Drug Rehab 2022 Round 1 – Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign

Name: Kyle Ardian Payne

Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign

Overall drug use and alcohol consumption in the United States are on the rise. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), almost 32 million people (11.7% of the population were actively using drugs as of 2021, with marijuana, prescription stimulants, and methamphetamines as the most popular drugs of choice. Add alcohol and tobacco use, and more than 60% of the US population was actively using some form of substance. Drug use can affect the users (especially those who are struggling with addiction), as well as their loved ones and society as a whole. Drug use costs the country more than $740 billion each year in lost work, health care, and drug-related crimes. Many factors have contributed to the rise in drug use in America. The drug problem is not related to youth or poverty. People of all ages and income levels are using drugs and struggling with some form of substance use disorder. And drug use is becoming more accepted in society. Turn on the television or listen to music and you’re likely to see or hear references about drinking, smoking, or some type of drug use. To better avoid and mitigate the consequences, as well as to seek help with addiction for a loved one, it’s important to understand why drug use is on the rise. Here’s an in-depth look at the problem and the factors that lead to drug use.

People of all demographics choose to use substances, but some groups may be more likely to use drugs than others, as well as being more prone to drug addiction. Drug use has risen sharply among people 50 years old or older. It may come as a surprise to many, who may imagine drug use as a problem among younger generations. Alcohol is the main substance causing hospital and rehab admissions in older individuals, but other drugs are also responsible for the increase in treatment required. Admissions for treatment or marijuana and heroin use have more than doubled in the past 10 years. But the most dramatic increases in hospitalizations were from prescription drugs and cocaine, the latter of which almost quadrupled admission rates to a treatment center. Women are more likely to suffer from disorders related to use of alcohol, opioids, cannabis, stimulants, and nicotine. A variety of causes are responsible, such as influence from their partners and a higher propensity for mood and anxiety disorders. Anxiety or stress-related disorders may lead some women to become addicted to substances as they seek to self-medicate or escape from the stressors that contribute to their anxieties. The overuse of alcohol in college is well documented and widely known. But college students are turning to other substances as well. The social nature of college life and the party habits many develop after they leave home for the first time in their life may lead to increased use of more than alcohol. Nicotine from cigarettes and drugs such as marijuana and prescription medications are other substances students tend to experiment with during their college years. Drugs are becoming more normalized in larger American culture. Drug use is commonly seen in movies, music videos, social media, and media in general. Drinking and drug use are often portrayed as an acceptable way to socialize or a normal part of everyday life. A growing number of celebrities and role models are open about their marijuana use or preferences for other substances, potentially influencing younger people. Young people and adults who don’t have strong coping skills to safeguard their mental health may turn to substance use to deal with the stressors around them. Military service members and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning home may self-medicate with drugs. The legalization of recreational marijuana (cannabis) in many states has made drug use more openly acceptable. Thus, many do not see cannabis as an addictive or harmful substance. However, some people consider marijuana is to be a gateway drug. They fear that increased use of cannabis (legal or illegal) will lead to the increased use of other drugs.

Drugs like these help the person feel good about themselves and induce ‘dopamine’ or the happiness hormone. As they continue to use the drug, the brain starts to increase dopamine levels, and the person demands more. Drug addiction has severe consequences. Some of the signs include anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, and red eyes. They are intoxicated and unable to display proper coordination and have difficulty in remembering things. A person who is addicted cannot resist using them and unable to function correctly without ingesting them. It causes damage to the brain, their personal and professional relationships. It affects mental cognition; they are unable to make proper decisions, cannot retain information, and make poor judgments. They tend to engage in reckless activities such as stealing or driving under the influence. They also make sure that there is a constant supply and are willing to pay a lot of money even if they are unable to afford it and tend to have erratic sleep patterns. Drug addiction also causes a person to isolate themselves and have either intense or no food cravings. They stop taking care of their hygiene. Drug addiction affects a person’s speech and experiences hallucinations. They are unable to converse and communicate properly; they speak fast and are hyperactive. Those addicted have extreme mood swings. They can go from feeling happy to feeling sad quickly and are incredibly secretive. They begin to lose interest in activities they once loved. Substance abusers also undergo withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms refer to the symptoms that occur when they stop taking the drug. Some withdrawal symptoms include nausea, fatigue, and tremors. They stop and start using again, an endless cycle that could be life-threatening. Drug addiction can be fatal if not treated timely. It can cause brain damage and seizures as well as overdose, heart diseases, respiratory problems, damage to the liver and kidneys, vomiting, lung diseases, and much more. Though chronic, treatment is available for drug addiction. Many techniques are used, such as behavioral counseling, medication to treat the addiction, and providing treatment not just for substance abuse but also for many factors that accompany addiction such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Many devices have developed to overcome addiction. There are rehabilitation centers to help people. After treatment, there are numerous follow-ups to ensure that the cycle does not come back. The most important thing is having family and friends to support the effect. It will help them build confidence and overcome their addiction.