The most widely abused drug is alcohol. Many people do not think of alcohol as a drug since it is socially accepted as the norm. However, alcohol is also the leading addiction after nicotine. The second most abused drug is marijuana. Although it has the reputation of being less harmful than alcohol, it is still considered the gateway drug to all other illegal/legal drugs. The next most abused drug is prescription opioids, also known as pain killers. After these first three drugs, we head to the street where the most abused drugs are cocaine and heroin. Still, benzodiazepines, which are doctor prescribed, are also as problematic. The World Drug Report from 2019 states that 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders, while only 1 in 7 people receive treatment. (U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime)
How do People Become Addicted to Drugs?
The most significant cause of drug abuse is a personal history of trauma. When a person experiences abuse, whether physical or sexual, witnesses violence, experiences poverty or neglect, they are victims of trauma. The next reason people might start using drugs is exposure to them in the home or environment, especially when young. Other causes for drug abuse are family history or a genetic link of drug addiction or abuse and whether or not the person is dealing with mental health disorders. The research has proven that even with just one of these elements in someone’s persona, they will likely abuse drugs and can easily become an addict or alcoholic.
What is the Difference Between Abuse and Addiction?
Addiction is a complex disease of the mind and emotions that stem from multiple causes. As referenced earlier, it only takes one aspect to make someone an addict. Drug abuse is also dangerous, but drug abusers often quit their drugs when the drug use affects their livelihood. Anyone who gets in trouble for drinking or drugging and stops is most likely not an addict- yet. People who continue to use drugs and drink regardless of how much it impacts their lives desire the effects of the drugs over everything else and are considered addicted. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. (NIDA)
Which Drugs Are Most Dangerous to Use?
The drug that can quickly cause death more than any other is opioids. Heroin, Fentanyl, prescription pain killers (Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Norco, etc.), and opium or morphine. Opioids slow respiration, and if a person uses too much, they will stop breathing. Anyone who uses an opioid of any type, not just heroin or Fentanyl, can overdose and die. Opioids cause addiction that also lasts for many years because it causes physical dependence. The other dangerous drug is benzodiazepines. Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin are the most well-known benzodiazepines. These drugs can also cause an accidental overdose quickly when they are misused or combined with alcohol and other drugs. All Drugs are dangerous and addictive. If you or someone you love is struggling, we urge you to call us for expert recommendations on what treatment programs they need.
How To Know if Drug Treatment Will Work?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that for drug treatment to be effective, it must contain the following:
There are many options that have been successful in treating drug addiction, including behavioral counseling, medications, evaluation, and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, a long-term follow-up to prevent relapse. A range of care with a tailored treatment program and follow-up options are also crucial to success. (NIDA)
The good news is that now more than ever, there are advanced treatment programs that work. However, the last decades have shown that evidence-based treatments, including behavioral counseling and medications, are necessary and help someone attain lasting recovery.
Call Evoke Wellness for Immediate Entry to Treatment
Evoke Wellness provides numerous formats for our advanced drug addiction treatment programs. Our treatment centers offer inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential rehab programs. Each structure has implemented evidence-based forms of therapy to help addicts and alcoholics get and remain clean and sober for good. If you or a loved one needs help for their addiction to drugs, call one treatment specialist. They will have you or your family member admitted into a program the same day. Please call now or chat or email for more information.