Deaths from Drug Overdose on the Rise in the US

Over the years, substance abuse has become a major problem for the citizens of this country. People of all ages suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. Despite the tireless efforts of law enforcement, drug overdoses and DUI’s continue to cause severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, substance abuse cases result in nearly $600 billion in healthcare costs, lost wages, and crime every year. More than 50% of our nation’s teenagers have abused drugs and alcohol or know of someone who has.

This epidemic, however, stretches far beyond the reach of kids. Millions of adults also battle addiction problems, including the elderly and disabled. The abuse of prescription opioids and narcotics has doubled in recent years. Thankfully, there is hope for those who wish to overcome their addiction. There are several rehabilitation programs and trained professionals to help guide people throughout this challenging ordeal.

An Alarming New Precedent

This is a whole new precedent being set in the US because, for the first time, more people were killed by prescription drug abuse than by motor vehicle accidents.

The following facts reveal an alarming trend:

  • Prescription painkiller overdoses resulted in 37,485 deaths in 2009.
  • Deaths from vehicular accidents in that same year totaled 36,284.
  • Drug fatalities among teens and young adults more than doubled from 2000 to 2008.
  • Deaths from a drug overdose in adults aged 50 to 69 more than tripled in the same 8-year period.

It is important to note that these are based on legal prescription drug statistics and do not include illegal street drugs deaths. It has been determined that drugs such as Vicodin, Xanax, and OxyContin kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.

Treatment Options That Make a Difference

The safest and healthiest form of recovery is admittance into a rehabilitation facility. These facilities provide a broad range of services to treat the addiction and all possible causes. The first and most difficult step towards sobriety is withdrawal. Withdrawal is the process of removing toxins and foreign substances from the body. While necessary, this is an uncomfortable and painful experience.

People going through withdrawal can experience fatigue, nausea, irritability, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fever, and chills. Once this step is completed, the facility can begin focusing on the entire person. This is done by committing to extensive therapy treatments.

Most facilities provide counseling and group therapy for patients to discuss their problems. The goal of these meetings is to uncover any issues or behaviors that could lead to a significant relapse. There are also many opportunities to explore your passions and interests without the fog of substance abuse. However, treatment does not end once the patient is discharged. Many rehabilitation centers help people establish a life outside the facility and provide them with the proper tools for assimilating into society. Depending on the location, they may even be able to help patients find a job and adequate housing. It is also possible to schedule outpatient care after a patient’s discharge for follow-up treatment and monitoring.

The Impact of a Support System

There is no cure for addiction. It takes a life-long commitment to maintaining sobriety. Because of this, it is important to have a strong support system. Friends and family members are often the most devastated by those struggling with drugs and alcohol; however, they are also some of the most influential people involved in the recovery process. Often, people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with particular challenges in their lives. They may have recently suffered the loss of a loved one or experienced a particularly heartbreaking failure. Many people believe that these substances will deaden or
alleviate the pain.

A support system can provide healthier and more productive ways of dealing with these emotions. Although relapses are a common part of the recovery process, having someone to hold you accountable for your actions may reduce this risk.

Unfortunately, addiction problems can lead people down a very dark road, which may cause loved ones to give up. In these extreme cases, those struggling with addiction must depend on their sponsors. Substance abuse sponsors are volunteers who are available to guide people through times of crisis and temptation. Many times, these individuals have fought their battles with addiction and substance
abuse.

Treat All Aspects of the Addiction for Success!

Knowledge is a highly important part of dealing with problems with substance abuse. In fact, drug dealers typically rely on a person’s ignorance to get them hooked. If most people knew unrelenting control and destructive nature of substance abuse, they would be more inclined to avoid them. Our government and public school system have taken great strides in educating children on these issues. One popular program that opens the lines of communication concerning the dangers of drugs and alcohol are the DARE Program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).

Substance abuse can affect a person both physically and mentally. For these reasons, there are also medical professionals and trained specialists who can provide accurate and realistic information about addiction. It is important to understand all aspects of drug and alcohol treatment to have a truly successful recovery.

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