America Under Siege: Drugs, Dealers, Addicts and Related Crime. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, America is facing a true epidemic when it comes to the world of substance abuse. The burden of drugs, dealers, victims of addiction, and all of the crime that stems from this siege is causing mounting expenses to rise. An astounding $600 billion or more is simply being thrown away when it comes to the cost of crime, lost wages, and loss of life. Statistics show that nearly 100 billion dollars alone is spent on healthcare costs concerning tobacco, while another $100 billion is going down the drain for other related expenses. Alcohol comes in second place at $30 billion spent for medical expenses, but rises to an alarming number of over $200 billion for additional expenses. Illegal drugs are a major issue as well, costing the nation over $10 billion in healthcare and treatment expenses, while nearly $200 billion more are poured into this problem on an annual basis. It’s clear that substance abuse of any kind, illegal or legal, has a price tag that is higher than this nation can possibly bear.
Substance Abuse is a Growing Trend
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that nearly 20 million Americans are heavy drinkers, while another 20 millions are trapped in the vicious cycle of illicit drug abuse. Add up over 50 million people who are addicted to cigarettes. An additional 50 million are abusing prescription drugs. The numbers are absolutely staggering and there is no end in sight.
Easy Access is the Biggest Problem
When it comes to substance abuse in America, it is simply to easy to come by drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, not to mention household substances that can be used to get that instant high and sense of gratification that comes from use of any type of drug. From the dealers who are supplying drugs in any form to the stores that sell legal products, it’s like handing candy to a baby and victims of addition find a ready supply.
Quitting Isn’t Easy
Because of its accessibility, drugs and alcohol are extremely hard habits to break. Those who are victims of addiction often find themselves in a pit of despair and find that there is no way out. Substance abuse wrecks everything in its path, destroying relationships, careers, and lives. Even when an addict wants to stop abusing, the drug drags a person back in. Negative influences and temptation make it difficult to resist. Withdrawal causes a physical agony that will make an addict do anything to make the suffering stop, not mention the cravings for the source of addiction are irresistible as well. In order to end addiction once and for all, a victim of abuse needs help.
Ending Addiction Needs a Team Approach
Bringing an end to the menace of addiction in America will take a team approach and the same holds true for victims of substance abuse. Addicts are not likely to succeed when they attempt to conquer their addiction alone. However, with the support of friends, family, and inpatient therapy, it is possible to turn a life around before it’s too late.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Offers the Greatest Promise
In order to put addiction to an end, the best option for an addict is inpatient rehabilitation. When a victim of abuse enters a drug and alcohol treatment facility, all temptations and sources of addiction will be left outside the door. The addict will be placed in a safe haven, surrounded by compassionate staff members who will provide guidance toward recovery. Round the clock care will be provided during detoxification, nutritional foods will enable an addict to regain his or her health, and counseling services will allow the difficult work of recovery to begin. An addict needs to understand his or her trigger factors and learn new alternatives in order to cope with life’s struggles. Family and friends can take part in counseling sessions and visits with a client as well in order to assist the victim of addiction in being successful. Addiction affects everyone in the life of an addict and they will need help as well. Upon successful completion, it will be possible for an addict to live a life of sobriety.
The Effort is Ongoing
Once a victim of addiction completes a rehabilitation program, vigilance is key. Former addicts should enter a support group, be surrounded with positive influences, and make lifestyle changes that will promote a sober future. With constant effort, it will be possible to avoid the pitfalls of addiction. However, victims of addiction should understand that is common to have a moment of weakness. If trouble should arise, it is important to seek assistance as soon as possible in order to maintain a drug-free life.