The Price of Addiction and Why We Need Drug Rehab and Alcohol Rehab

This is a new world we all live in. Battles around the globe consume the news leaving out a private battle that millions of people fight daily. This private battle has ever lasting effects on individuals, families, and friends. The disease of addiction, either directly or indirectly, touches millions of lives daily contributing to more than $539 billion in costs annually according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Diabetes, Cancer, and Coronary Heart Disease combined only equate to approximately $412.2 billion annually. The following sections will breakdown the distributed costs per group showing what the disease of addiction is costing society and how drug rehab and alcohol rehab can help.

Cancer

Cancer in all forms is expensive to treat, not only on the individual but on society as well. Directly, cancer carries direct costs of approximately $77.4 billion annually just to treat. This cost is shared not only by affected families but by everyone in the form of higher premiums and treatment costs as well as public health programs due to an ever increasing number of uninsured individuals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 50 million individuals and about 10% of the youth population are all uninsured. The inability of individuals and families to afford or obtain health insurance directly contribute to the direct costs. Indirectly, an additional $124 billion in costs is contributed to a high mortality rate and lost productivity. Although creating a staggering $201.5 billion in costs, Cancer is not alone in creating an economic impact by direct or indirect costs. Both directly and indirectly, Diabetes follows closely with its impact on society with its many forms and ever increasing costs for treatment.

Diabetes

With a social cost impact between Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes is a major factor in public health to date. Since the development of insulin in 1921 all forms of Diabetes have been treatable. However, the effects of diabetes can be devastating if left untreated. With the high rates of the uninsured today the costs of treatment are placed on society in the form of higher premiums and public health care programs paid for by taxes. Contributing an estimated $171.6 billion in debt, the social impact of Diabetes alone is a hefty bill. Following suit is Coronary Heart Disease which is the most common form of heart disease and a major health concern for millions.

Coronary Heart Disease

In the world today there are many forms of illness the avoidable, the treatable, and the unavoidable. According to the American Heart Association, Coronary Heart Disease stems from Coronary Artery Disease which begins development in the youth mainly due to an improper diet and lack of exercise. At this period, arterial plaque is developed which stays with them through the adult years eventually turning into Coronary Heart Disease. Contributing over $109 billion in costs, Coronary Heart Disease, the most common form of heart disease, takes the lives of over 385,000 people annually in the United States alone.

Illegal Drugs

According to the Center for Disease Control, Illegal drug use in the United States consumes more lives than vehicle accidents annually. Drugs like Heroin, Cocaine, Spice, or pharmaceutical painkillers or stimulants are abused by millions daily. Taking more than 50,000 lives annually, the addiction to illegal drugs is a major contributor to social debt adding a massive $181 billion in costs. That’s over $490 million per day and about 5 people per hour. There are a lot of things that $490 million could do for society every day if allocated elsewhere.

Nicotine Addiction

The addictive nature of nicotine is one of the strongest known. According to a national survey on drug use and health, over 65 million people in the United States ages 12 and up, had used or are actively using tobacco products on a daily basis. Since the mid 1990’s, the smoking of tobacco products has decreased dramatically and has migrated to a smokeless form which still causes health degradation and cancer. This directly contributes to the national health crisis on an ever increasing basis with a daily cost of just over $540 million. Every minute someone dies due to the use of nicotine products.

Alcoholism

Topping the list, alcoholism is the most costly with a price tag of over $224 billion in both direct and indirect costs. According to the Center for Disease Control, every day 32 people die in an alcohol related automotive accident. Additionally, 31,903 die from Cirrhosis of the liver, and millions more suffer from alcohol related gout, anemia, high blood pressure, seizures, nerve damage, pancreatitis and many other health problems. Many of which, left untreated, can turn into worse issues and may be possibly life threatening as well. Additionally, Alcoholism also contributes to the destruction of families, the loss of careers and many mental health issues.

How can rehab help

As with many diseases, there is help available. Although there is not a cure for addiction, many proven methods exist to assist the individual suffering from addiction. Over the years, doctors and researchers together have assisted in the recovery of millions of addicts. According to Dr. Steven Melemis, one overwhelming conclusion that has been reached is the length of treatment. The longer the individual stays in treatment the better chance they have of a successful recovery. Additionally, research and documents provided by The Journal of Neuroscience has shown that the disease of addiction is traceable to a single gene in the human genome.

Identified as a Cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein, CREB, is known as the addiction gene. This gene is present from birth when either one or both parents were substance abusers or had this gene. This gene does not only contribute to substances but may also be attributed to several types of addictive traits in ones persona. The development of one’s addiction is generally associated with an inability to handle high amounts of anxiety and stress causing them to seek a method of self-medication.

Addiction rehab can help by teaching the individual techniques that have been honed over several decades of testing and use. Depending on the substance of choice, some treatments may require the inclusion of medications for a period of time identified by the clinician others may require personal and group training. Addiction rehab allows the individual the opportunity to build a toolset for the battle they are about to go through. It allows them to build a network of support from those who are fighting the daily battle against genetics right along with them.

Addiction rehab can help with both the social and economic barriers that one will experience in the years to come. Since addiction does not have a cure and is only treatable, individuals fighting the disease have several avenues available to them for support. Thousands of people around the world have developed non-profit treatment centers focused specifically on addiction. Some facilities like the Valley Hope Association offer family oriented treatment programs, extended stay programs for inpatient treatments, out-patient treatments, and even on-line based treatment programs.

Addiction rehab is possible, although there is not a cure, there is help and there is hope. Never give in, never give up, and keep moving forward.

My Story – The Abuse, the Pain, the Recovery, the Victory

This is my article, for anyone who is trying to credit, live my life in my shoes for a day.

As I’m sitting on my computer, typing with the one good hand that I have right now, I’m compelled to tell my story of how drug abuse destroyed my life. Before God stopped me, I was smoking crack, snorting heroin, popping pills, anything I could to medicate the pain. I could not stop, the drug using that is, until God loved me enough to stop my black behind. I had a major stroke, that left my left side paralyzed. Then the thought came to me, “fool, you really F’d up now!”. It’s been 2 years since, sober for 2 1/2 years thankfully. The 1/2 year was strictly from all doors becoming closed to me.

Born in 1968, my childhood was average at best. Not poor, but not rich, I received gifts for Christmas like”Rock em Sock em Robots”, “Tonka Trucks’, “Hot Wheels” and “Matchbox cars”. My father, just before he died suddenly, bought me my first pong video game at Sears, which cost $159.99 at the time. Atari was the front runner, but he did his best. Me and my dad were very close, almost inseparable. Later, at the age of 25, my mother told me Leo wasn’t my real father. Anyhow, I felt loved. My mother loved me as well, but it was different. He used to take me everywhere and teach me how to clean carpets, cut hair, work on automobiles, etc. My Mother always used to take me to babysitters so she could play bingo, go to the beauty shop, go shopping or the horse track. I remember the terrible experiences sitting for hours while my mother and my aunt went to “Gasman’s and Marshall Fields”. Still don’t like it now. Horray to shopping online.

Spoiled at a young age, the death of my father changed my personality drastically. I didn’t feel loved anymore, even though my mother tried her best to show. Suddenly a single parent family now. I started to have migraines all the time. No perceived joy in my life anymore, I tried to take my frustrations out on anyone. No smiling, no conversation, nothing but pain. The cousins and my friends got the brunt of the frustration, even though I couldn’t fight a lick. Girls beat me up:).

12 years old, mad at the world, the next few years were just a set up for what was to come. First sexual experience, first raunchy sexual experience, first night staying out all night, first experience with alcohol and marijuana. Whenever I felt drunk or high, I thought I was on top of the world. Since my mother found a friend ( year later), she would sometimes stay at his house all night. He did not have a phone and he was a drunk, so I knew if my mother wasn’t home by 8:00 p.m., freedom to be grown!

The first night was tough, being by myself. I was afraid, crying and everything. After that, it was a breeze. Every other day she was going to be away, weekends home everyday. The start of the double personality, another step to deception.

1. Mad at the world.

2. Deception

I knew how to behave when my mother was home and act the opposite when she was away. I was having women sleep over, orgies, parties, whatever since I acted as if I was grown. School work was easy, even though it was catholic grammar school and High School.The development of the camilion attitude began. 16 years old, stone alcoholic. There was no 12 steps in my community, so I thought. It was cool to me to have red eyes, barely open. I didn’t realize the things that I loved doing, sports, wasn’t important anymore. My thinking was the women, being a player and all. Women were objects of lust to me, maybe all the pornographic movies I was watching on a daily basis.

Sickness to me was a word that was associated to actions, not mental or physical well being. With drug abuse, it’s a stepping stone, some immediate, some gradual. My usage was gradual. Alcohol, then marijuana, both, etc. I now know alcohol is a drug and it leaves you vulnerable to do things you will normally say no to. Four of my 5 sons were conceived in drunkenness or being high. When I was young, getting high, smoking crack was the last thing I thought I would do, but I never daily did anything about to not do it. 3. Lying to one self.

My first experience with crack cocaine came in the form of a blunt at a very established company at a 2 week shut down party. I was drinking” long time”, trying to be cool, saying yes to weed that was passed, I smoked something that messed my brain up. The taste was funny, but I knew I had to have it. There was a beastly craving for it, even though I didn’t know what it was. 4. Being Ungrateful. The year was 1993. April,the day my life changed when I hit that pipe. 285 lbs and fairly good health, that soon changed. Within 2 months, my usages was over $2000 a day, no exaggeration. I stole everything that wasn’t tied down. I stole from my wife,my children, my mother of all people. My focus was the stuff, that’s it. Before I didn’t feel love, now I felt less than a human being. Treatments, long term and short term, didn’t help. Before I said I was used to behaving when people were watching you, so in treatment facilities, the same behavior. Good jobs let me go, friends let me go, enemies wanted me to perish, but God had another plan.

Threats by the wife, it didn’t matter. I gave my life to God many times, attended every service, it didn’t matter. Drugs was calling me and I answered the call. I can’t tell you how many times I left my wife standing at the bus stop or a designated area I was going to be, waiting just to see me not show up. It’s amazing though when you disclose your an addict, people change. Do you blame them though?

In October 2005, after riding the trains all night from going back to drugs, almost all doors closed to me,I decided to stop for real. The times I quit, it was because I got caught or I felt she was serious this time. Having diabetes, high blood pressure and using the bathroom every ten minutes also helped in the decision.Every year since my drug usage, extended hospital stays were a norm, at least a month out each year. Whenever the pastor called, the first or second sentence was ” are you still getting high?” My wife’s friends been stopped calling and it hurts to see her suffer by sticking with me. Doing people dirty started to catch up on me. I got arrested for waiting at a hospital emergency room and other little things.I got hired at Caterpillar, but they never called in.

Free from the years of drug abuse, I had a major stroke on January 9, 2006. Being only 37 years of age, to me this was a challenge. I went blind and went into a comma for 9 days for having a sugar level of over 1000. The doctor ordered a body bag, but God yet spared my life. All the trials, I was still using drugs. That’s just how powerful addiction is. Doesn’t matter the circumstance or situation, drugs can and will destroy you. The stroke left my left side paralyzed, but I can walk, talk, attend school online, drive, cook, be as normal as possible.

After I had the stroke, there was a weight lifted off of me. I knew my troubles were over, drug wise. I don’t wish that on anyone, the stroke. But if you choose the drug addiction or the stroke, I will choose the stroke. Drug Addiction is the worst scenario ever, other than spending eternity in hell. Drug addiction is hell on earth. Pray for anyone who is struggling in drugs. Someone prayed for me.

Today, I’m an A student, studying to be a lawyer, an advocate for the disabled. I’m free, I love myself today and I appreciate the life I live. As a diabetic, my eating habits are good and it will stay that way. My current weight is 225. My sugar is an average of 115 and blood pressure is 125/68. Good, healthy eating. There is great healing in my family relationships, spiritual relationships and upward growth. My goal is to change the world for the better and I will!

Drug Abuse and Importance of Testing in Teens

According to Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey conducted during 2008, in America nearly 47% of the teens tasted an illicit drug by the time they complete their high school education. As drug abuse is widespread and the students are more sensitive, many schools adopt drug-testing programs to detect drug abuse, to determine student drug abusers, and to recommend for treatment if required.

Teens are vulnerable to drugs
Young people are more vulnerable to drug abuse as they are in their preadolescence stage and not completely matured. They get attracted to the word of assumed benefits rather than understanding the negative effects on the brain, body, behavior, and health. Independent of the age, many other factors make particularly youngsters vulnerable to drugs. Youngsters are often vulnerable to drugs, especially young culprits, youngsters in institutional care like orphanage, students with social or academic problems, and young people who live in underprivileged families or neighborhoods where multiple risk factors and difficulties are concentrated. Marijuana has been widely used illegal drug by the teens, which ruined them, from many years. According to MTF 2008, 42.6 percent of American youth tried Marijuana by the time they completed their high schooling.

Drug testing at Home
Many parents of teenagers are more concerned about their teenagers taking illegal drugs, how to advise them, and what steps to follow to prevent it. It is the parents’ responsibility to protect the child until they develop common sense or maturity of adulthood. Teens may argue against to being tested, imagining that parents don’t “trust” them. Advantages of Home drug testing are, if teens know that random drug test will be conducted in each month, they may feel afraid to take punishments if detected. Another advantage of home-based drug testing policy is that it increases the ability to detect drug use presence at early stages and treatment can be easily provided.

Drug testing at Schools
Drug abuse not only obstructs a student’s ability to learn, but it can also obstruct the teaching environment, affecting other students as well. Schools follow random student drug testing to decrease drug abuse among students. Random testing will provide a restraint, and give students a reason to withstand peer pressure to take drugs. For students who are recognized with addiction of drugs, parents and school administrator can handover them to effective drug treatment programs, to start the recovery process. Many testing methods are available based on testing specimen including urine, hair, saliva, and sweat. All these methods differ in cost, reliability, drugs detected, and detection period. Schools can select the drug testing kit depending on their needs. Generally, these drug testing methods tests for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, PCP, MDMA, GHB, and steroids.

Drug testing at Sports competitions
Event testing is the type of testing i.e. performed for confirmation of prohibited drugs or other performance-enhancing substances used by athletes in the course of particular competition. Teens who contest in sport competitions are more inclined to start steroid or drug use in order to improve performance at their sport like run faster, hit farther, lift heavier weights, jump higher, or have more capacity or tolerance. However, this is against to the law and it causes many health problems. Athlete drug testing is executed at various stages from school athletes to Olympic games. They are conducted to detect the drug abuse of the athletes and put them away. The confirmation of tests is carried out by GC/MS (Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry) method, which detects various chemical features of the drug substances.

A school administrator or a responsible parent should protect youngsters from misuse of drugs, or else they suffer from many health and safety problems. Therefore, focusing on reducing young people towards drug abuse by following suitable methods helps in yielding positive results on the future of the nation.