Questions About Drugs and Substance Abuse?
6 FAQs Answered Here
23.5 million Americans struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.
But many face serious roadblocks in receiving treatment for their addictions.
Those who have family members or friends suffering from addictions may have questions about drugs. That’s natural.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions (or FAQs) about drug and substance abuse. Hopefully, we’ll be able to answer some of the questions you have about addiction.
1. Questions About Drugs: What is a Drug Addiction?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about drug addiction and substance abuse.
Individuals may develop substance abuse disorders, or SUDs, over time. Drug addictions are the most serious type of SUD.
Addiction often occurs due to the changes in your brain that happen once you’re hooked on drugs and take them for a long period of time. Changes in your brain can alter your behaviors as well as your personality and impulse control.
Once someone is addicted to drugs, it may become physical instead of simply mental. Your body will become used to ingesting them, and you may go through an uncomfortable process known as withdrawal if you stop using.
This is often what keeps many drug users involved in the cycle. Many people can successfully detox from drugs through medical detox programs at treatment centers.
2. Can You Become Addicted to Prescription Drugs?
Drug addiction isn’t only limited to street drugs. You can become addicted to drugs prescribed to you to help you through a painful period, such as surgery or chronic pain. As a result, you may become dependent on the drugs and go through various means to get them.
Some people “doctor shop,” or complain about pain and ask to be prescribed opioids by doctors they haven’t seen before. As many states are cracking down on opioid prescriptions, some people obtain these prescription pills illegally.
3. How Long Does It Take for Someone to Become an Addict?
The answer to this question varies from person to person. Some people become after taking drugs one time.
Drugs, like heroin, for example, can be very addictive after just one high. This is because for some people, the high can feel euphoric, and they’ll constantly be chasing it.
For others, even one hit of heroin makes them feel extremely ill. In that case, they aren’t likely to get hooked on it.
How long it takes someone to become an addict depends largely on the person. If you are psychologically vulnerable and have had other addictions in the past, you may be more susceptible to becoming a drug addict more quickly.
A family history of addiction can also be a big red flag, and you shouldn’t even try drugs if you know that someone in your family has a history of addiction.
4. Can a Drug Addict Receive Treatment?
There are many different treatment options available for an addict. Some only involve behavioral therapy. Others involve intensive rehabilitation and inpatient work.
As an inpatient, you’ll likely go through medically supervised drug detox, which will help you get the drugs out of your system. Then, you’ll work with a behavioral counselor and other addicts to discuss some of the issues in your life that led you to use.
Some people may also take medicine to help them stay clean. In the case of heroin addicts, many use Suboxone or methadone, a once-daily opioid. This helps curb their addiction and ensures that they stay clean.
If a relapse occurs, it is less likely to kill you if you also take methadone or Suboxone. This works by keeping your tolerance to the drug up so that an overdose is not likely.
5. Can a Long-Time Addict Die of an Overdose?
An individual can die of an overdose at any time. This is due to a combination of factors.
Someone who wants to die may intentionally overdose on drugs.
Other people may overdose by accident, even if you’ve been taking drugs for a long time.
This often occurs after a period of being clean, as once you detox, your tolerance level changes. If you default to your “old dose,” this can cause serious problems, including death by overdose. Your body that operates without the drugs simply cannot handle that dosage anymore.
Another way may long-term addicts overdose is by purchasing drugs that are “cut” with other drugs. Heroin, for instance, is often “laced” with Fentanyl. You may be able to take the amount of heroin in the dose, but die or become extremely ill due to overdosing on Fentanyl. This is because most people have no idea how much is exactly in each hit.
6. Why Are People Addicted to Drugs?
This is a complex question without a clear universal answer. The reason why people become addicted will be different for each person.
Some people take drugs as a way to cope with untreated trauma. Others take drugs because they have fallen on hard times in life and don’t know how to cope.
Still, other individuals will take drugs to self-medicate if they suffer from an untreated psychological issue.
Getting to the root of the problem helps free a person from their addiction.
Recovery is Possible
Questions about drugs and drug addiction are totally natural, especially if you’ve addicted yourself or have a loved one who is.
But if you’re ready to make a change in your life, or help a loved one do so, contact us immediately. You deserve to be free from substance addiction. And we’ve got the resources to get you there.