Some people today still don’t comprehend how bad the drug abuse epidemic has become.
There are so many ways that drugs have ruined so many different people’s lives. It is a problem in every geographical area—in every type of family. Why are many people still blaming the addict? Not everybody understands that addiction is a brain disease and most addicts don’t have control over their addiction once they succumb to the world of drugs.
Studies have shown that nearly 500,000 young adults aged 12 – 24 have abused heroin at least once. Kids aged 12-17 are abusing MDMA, alcohol, methamphetamines, and even heroin. The epidemic is hurting many people of all ages, but drug dealers are known to target young kids, which creates a self-sustaining economy should they become addicted. Most of these users are high school kids who attend parties or raves, and they are often supplied these drugs by their friends.
How does addiction begin for these young adults? Over 50 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink alcohol, which they can easily obtain from parents, family members, or close family friends. Children see family members drinking in social settings, become comfortable in these situations, and begin drinking on their own. This often encourages them to begin experimenting with other drugs, some of which are even more dangerous than alcohol.
There are many behaviors that can indicate drug abuse. These include:
- Becoming withdrawn from friends or family
- Ceasing from participating in favorite hobbies or activities
- Lack of motivation
- Sudden weight loss
- Erratic behavior
- Recurring nosebleeds
- Twitching or shaking
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Lying and stealing
There are many other symptoms of drug abuse, depending on the drug the person may be abusing. For more detailed information on each drug and the symptoms, click here.
Many people who are addicted to drugs—especially young adults—don’t fully understand how much they are hurting themselves, their loved ones or that they have a problem. They might tell themselves that they have everything under control, but denial is a primary component of addiction. Many addicts don’t ask for help and try to solve everything on their own. It is important to be caring and compassionate towards people suffering from addiction so that they don’t try to withdraw even more.
The addiction epidemic is growing all over the world, and many different drugs are abused, but the result is always the same. Addicts will tear down their lives for their drug and not realize the harm they are causing in the process. Addiction is a horrible thing, and it is becoming more and more widespread each year.
As addiction professionals, families and loved ones who work with, live with or know someone who is struggling with addiction to be armed with the facts about this disease. That is why we created this infographic and why we strongly support the NIDA Facts Weeks 2016.