Drug Addiction

Drug addiction can take many forms and is steadily on the rise, especially with opioids and prescription painkillers. It involves the continued use of drugs despite their negative impact on daily life. For those struggling with addiction, it may be impossible to quit without assistance.

Common drugs and symptoms

Cocaine, heroin, morphine and prescription medications are among the most commonly abused drugs, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. Symptoms of drug addiction can vary depending on the drug that’s being abused. Cocaine addiction is typically associated with nosebleeds, hyperactivity, talkativeness and poor concentration. Heroin use may be associated with visual “track marks” on the skin where the user injects the drug. Other common symptoms of drug addiction include changes in sleep and eating patterns, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, unstable coordination (sometimes known as “the shakes”), disheveled appearance, underperforming at work, disinterest in hobbies, social isolation, withdrawal from relationships, personality changes and mood swings.   The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have spiked, especially among women. Opioid misuse or abuse is becoming an increasingly serious and prevalent problem in the United States. Another report from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center found that marijuana use is on the rise, while cocaine use has declined by half. The report estimates that Americans spend about $100 billion annually on cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin. (The data does not account for the recent legalization of marijuana in some states.)   According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there isn’t one fail-safe way to treat drug addiction. This is because it is a complicated illness that affects brain function. A successful treatment approach is accessible and tailored to the individual. Medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy and group therapy are popular treatments. Visiting a rehabilitation facility may be a good choice for those with more severe drug addiction issues.

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