources of the pain and/or psychosocial issues that may be fueling their substance abuse.
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Sask Launches Ad Campaign For People Facing Mental Health Addictions Issues
The Saskatchewan government wants people dealing with mental health and addictions issues to remember there is help and there is hope.
Thats the theme of a new public awareness campaign that has been launched to help change what the government called the underlying attitudes, behaviours and beliefs that contribute to stigma surrounding mental health and addictions.
The There is Help, There is Hope campaign features ads that will appear on TV, radio, billboards, buses and social media and also at movie theatres. The radio spots will be translated into Cree and Dene as well.
This campaign is part of our budget commitment to increase awareness and reduce stigma around mental health and addictions issues in Saskatchewan, and to promote where people can access help, Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said in a media release.
The people featured in this campaign offer such powerful messages of hope and recovery. I thank them for sharing their stories and inspiring others to reach out to available resources.
Tommy LaPlante, an addictions counsellor who dealt with addictions of his own, said in the release its important to break down the stigma because we are not that label.
Both campaigns run until March 31.