From: Nassau, None
Could you think about a time you encountered a “feel-good” moment? An experience where you felt happy; possibly the happiest you’ve ever felt. Maybe, for you, it was puffing your first cigarette or taking a shot of whiskey. How about the time you bit into a delicious, warm burger with extra cheese and a side of “biggie fries”. Such circumstances do not automatically lead to addiction. The human brain is programmed to reward us when we do something pleasurable. It not only makes us feel good but it also encourages us to keep doing what we do. It trains our brain to repeat such actions. Many people lack the proper knowledge as to why or how an individual becomes addicted. Some might think that drug addicts could stop by simply choosing to do so; others may mistakenly think that they simply lack motivation or willpower. The truth? Addiction is a disease that is very perplexing and quitting usually requires more than good intentions or strong will. Drugs changes the brain in more ways than one, thus making it extremely difficult to quit even if someone wanted to.
“People are significantly more likely to portray negative attitudes toward those suffering from drug addiction than those with mental illness, and do not support insurance, accommodations, and employment procedures that benefit drug addicts”, John Hopkins suggests. Although drug addiction and mental illness are both chronic and treatable health conditions, Americans view addiction as a moral failure rather than a medical condition. “ The more shame associated with drug addiction, the less likely it is that we as a community can change our attitude and give people the change our attitude and give people the help they need, says Beth McGnity.
Individuals suffering from addiction always tell themselves “I’m fine, it’s not that bad”. Can’t remember what happened last night? “It’s not that bad”. Getting high every day? “I’m fine, it’s not that bad”. Dropped out of college and can’t keep a steady job? “It’s not that bad!” Drug addiction can lead people to dark places, and delusional thoughts as a result of chemical changes I the brain that keeps them there. Depression, anxiety, mood swings and psychosis are some of the mental consequences that drug addicts face. The physical consequences of addiction are most obvious in humans. Bruises, abrasions, marks, lip burns, physical dependence, increased resistance and withdrawal symptoms. The negative consequences of drug abuse affects not only the person who abuses the drug but also family, friends and business government resources. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), economic cost of substance abuse in the United States in 2002 was $180.9 billion. Children of substance abusers are often victims of abuse or neglect due to drug addiction. Drug addicts often prioritize the need to purchase and abuse drugs over the health and well-being of their children. They are often physically abused and lack adequate medical and dental care, along with basic necessities such as food, water and shelter. While many drug abusers are unable to hold a job, businesses whose employees do work put others at risk. Economically, businesses often are affected because employees who abuse drugs sometimes steal cash or supplies, products and equipment, which they later sell to obtain money for drug use. Furthermore, loss of productivity, nonattendance and increase use of medical and insurance benefits by employees who abuse drugs affect a business financially.
In closing, as with most chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, drug-dependent treatment is not usually a cure. However, addiction can be successfully managed. Research shows that combining addiction medications with behavioral therapy provides the best chance of success for most patients. A treatment approach tailored to the medical psychological, and social issues associated with each patient’s drug use patterns can lead to long-term recovery. In addition to, drug use and addiction can be prevented. Prevention programs involving families, schools, communities and the media are effective in preventing or reducing the use of drugs and addiction. Education and advocacy are key elements in aiding with the understanding of the potential risks of drug use. Parents, teachers and healthcare professionals play an important role in education the youth and preventing substance use and addiction.