There are many reasons why people start taking drugs, but the fear of being judged by others is one of the biggest factors.
People who turn to drugs do so to help them cope with stress or other issues that life may throw at them. Many people become addicts because they do not know how to deal with problems and stresses in their lives.
It is important that we address drug abuse and problems head-on.
To help yourself stay sober.
The first step to a sober life is admitting you have a problem.
Denial is a common response when confronted with a problem. Many loved ones who have watched someone suffer from substance use disorders mistakenly believe that the users lack moral principles or the willpower to stop and it is so much more complicated than that.
Long-term use can cause changes in brain chemical systems and circuits that can influence:
Meaning the longer you use, the harder and harder it gets to stay sober.
To prevent negative outcomes.
Drugs and alcohol destroy lives.
Beyond the obvious health risks, including death, drugs break down multiple facets of your life. Some of these are irreparable.
Drug use breaks up marriages and relationships. Removes children from parents’ lives. Drug use divides families.
Early drug use, during youth and college, can set back or end your chosen career. The common absenteeism and lower productivity can cause you to lose your job and create a life where you can’t keep any new job for long.
People who suffer from substance use disorders can also develop life-long psychiatric disorders, most notably anxiety and depression.
To eliminate financial struggles.
Addictions cost money always. The use of illicit drugs costs even more.
The more you use, the more withdrawal you suffer, and the more often you need more. It’s not just frequency but in many cases, it amounts as well. Dependency costs.
It’s a vicious cycle that progressively costs you more and more.
To Diminish the Consequences to your Health
People with addiction often struggle with other health issues like lung and heart disease, strokes, cancer, and mental health disorders.
Smoking can cause cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Methamphetamine usage can cause severe dental issues.
Opioid use often leads to overdose and death.
Inhalants can cause nerve damage in your brain and the peripheral nervous system.
To Save Your Relationships
A good and healthy romantic relationship is based on trust. That’s a difficult foundation to maintain while using drugs.
Drug abuse commonly includes deceit of various kinds:
- Lies about money being spent on drugs
- Lying about whereabouts
- Lying about using drugs
Drug use has profound effects on the brain that can result in significant personality changes. You can develop a short temper, less to non-existent patience, a lack of interest in other people, and a self-serving attitude. All these changes can have a significant impact on any of your relationships.
The more your addiction develops, and your dependency deepens, the more you focus on the drugs rather than the people you used to care about. This shift in priorities very quickly leads to alienation and broken relationships.
To prevent legal problems.
Legal problems thanks to substance use come in many forms. It’s not only about illicit drugs, even though that’s the most obvious.
Alcohol comes with its own legal woes including drunk driving, public nuisance, disorderly conduct, and neglect.
Prescription drug misuse is illegal if the script wasn’t written for you. Very often your script runs out and you need more and more. Some turn to illegal prescription trades or your addiction transforms into more illicit drugs that can land you in jail or dead.
To Prevent Harm to Others
Drug use can cause harm to other people and not just the ones closest to you. Some of the more harmful side effects to others include:
- Giving birth to a baby in withdrawal
- Risks of heart disease and cancer with exposure to secondhand smoke
- Infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis from injection needles
- Motor vehicle accidents
It Can Kill You
Drugs are dangerous. These substances weaken the body and mind, and eventually spiral closer and closer to an overdose and then death. The plain and simple truth.
The longer you struggle with the addiction, the closer you get to accidentally giving yourself an overdose.
Early Intervention is Crucial
The idea that an addict must hit rock bottom before getting help is antiquated.
The act of waiting allows the addiction to establish physical, mental, and emotional footholds that make recovery incredibly difficult. Not only is recovery a long and difficult road but relapse is far more likely.
Based on the Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood the benefits of early intervention apply to all ages:
- Alter life course trajectory before the wrong path is followed for too long
- Saves relationships, environments, resilience, and coping skills before they fail as these are all part of a successful recovery
- Addresses the problem before the long-term, physical effects have taken hold
- Maintains a long, long-term for a more positive outcome
In the end, it’s simple. The longer the habit has been in place, the more difficult it is to break and fix. This is more true with drug addiction than any other habit.
To End, Drug abuse needs to be addressed before it spirals out of control.
Hopefully, this article has gotten you thinking about drug abuse.
Remember, it affects people from all walks of life and is not something that can be overlooked. If you personally know someone who has issues with drug abuse, please take action, watch out for warning signs, and offer them support and encouragement.
If you don’t know anyone who has a problem but are concerned because of signs that they may be at risk, find a trusted adult to talk to and ask for help. Read more about helping loved ones with addiction and find a path today.