With the continued amount of information that is available, and all of the educational and prevention efforts that are sponsored by the government and in place across the country, drug and alcohol abuse show no signs of slowing down. And, if anything, they have embraced and entirely new genre of drugs. Pharmaceutical drug abuse is no longer the realm of the drug store cowboy, but households across the nation are seeing greater numbers of prescription addicts than ever before in this country’s history. This is an alarming transition and reflects the growing population of psychotropic medicine consumers as well as major pain relief medications, which sometimes included controlled substances like narcotics.
With an every increasing variety of drugs to chose from, addicts are changing in stereotypical appearance. Instead of remaining in the image of the disheveled homeless person walking the streets and begging for money for their next fix, the new population of drug addicts is attending PTA meetings, teaching elementary school to your children, answering phones at your dentist office and ringing up your groceries at the local market. People who are abusing prescription drugs have no standard appearance, age or gender. However, the end result is the same if the abuse continues and turns into chronic addiction.
Drug abuse treatment centers have to respond to new populations of drug addicts and all of the new chemicals there are to chose from to support addiction. And while there have been different approaches to treating various drugs and their addictive properties, one thing does not change and that is the typical behavior of a drug addict. Regardless of the substance that is being abused, addicts will do almost anything to maintain their high, which really isn’t even a high anymore but more of an altered state baseline that is now necessary to function.
Treating the behaviors that are associated with the addiction follows the initial step of detoxification and removing the addict from the drug. Depending on the particular psychological makeup of an individual addict, some of the behaviors that were associated with use may stop on their own. However, with some people there are strong co-occurring mental health issues that will also need to be addressed. For instance, if a particular person has resorted to stealing to satisfy their need for a drug, that behavior may very well stop once the addict is sober and in the process of recovery. However, for the addict with additional psychological aspects at work, illegal and self-destructive behaviors may be due to more than the addiction itself and may continue after sobriety has been reached. And while there are many common ingredients to drug addiction treatment, there are also individual issues that will be addressed after a baseline has been determined for that particular person.
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