How Does Addiction Affect Men and Women Differently?

Addiction is a severe mental health condition that can have devastating consequences for those affected by it. Men and women experience addiction differently, yet the impact on their lives can be equally profound. While addiction causes many similar effects in men and women, there are some key differences between the sexes regarding how they develop a dependency, their likelihood of seeking help, and what sort of medically assisted help they need.

This article will provide an overview of how addiction affects men and women differently. In addition, it will explore the unique challenges that each gender faces in seeking treatment, overcoming substance abuse issues, and finding a path to recovery. By understanding the differences between men and women, we can better empathize with those affected by addiction and work to ensure that all people have access to the resources they need to combat addiction and move forward with their lives.

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How Men and Women Become Addicted Differently

While anyone can develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol, certain factors may increase the risk of dependency. One of these factors is gender. Men and women typically develop addiction differently for various reasons, including biological differences, societal pressures, and other environmental factors.

According to the National Institute on Drugs Abuse, men are likely to use all kinds of illicit drugs, and these drugs can lead to ER visits or overdose deaths. Illegal drug use refers to using drugs like cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, and prescription drugs illegally.

In addition, NIDA points out that men, in most age groups, have higher rates of use and dependence on alcohol and drugs than women. Studies have found that men are 2.2 times more likely to abuse substances and 1.9 times likelier to develop a drug dependence than women.

Historically, most substance use disorders (SUD) were seen in men. However, there's evidence that this has been shifting over the years. A study analyzed the rates of substance abuse by gender over many decades. It discovered that the gap between men and women was closing, as women and men are now developing SUD at near-equal rates.

Despite this, women may be more susceptible to craving substances and relapse, vital phases of the addiction cycle.

Notably, age significantly impacts addiction in both men and women. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that the use of illegal drugs was almost the same in youth ages 12 to 17 years.

The distinction between how men and women suffer from addiction stems from biological and sociological differences. Researchers believe this distinction is due to societal impact (like relationship dynamics, addiction stigma, childcare responsibilities, etc.). Men and women also have biological differences, primarily revolving around estrogen and testosterone production, along with body composition and size that can cause the drugs to affect the body differently.

Harvard notes that the main difference in addiction between the two genders revolves around susceptibility, recovery, and risk of relapse.

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Susceptibility

Men are more likely to become dependent on substances. They also tend to develop drug addiction due to stress or peer pressure. On the other hand, women are more likely to develop addiction due to underlying mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, or trauma history. For example, a woman who experiences sexual assault is more likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to cope.

Women also experience accelerated progression from initial drug use to the onset of addiction and first admission to treatment. This phenomenon, called telescoping, has been observed in studies focusing on women addicted to alcohol or drugs like cannabis and opioids. It has been shown that women who enter addiction treatment often present with a more severe clinical profile than men despite having used fewer substances within a shorter timeframe than men. 

Recovery

Men tend to stabilize substance abuse at lower doses compared to women. They are also likely to experience more intense symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. On the other hand, women may experience more severe drug withdrawal symptoms, including liver damage and overdose. In addition, men may be more likely to experience heart problems due to drug use.

Risk of Relapse

Women have a much higher risk of experiencing intense cravings and relapse than men. This is due to various factors, including the biological differences mentioned earlier, but also due to societal pressures and other environmental factors.

Specific Substances

Alcohol

Women have less water in their bodies than men. This means they do not need as much alcohol to get drunk. Women also don't break down alcohol as fast because their body has lower levels of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. Besides, men and women abuse alcohol for different reasons.

Men tend to drink for social reasons or to enhance positive emotions, while women sometimes use alcohol to alleviate mental health problems like stress or anxiety. This explains why more women have co-occurring alcohol abuse and mental disorders. Sadly, women are less likely to seek treatment for their binge drinking issues than men.

Opioids

Some studies indicate that women may experience chronic pain more intensely than men. This may explain why women are more likely to use prescription and illicit opioids for chronic pain management and why they develop addiction faster. Women also tend to get heightened dopamine responses in the brain, accelerating the development of a dependence on drugs. Despite their heightened susceptibility, men are more likely to misuse opioids and fatally overdose.

Surveys have shown that women are more likely to overdose fatally in the first years of an opioid use disorder involving injection. This is partly because of polydrug use. But they tend to survive heroin abuse after a few years of use compared to men.

Most women who abuse opioids, especially heroin, are young and mostly do so because of pressure from sexual partners or social circles. But they mostly take smaller doses for a shorter time and don't inject.

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Stimulants

Women may be more likely to become addicted to stimulants, like drugs and alcohol, because their bodies are made differently. Women have hormones like estrogen, which can strengthen stimulants' effects. This means they need smaller amounts of drugs or alcohol to get drunk or high than men do.

Get Addiction Treatment for Both Men and Women

Men and women differ in their substance abuse behavior, how they experience addiction and its consequences, and how they respond to treatment. The differences between the genders should be considered when planning addiction treatment programs. Tailored interventions and gender-specific treatments are needed to help both men and women seek addiction treatment and successfully recover.

Group therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and other forms of behavioral health support are also crucial for a successful recovery. Family members must also play an essential part in treatment to help the individual cope with cravings and maintain abstinence. With proper support and treatment, both men and women have a good chance of achieving long-term recovery.

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Fighting Fentanyl: The Crisis in Texas Border Communities

The opioid crisis has become an increasingly pressing issue in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 91 people die every day in the country from opioid overdose. Heroin, prescription painkillers, and fentanyl are among the most commonly used drugs in this deadly epidemic. Combining opioids with other drugs, like benzodiazepines, alcohol, cocaine, etc., can significantly increase the risk of overdose and death.

According to the CDC, the states that were hardest hit by the drug overdose epidemic in 2015 were West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Louisiana. But the epidemic is now spreading to Texas as well. The latest provisional data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) shows that there were 883 opioid-related overdoses in Texas in 2020. In 2021 the number increased to 1,672. 

Synthetic opioids (largely illicitly made fentanyl) are the major contributors to these rising opioid-related overdoses. Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin, and even a small amount can cause an overdose or death. It is commonly mixed with other illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, and counterfeit pills, which makes them even more powerful. As a result, it has become one of the most dangerous substances on the streets today.

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Fentanyl Flow to the United States

Mexico has replaced China as the dominant source of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs flowing into the US. According to a report from Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, most pure fentanyl that was seized by the authorities between 2014 and 2019 came from China. But since then, the leading source of fentanyl has shifted from China to Mexico. The report also noted that Mexican drug cartels had established manufacturing capabilities in Mexico, allowing them to produce the drug in large quantities.

The cartels use the US-Mexico border to smuggle fentanyl through ports of entry and illegal border crossings. However, reports by CBP, ICE, and DHS intelligence indicate that fentanyl is primarily smuggled through legal ports of entry and not illegal entry routes. Surprisingly, 91% of drug seizures at checkpoints are from US citizens. Fentanyl producers mostly hire US citizens because it is easier for them to cross the border than noncitizens.

According to the DEA, the drug cartels use major highway routes to transport illicit drugs. They use passenger cars with hidden compartments or intermingled with legitimate goods on tractor-trailers. 

Reports show that more than 90% of fentanyl border seizures happen at legal border crossings and interior vehicle checkpoints. Drug trafficking organizations use official crossing points because it's easier to hide drugs on legal goods than it is to hide a person crossing the border illegally. 

Fentanyl is an incredibly potent drug. This makes it hard to interdict, considering that even a small physical amount can satisfy US demand. Even more troubling is the fact that Mexican drug cartels produce fentanyl in counterfeit tablets with pain management drugs like Xanax and Adderall. This means that some people may unknowingly take fentanyl without realizing it.

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The Impacts of Drug Trafficking on Texas Border Communities

The influx of illicit drugs has put immense pressure on the border communities in San Diego, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. These drugs are affecting public health by increasing overdose deaths and hospitalizations, spreading infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, increasing crime rates in these areas, and fueling substance abuse among youth.

Furthermore, drug trafficking organizations like the famous Sinaloa cartel use violence to maintain control of their smuggling routes and to counter law enforcement. This has increased homicides and other violent crimes in border towns.

The proliferation of illicit drugs has also led to increased corruption as drug traffickers offer bribes to law enforcement and public officials. This has eroded trust in law enforcement officers, undermining their ability to protect the public. Other impacts include strain on healthcare resources, economic losses due to drug-related crimes, and increased addiction.

Texas Department of Health and Human Services Efforts to Fight the Fentanyl Epidemic

The Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC) have recently launched a campaign to help fight the fentanyl crisis in Texas, particularly on its southern border. The campaign, Texas Targeted Opioid Response  (TTOR), uses many forms of traditional media and social media to reach as many people as possible. The campaign focuses on educating people about preventing drug overdose and promoting treatment options for those battling addiction.

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TTOR is a public health initiative operated by HHSC through federal funding from SAMHSA. It aims to reduce overdose deaths, improve access to treatment, and prevent the misuse of opioids. The program also:

Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets today, and it is smuggled into the US through Mexico's border with Texas. This drug influx negatively affects public health, increases crime rates, and fuels substance abuse. The more the general public can learn about the dangers of fentanyl and how fentanyl is smuggled into the country, the more we can help law enforcement battle this problem. 

Those struggling with addiction should seek help from professional providers like More Than Rehab. More Than Rehab offers comprehensive treatment plans and access to medication-assisted therapy and counseling, which can help individuals overcome their addiction and recover. With the right help and support, those struggling with addiction can have a chance at leading a life of sobriety.

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What Emojis Are Kids Using to Buy & Sell Drugs?

When it comes to kids and drug use, there is a lot that parents need to be on the lookout for. Unfortunately, new research suggests that kids are now turning to slang terms and emojis to hide illicit drug use from their parents and the authorities. These covert techniques make it more difficult for adults to detect suspicious behavior, leaving kids at greater risk of addiction and negative consequences.

At the heart of this shift in communication is the rise of smartphone technology. Kids are constantly using emojis, texting slang terms, and engaging in other forms of digital communication on their mobile devices. But while these behaviors were once harmless ways of expressing themselves or staying connected with peers, they can now be used as a smokescreen for illicit drug use.

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With the young ones using coded language or emojis to reference drugs when communicating online, it's much more difficult for parents to recognize troubling behavior. But luckily, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has shared a reference guide to give parents, educators, caregivers, and other influencers a better sense of how young people are using emojis in conjunction with illicit drugs.

According to the DEA, the coded language benefits drug dealers and youngsters seeking drugs. On the one hand, it protects the dealers from getting caught or detected. On the other, it allows minors to buy drugs without their parents or guardians knowing, as the emojis often seem harmless to an untrained eye. The secret codes and emojis also bypass law enforcement's monitoring of certain websites and social media platforms where illegal substances are bought and sold.

Emoji Drug Code: Decoded - A Look Into the DEA's Emoji Chart

Social media has long been a place where illegal drugs are sold. But in recent years, law enforcement agencies have begun to notice the new ways people use emojis to buy and sell drugs.

To share information, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offers this reference guide that decodes the meanings behind some of the most popular emojis used in conjunction with illegal drugs.

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Fake Prescription Drug Examples

Minors and dealers use these emojis to refer to the following fake prescription drugs:

 

Dealer Signals Examples

Drug dealers also have a secret code explaining how the drugs in question may be delivered. For example, they may use a gas pump, car, or cellphone for in-person deliveries and a parachute or shipping box for mail deliveries. According to the DEA's chart, dealer signals include:

Other Drugs

The DEA further explained that other drugs have their corresponding emoji code as well, including:

Other Emojis to Watch Out For

Beyond the emojis provided by the DEA, there are other creative ways in which people are using emojis to buy and sell drugs, including:

🌿 / 🍁 / 🍃 / 🥦 — Marijuana

💉 / 🐉 / 🐎 / 🎯 — Heroin

⛷️ / 🥥 / 🤧 — Cocaine

🤤 / 🤯 — MDMA

💨 / 🚬 — Smoking a joint

⚗️ — Used to indicate a bong

🥧 — A large number of drugs

🔮 — Cough syrup

🏔 — Crystal meth

💊 — Prescription pills, heroin, or drugs generally

⛽ — "Gassed," intoxicated

🔥 — To have fun, meaning intoxicated, to "blaze up" or "be lit"

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Why is it Important to Know These Emojis?

Parents and guardians need to know these emojis because kids use them to buy and sell drugs. The emojis seem harmless to an untrained eye, but they have a secret code that kids and dealers use to talk about drugs. In the age where drug overdose deaths in adolescents have increased dramatically, it's more important than ever to uncover teen drug abuse before it's too late.

Drug use is a real problem among minors. While some might try out drugs because of peer pressure, many minors use drugs to cope with mental health disorders like stress or depression. Sadly, drug use is claiming more adolescents' lives each year.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, overdose deaths among adolescents nearly doubled from 492 in 2019 to 954 in 2020 and increased another 20% in 2021. These deaths are mostly driven by illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine, and cocaine, often in combination or adulterated forms.

As more kids adopt emojis for concealing illegal activity, parents and other concerned parties must take the time to understand their language patterns and educate themselves about this new form of drug-related communication. Watching for warning signs can help, but being proactive by learning the code can be even more effective in keeping minors safe.

What to Do When You Notice A Minor Using These Emojis for Drugs

If you see a minor using any of these emojis in an online chat, in person, or in a text message, it's important to take action. While not all drug-related emoji use is indicative of illegal activity, it's always best to err on the side of caution and address the issue directly with the child in question.

Discuss with them why drug use is dangerous and why you're concerned. If they are using drugs or binge drinking alcohol, help them get the treatment they need to overcome their drug use problem. Treatment centers offer comprehensive programs, including cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy, that can help your child recover from addiction and lead a happy, healthy life. The programs can also arm them with coping skills to avoid relapse in the future.

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What Does Long Term Drug Use Do To Your Body?

When it comes to drug abuse, the main concern is often the immediate health impacts of drug use. However, there are also several long-term effects of drug abuse on various systems in the body. For example, prolonged exposure to certain drugs can cause changes in vital organs like the heart, lungs, liver, and brain.

These changes can lead to serious health problems like liver disease, liver failure, brain damage, mental illness, heart disease, and in some cases, death. Chronic drug use can increase susceptibility to other diseases like cancer or infections due to suppressed immune function.

This article will take a closer look at some of the more common long-term effects of drug abuse on various systems in the body.

Different Classes of Drugs and Their Long-Term Implications on the Body

There are three types of drugs; depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Each one has a different effect on the body.

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Depressants

Depressants like alcohol, cannabis, benzodiazepines, heroin and other opioids slow down the function of the central nervous system (CNS). Depressants may cause slower reflexes, dizziness, and poor coordination and balance when taken in small quantities.

Large doses may lead to nausea, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. When taken over a long period, depressants may cause changes in brain structure, creating long-term imbalances in hormonal and neuronal systems that are not easily reversed. Other common effects include:

Stimulants

Stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and MDMA increase the activity of the central nervous system. In small doses, stimulants may increase heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure and cause reduced appetite, sleeplessness, and agitation. Large doses may lead to anxiety, paranoia, aggression, panic, stomach cramps, and seizures. Long-term use has been linked to the following:

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens like LSD, ketamine, and magic mushrooms alter a person's perception of reality. They may cause visual and auditory hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, anxiety, and panic. Long-term use has been linked to the following:

Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Heart and Circulatory System

One of the most common long-term effects of drug abuse is damage to the heart and circulatory system. Drugs particularly harmful to the heart include stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine, which can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure. This strains the heart and can lead to conditions like aneurysms, heart attacks, and death.

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Stimulant use can cause cardiomyopathies, myocardial infarctions, aortic dissection, and endocarditis. In other cases, they may exacerbate pre-existing heart conditions, speeding the heart damage. 

Other drugs like opioids and alcohol can slow heart rate and circulation to dangerous levels. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to high heart failure, blood pressure, or stroke. It can also cause cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle. Alcohol has also been linked to obesity and the long list of health problems that can go along with it.

Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Respiratory System

Another common long-term effect of drug abuse is damage to the lungs. This is particularly true for smoked drugs like marijuana, tobacco, and crack cocaine. Repeated exposure to toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause inflammation and promote oxidative stress in the outer lining of the lungs. Over time, this leads to chronic inflammation and scarring, making it more difficult for oxygen to flow through the lungs and into other organs. 

Likewise, drugs like heroin can cause significant damage to lung tissue due to their direct impact on blood vessels. In particular, these substances constrict blood vessels and inhibit oxygen delivery to vital organs like the brain and heart. Drug use has been linked to different respiratory problems, including bronchitis, chronic cough, emphysema, and lung cancer. Inhalation of these drugs can also damage the airways and make breathing difficult.

Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Brain

Drugs interfere with the normal functioning of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for transmitting signals from one neuron to another. In particular, drugs affect the release of dopamine and other key neurotransmitters that regulate mood, reward processing, decision-making, and movement.

As these chemicals are disrupted by drug use, users can experience various unpleasant side effects, including intense cravings, confusion, altered consciousness, and impaired motor control. Moreover, prolonged drug use can have lasting impacts on brain development, particularly in adolescents and young adults who are still experiencing significant neurological changes throughout their formative years.

Drugs affect the brain in different ways, including:

Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Liver

The liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood, so it's not surprising that drug abuse can significantly impact this vital organ. In particular, drugs like alcohol and heroin can cause liver damage by promoting inflammation and cell death.

Over time, this can lead to cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver cannot function properly. Other drugs, like methamphetamine, can also damage the liver by causing oxidative stress. These changes can lead to liver inflammation, fibrosis, and cirrhosis as your body gets older.

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Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Kidneys

The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste and toxins out of the blood. Drug abuse can damage these organs and impair their ability to function properly. In particular, drugs like heroin, amphetamines, and cocaine can cause kidney failure or damage by causing inflammation and oxidative stress. These changes can lead to kidney disease, which can be fatal.

Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Immune System

Chronic drug use can compromise the body's ability to fight off infections and disease, increasing an individual's susceptibility to illness. In addition, heavy drug use has been linked to conditions like HIV and hepatitis, especially among IV drug users. These conditions can compromise the immune system.

How to Quit Using Drugs

The best way to be healthy again is to quit using drugs. Your body and mind can return to normal when you stop using drugs. However, quitting is often the hardest part. Addiction changes the brain in ways that make it difficult to control cravings and resist the urge to use. 

Withdrawal symptoms also make quitting difficult, as they can be uncomfortable and dangerous. So quitting is often more than just a matter of willpower. It requires a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of addiction as well as other possible health care issues.

That's why it's important to seek professional help when ready to quit. Addiction treatment centers like More Than Rehab provide the support you need to detox safely and overcome your addiction. With the right care, you can get your life back on track and restore your physical and mental health.

 

 

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Why is Addiction So Hard to Overcome?

Most people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to do so. In reality, addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. 

People with an addiction may feel compulsively driven to seek and use drugs even though they know the substance is causing them damage. They may want to stop using but feel powerless to do so. Over time, continued substance abuse changes how the brain functions, which can drive an increased need for the drug. These brain changes can be long-lasting and lead to harmful behaviors seen in people with substance use disorders. 

Understanding Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain's decision-making center. It is characterized by compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences. People with addiction often feel unable to control their drug use and continue using despite the harm it causes.

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People who become addicted to drugs often start using substances recreationally or to cope with underlying mental health issues. They may not understand the risks involved and how quickly addiction can develop. Tolerance to drugs builds up quickly, meaning that larger and larger doses are needed to get the same effect. As drug use escalates, so do the risks for negative consequences, including addiction.

Unfortunately, overcoming addiction is not as easy. One cannot just snap out of it; attempting to quit cold turkey could lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In fact, many addicts will go back to using because the withdrawal symptoms are too difficult to bear.

Why Do Some People Develop Drug Addictions?

Most experts agree that addiction is not caused by a single factor but is instead the result of a combination of genetic, biochemical, and environmental factors. Addiction can also be due to psychological reasons. This means that some people are more vulnerable to addiction than others, even if they're exposed to the same risk factors. 

But just because someone has one or more of these risk factors doesn't mean they will necessarily develop an addiction. Likewise, not having any risk factors doesn't mean someone won't become addicted. Still, the more risk factors a person has, the greater their chance of developing an addiction. 

Psychological Reasons for Addiction 

People with mental issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD, guilt, shame, or bipolar disorder are more likely to turn to drugs as a form of self-medication. Drugs tend to temporarily relieve the symptoms of these underlying mental disorders.

For example, people with anxiety may use marijuana to relax, while someone with depression may temporarily use stimulants to feel happier. However, using drugs in this way can lead to addiction and make the underlying mental disorder worse.

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Biochemical Reasons for Addiction

When someone uses drugs or drinks alcohol, it triggers a dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that is associated with pleasure and rewards, and it helps to reinforce certain behaviors. As a result, the person feels good when they use drugs or drink alcohol and is more likely to repeat the behavior.

Over time, the brain's reward system becomes less sensitive to dopamine, and the person needs to use more drugs or alcohol to achieve the same level of pleasure. This can lead to biochemical addiction, as the person cannot control their use despite negative consequences.

Environmental Reasons for Addiction

Exposure to alcohol and drugs at an early age can increase the risk of developing an addiction later in life. This is because the developing brain is more susceptible to the effects of drugs and alcohol.

In addition, stress and trauma can also lead to addiction. People who cannot cope with their problems may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. These environmental factors can greatly increase the risk of developing an addiction.

The Challenge of Beating a Drug Addiction

Addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. It is a complex condition that can profoundly impact every aspect of an individual's life. Despite the challenges, it is important to remember that addiction is treatable and recovery is possible. Beating addiction is hard, but it is not impossible. 

There are several reasons why overcoming addiction is so difficult.

  1. First and foremost, addiction changes the way the brain functions. Repeated drug abuse alters the brain's circuitry, making it difficult to stop using even when an individual wants to.
  2. Additionally, addiction can lead to physical dependence, meaning that the body becomes accustomed to functioning with the drug and begins to experience withdrawal symptoms when it is not present. These withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, making it difficult for someone to stay sober for any time.
  3. Finally, addiction often co-occurs with other mental health problems, which can complicate treatment and make a recovery all the more difficult. 

Despite the challenges, however, treatment is possible, and many people do go on to lead healthy, drug-free lives.

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How to Overcome Addiction

Overcoming addiction requires a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of addiction, as well as the addict's individual needs. Treatment should be tailored to each person and may include detoxification, therapy, and relapse prevention.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating addiction, as each person’s experience is unique. However, certain principles are essential for all successful treatment programs. These principles include:

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don't give up hope. Help is available, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. With treatment and support, it is possible to recover and lead healthy, drug-free lives.

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Can You Get Treatment For A Xanax Addiction?

Xanax is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs are some of the most commonly abused substances in the world. They're also responsible for a high number of emergency rooms visit across the United States. Benzodiazepines slow down the nervous system and have a calming effect on the user. Xanax is typically prescribed to treat medical conditions like anxiety and panic disorders, but it is also commonly abused for its calming and relaxation effects.

Warning Signs of Xanax Abuse

Many people use Xanax as directed by their doctor to treat anxiety or panic disorders. However, some people misuse or abuse Xanax, which can lead to serious consequences. Warning signs of Xanax addiction:

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People who abuse prescription drugs like Xanax may crush and snort the pills or mix them with alcohol or other drugs. Mixing Xanax with other drugs can be dangerous as it increases the risk of overdose and other serious side effects.

Side Effects of Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse can lead to physical, mental, and behavioral health problems. Some of the most common side effects of Xanax abuse include:

Xanax can also cause severe or rare side effects like:

 

How Addiction to Xanax Happens

People who abuse Xanax may start taking the drug as prescribed by their doctor. However, over time they may begin to take more of the drug than prescribed, or take it more often. They may continue to use the drug even when it is no longer needed. This can lead to addiction.

Xanax binds to the brain's GABA receptors and increases the level of the neurotransmitter GABA. This results in feelings of calm and relaxation. However, when people take Xanax regularly, they build up a tolerance for the drug. This means they need to take larger and larger doses to achieve the same effect.

As their tolerance builds, so does their dependence on the drug. And as their dependence grows, so does their risk of developing an addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone dependent on Xanax stops taking the medication cold turkey.

These symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, sweating, shaking, and seizures. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, help is available.

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Xanax Addiction Treatment Options

For those seeking treatment there are different Xanax addiction treatment options available. These treatments can be tailored to the individual's needs. Some of the most common options include:

Therapy and Group Support

Therapy provides a safe space for people to process their feelings and work through any underlying mental health issues contributing to their addiction. There are different types of therapies available, such as:

Other Medications

Many other medications can be used for the treatment of Xanax addiction. These include antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. Each of these medications can help to ease the symptoms of Xanax addiction and allow the person to better cope with withdrawal.

Antipsychotics can help to reduce paranoia and delusions, while antidepressants can help to ease depression and anxiety. Mood stabilizers can help to even out mood swings and reduce irritability. These medications can be used with therapy and counseling to provide the most effective treatment for Xanax addiction.

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Medication Tapering

Medication tapering is a process whereby the dosage of a medication is slowly reduced over time, helping to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This approach can be used for Xanax addiction and has been shown to be effective in helping people overcome their dependence on the drug. The first step is to work with a doctor or other professional to create a tapering schedule.

This schedule will start with a high dose of Xanax and gradually reduce the amount over time. The goal is to eventually reach a point where the person is no longer taking any Xanax at all. The process can be difficult, but it is often successful in helping people break free from their addiction.

Get Help for your Xanax Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Many treatment options are available, and the sooner you seek help, the better. Don't wait to get help. Start your journey to recovery from addiction today.

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What is the Cost of Alcohol Rehab?

Approximately 21 Million people in the United States struggle with alcohol addiction in America every year. If you or a loved one is among them, you may wonder what the cost of alcohol rehab programs are.

The cost of alcohol rehab can range from free and low-cost programs to expensive inpatient treatment. This variation is due to aspects like the level of care, type of treatment, length of stay, and whether insurance will cover any or all of the costs.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Rehab

The cost of alcohol rehab can depend on several factors, including:

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Let's look at some of the different types of alcohol rehab and their average costs, as indicated by the National Drug Helpline.

Day Drug Detox Cost

If you struggle with mild to moderate alcohol addiction, you may only require a short detoxification period followed by outpatient treatment. If this is the case, the cost of alcohol rehab will be lower. The cost of a day of drug detox is about $250-$800.

3-Month Outpatient Care Cost

If you have a more severe addiction, you will likely require outpatient care for 3 months or more. The cost of outpatient alcohol rehab can range from $1,400 – $10,000.

30-Day Intensive Outpatient Program Cost

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a type of outpatient care that is more intense than traditional outpatient care. It typically requires 3-5 days of treatment per week for 4-6 hours each day. The cost of an intensive outpatient program can range from $3,000 – $10,000 for 30 days.

Residential Treatment Cost

If you require more intensive treatment than an outpatient program can offer, you may need to enter a residential treatment program. Residential treatment programs provide 24-hour care and supervision in a setting that is removed from triggers and temptations. The cost of residential treatment can range from $5,000 – $80,000 for 30 days.

Sober Living Cost

After you have completed a residential treatment program, you may choose to live in a sober living environment. Sober living homes provide a safe and structured environment for people in recovery. The cost of sober living can range from $500 – $5,000 per month.

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The Cost of Alcohol Addiction Treatment with Insurance

While many different treatment options are available, many people struggling with alcohol use disorder are deterred by the cost of rehab. Fortunately, most health insurance plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, military, and state-financed health insurance, now cover alcohol addiction treatment. Here is how it works:

Most insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of detoxification, which is the first step in alcohol addiction treatment. Detoxification can be done in a hospital or outpatient setting and typically lasts a few days to a week. During this time, medical staff will monitor patients closely and give medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms.

After detoxification, patients will typically participate in an intensive outpatient or residential treatment program. These programs typically last 30 days and provide 24-hour support and supervision. Patients will participate in individual and group therapy sessions and activities designed to promote recovery. The cost of these programs varies depending on the level of care required; however, most insurance plans will cover at least a portion of the cost.

Alcohol addiction treatment can be expensive; however, insurance coverage can make it more affordable. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it is important to check with your insurance provider to see what coverage is available.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment without Insurance

If you do not have health insurance, or if your insurance does not cover alcohol addiction treatment, options are still available. Many treatment centers offer sliding-scale fees based on a person's ability to pay. Sliding scale fees allow people to pay what they can afford, making treatment more affordable.

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There are also many state-funded alcohol addiction treatment programs available. For example, the California Department of Health Services offers a variety of treatment options for people struggling with alcoholism. Other states do the same too.

These programs are typically free or low-cost and can be an excellent option for those without insurance. To find out what is available in your area, you can contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) chapter or the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

Alternatively, you can apply for scholarships or grants to help offset the cost of treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offers a variety of scholarships and grants for people struggling with alcoholism. Some high-end rehabs also have scholarship beds for people who can’t afford them.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, there is help available. Many treatment options are available, regardless of your insurance coverage or financial situation.

Get Help for your Addiction

In conclusion, alcohol addiction treatment can be costly; however, many options are available to help make it more affordable. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, please reach out for help. Some people care and are ready to help you on your journey to recovery.

What Are the Most Popular Drugs Used at Music Festivals?

Drug use is rampant at music festivals due to the carefree atmosphere and the availability of drugs. Many people view drug use as a part of the festival experience and feel that it enhances the music and the overall atmosphere. The overall atmosphere of festivals can make it difficult to “dance safe.”

However, drug use can also lead to negative consequences, such as bad trips, overdoses, and arrests. According to the National Institute on Drug Use, drug use can also trigger or worsen mental health disorders. As a result, individuals need to be aware of the risks associated with drug use before they choose to use drugs at a music festival. Health care is not and should not be top-of-mind when attending a music festival but drug use makes future health care issues a problem.

Popular Drugs Used At Festivals

According to a Drugabuse.com study of 976 people in the United States, 53% of those attending live music events admitted to using illicit drugs or alcohol, with more than 93% consuming alcoholic beverages. Additionally, about 40% of festival goers used marijuana at live music events, followed by 8% who each used hallucinogens or MDMA.

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Here are some of the most popular drugs used at music festivals:

Each of these drugs produces different effects, depending on the individual's physiology, the dose taken, and the person's state of mind. While some people may enjoy the effects of these drugs, others may find them uncomfortable or frightening. Keep in mind that each person reacts differently to drugs, so it is important to be cautious when taking any substance.

Most Intoxicated Live Music Event Genres

The study by drugabuse.com also found that festival goers abused drugs or alcohol more in some music event genres than in others.

In the study, EDM, heavy metal, and alternative music events had the highest percentage of people who drank alcohol or used drugs, with 67.5%, 52.2%, and 60.6%, respectively. Indie rock and reggae were also found to be relatively high on the list, with 60.2% and 60.0% of respondents saying they had used alcohol or drugs in the events. Classical and Rock music events had the lowest, with 39.8% and 39.6%.

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Consumption at Concerts

Here is a quick look at consumption at concerts per substance, according to Drugabuse.com

Popular Substance at EventsPrevalence in Music EventsPercentage
AlcoholAlternateHeavy MetalEDM  57.6%56.2%54.9%
MarijuanaReggaeHip-Hop/RapEDM33.3%29.6%29.3%
MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)EDMReggaeIndie Rock25.6%4.8%3.0%
HallucinogensEDMIndie RockHeavy Metal9.8%4.8%3.8%
CocaineEDMHip-Hop/RapBlues8.5%3.3%2.9%
OpioidsHip-Hop/RapEDMReggae2.6%2.4%2.4%

Why Do People Use Drugs at Festivals?

While the use of drugs is certainly not limited to festivals, several factors can contribute to drug use at these events.

Anonymity

The anonymous and often crowded nature of festivals can make it easier for people to buy and use drugs without being detected.

Availability of Drugs

The availability of drugs at festivals is usually higher than at other events, as dealers know that there will be a demand for their products. Besides, things like alcohol are often heavily promoted in such events since manufacturers usually sponsor.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is often a factor, as people feel pressured to conform to the behaviors of those around them.

Just for Fun

Many people use drugs as a way to let loose and have fun. The relaxed atmosphere of a festival can make it seem like an ideal time to try new things. Others use drugs to try to stay awake and not miss out.

Enhance the Experience

For some people, taking drugs is also a way to enhance their music experience. Certain substances can cause colors and sounds to seem more intense, leading to a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

Makes Sharing Space Easier

Drug use can make sharing space with large groups of people easier. In crowded environments, drugs can help to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of social connectedness.

Some people also use drugs to self-medicate, relieving anxiety or boredom. However, it is important to remember that drug use comes with risks. Overdosing or mixing drugs can lead to serious health problems and even death.

Dangers of Using Drugs at Music Festivals

Drug use is common at these events and can lead to serious side effects. Ecstasy, for example, can cause dehydration, overheating, and heart problems. Club drugs like ketamine and GHB can cause vomiting, hallucinations, and blackouts. And marijuana use can impair your judgment and coordination.

There's also a risk of combining drugs in dangerous ways. For example, one might drink alcohol to quench the thirst from ecstasy use. According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, such mixing masks the impact of ecstasy and can lead to accidental overdose and death.

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There are also increasing cases of drugs being cut with other substances, which can make them more potent and dangerous. For example, cocaine may be cut with fentanyl, a powerful opioid that can be deadly even in small amounts. MDMA may be cut with n-ethylpentylone, a psychoactive drug linked to adverse effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

In addition, drugs like MDMA can cause dehydration and overheating, which can be dangerous in a crowded and chaotic environment like a music festival. Because of the drug-related harm involved, it is important to be aware of the dangers of using drugs at music festivals and ensure that you stay safe if you attend one of these events.

Ways to Stay Safe At Music Festivals

If you choose to use drugs at a music festival, you can utilize some harm reduction approaches to reduce the risks.

How to Attend a Music Concert Without Participating in the Substance Use Culture

Just because substance abuse is common at music festivals doesn't mean you have to participate. There are plenty of ways to enjoy these events without using drugs or alcohol. You can choose to attend smaller, local events that may be less likely to involve drug use. Alternatively, you can look for festivals that focus on specific genres of music, such as jazz or folk, which tend to attract a more mature crowd.

You can also take steps to create a drug-free environment at a festival. If you're camping, for example, you can choose to stay in a designated sober camping area. And if you see someone who looks like they're struggling, don't be afraid to reach out and offer help.

Music festivals can be a great way to enjoy your favorite artists and explore new genres of music. But it's important to be aware of the risks of drug use at these events. By being informed and taking precautions, you can stay safe and have a great time without putting yourself, and public health at risk.

What Happens During A Full Medical Detox From Drugs?

The first and most important treatment step for those struggling with addiction is a medical detox. During detox, the body is cleansed of all traces of the addictive substance, and any withdrawal symptoms are monitored and managed by medical professionals.

Detox helps to break the physical dependence on a substance and provides a safe and supportive environment for those in early recovery. Detox can also help to identify any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the addiction.

After detox, patients can begin to focus on the psychological, social, and behavioral health issues surrounding addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Without detox, it would be much harder for those struggling with addiction to get the help they need.

What is a Medical Detox?

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Medical detox is a process in which the body is cleansed of drugs or alcohol under the supervision of medical professionals. Medical detox aims to make the withdrawal process as comfortable and safe as possible. This is typically done through medication, close monitoring, and support from counselors and other professionals.

Medical detox can be an important first step in recovery, as it reduces the likelihood of immediate relapse and makes it easier for patients to focus on their recovery effort. However, it is not a substitute for comprehensive substance abuse treatment, rather it should be considered an important first step to recovery. Patients who undergo medically-managed detox programs should be transitioned to a rehab program or another form of treatment as soon as possible.

Why is Medical Detox Important?

Substance abuse changes the brain in many ways, altering its chemistry and making it increasingly difficult to control impulses. Continued use can cause addiction as the body craves those substances and starts to function more normally in the presence of the drug than without it.

At this point, any attempt to stop using can leave one feeling sick (also known as withdrawal symptoms). These symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening for some substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines. For example, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can cause delirium tremens (DTs), a deadly syndrome that, if left untreated, can cause impaired consciousness, hallucinations, profound confusion, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, etc.

For other substances, the symptoms may be uncomfortable enough to cause relapse. Opioids, for example, trigger flu-like symptoms that are so severe and can push one back to using to feel better. 

Therefore, cold turkey is not the best option, and slowly tapering off the substance with the help of a medical professional is a better path. Drug detox provides a supervised setting where patients can safely detoxify from substances while receiving important medical care. It can also help manage the effects of withdrawal and make the process as safe and comfortable as possible.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and usually begin within 6-12 hours after your last drink. Common symptoms include:

More severe symptoms can include seizures, racing heart, hallucinations, and delusions. If you experience any of these side effects, it's important to seek medical help right away. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, but with professional help you can safely detox from alcohol and begin your road to recovery.

What medications are provided?

Medications are often used during detox to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The most common types of medications used include:

Medications can be an important part of detox, but they should be used under the supervision of a medical professional. Withdrawal and cravings can be difficult to manage on your own, but with the help of medication, you can safely detox from drugs or alcohol.

When is Medical Detox Necessary?

When it comes to substance abuse, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when detoxification is necessary. The decision should be made based on some factors, including:

If you have experienced withdrawal symptoms in the past or if you are currently experiencing any physical health problems, detoxification may be necessary to stop drinking safely. In general, however, detoxification is not always necessary when discontinuing alcohol use. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine whether detox is right for you.

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What Happens After a Medical Detox?

Medical detox is just the first step in overcoming addiction. To achieve long-term sobriety, patients must receive treatment at a rehab facility or any other treatment program. Patients who undergo medical detox should transition to a rehab program, which can include inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Inpatient rehab requires patients to live at the facility while receiving around-the-clock care, while outpatient treatment allows them to continue living at home while attending regular therapy sessions. Both these treatments use an evidence-based approach to addiction that addresses specific aspects of drug addiction and its impacts on the individual, family, and society.

By receiving continuous care at a detox center, patients will likely stay sober in the long run. Rehab facilities also provide additional resources, such as support groups and 12-step programs, to help patients maintain their sobriety after leaving the facility.

Professional Medical Detox Program

A full medical detox from drugs can be an intense and scary process, but with the help of a professional detox program, it doesn't have to be. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don't hesitate to seek help. MoreThanRehab offers comprehensive detox programs that will provide you or your loved one with the support and care needed to make a successful recovery. Don't wait any longer - call us today!

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How Do I Know When I Have A Drug Problem?

It can be difficult to know when you have a drug problem. Many people mistakenly believe that if they're not using drugs every day, they must not have a problem. But drug abuse is about how much you're using, not how often. If your drug use is causing problems in your life - like missing work or school, damaging relationships, or putting your health at risk - you likely have a drug addiction. 

Drug abuse is a global problem. In fact, statistics show that 53 million people in the United States have used illegal drugs or misused prescription medicines within the last year. According to the National Institutes of Health, the risk factors for drug abuse are poverty, substance abuse, lack of parental supervision, and drug availability. But it’s possible to still abuse drugs when all these factors are absent.

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If you’re unsure about whether you have a drug problem or not, it might be best to talk to a professional. They can help you assess the severity of your addiction and recommend the best course of action. In most cases, they will recommend a drug rehab program as part of your treatment for drug addiction. 

With that in mind, let’s explore the warning signs that may indicate you or someone else has a substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Isolating yourself from loved ones

Isolating yourself from people who care about you is one of the first signs that something is wrong. In many cases, this isolation results from shame or embarrassment about your addiction and feeling like you are a burden. You may also start to lie and manipulate those around you to access drugs. These actions can lead to feelings of guilt and isolation that will put you at a higher risk.

You hang out with other drug users

A change in social circles can be a major red flag for addiction, as it often leads to further drug use and isolation from loved ones. This is usually because you want to continue using drugs or feel like you no longer fit in with non-drug users. You may begin to spend more time with other drug users, which can further isolate you from family and friends.

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Intense cravings

An evident sign of addiction is if you experience intense cravings for alcohol or drug, causing you to continue using even when it is harmful to you or others. Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Life seems to have no meaning

Another huge sign that you have a drug problem is when you feel like your life has no meaning. Usually, drug addiction can lead to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. When you suffer from depression, you may feel like there is no point in your life, so you turn to drugs to escape the feelings of emptiness and despair. Unfortunately, this only leads to a cycle of addiction and mental disorders.

Have financial problems and debts

Financial problems and debts often result from spending money on drugs instead of other essentials, such as food or rent. In some cases, you may also resort to criminal activity to get money for drugs. As a result, you may find yourself in a spiral of debt that is difficult to escape from.

Life begins to revolve around finding and using drugs

Your drug use starts being a problem when all you think about is drugs and how to find them. You may start lying, stealing, or engaging in other risky behaviors to get the drugs. You may neglect your work, home, and school responsibilities and even stop hanging out with friends and family members.

Increased tolerance

Another sign is finding that you need more and more of the drug to get the same effect. Whether it’s prescription drugs or illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin, you’ll notice you’re taking larger and larger doses because the smaller doses have little to no effect on your brain.

Take dangerous risks

You'll know you have a drug problem when you take dangerous risks, such as driving while under the influence of drugs. This is because addiction can lead to impaired judgment and decision-making and changes in mood and behavior. DUI puts you and other road users at risk and can land you into legal issues.

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Hiding or downplaying your drug use

When you're hooked on drugs, you'll often try to hide your use from family and friends. You may make excuses for why you need to take the drug or downplay the amount you're taking. This can signify that you're trying to hide your addiction from others.

Feelings of distress and loneliness when not taking the drug

If you feel like you can't function without drug use, it's a warning sign that you have a substance use disorder. This means that your body has become so dependent on the drug that you feel distressed and lonely if you don't take it.

Withdrawal symptoms with any attempt to quit

Withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, and shaking are warning signs that you may have a drug problem. Your body will react negatively when it’s used to drugs, and you suddenly stop using it. You may experience a range of symptoms, from mild to severe, including headaches, nausea, sweating, and anxiety. In some cases, withdrawal can even be life-threatening.

Using more substances than you intend to

Using more of a substance than intended is often a sign that someone is struggling to control the use of the substance and that they may be at an increased risk of developing an addiction. This could be using more alcohol than intended or taking more pills than prescribed. It may also mean using a substance differently than intended, such as snorting pills instead of taking them orally.

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Unable to control your substance use

You may feel unable to control how you use the substance, even when you are aware of the negative consequences it is causing in your life. You may continue to use the substance even when it interferes with work, school, or relationships.

Self-blame and have low self-esteem, especially after trying unsuccessfully to quit.

Self-blaming and low self-esteem, especially after unsuccessfully trying to quit, are common among those with drug abuse problems. This can be extremely damaging to mental health and wellbeing. When you're constantly blaming yourself, you're more likely to develop mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, low self-esteem can lead to social isolation and further mental health decline.

Get help in the best addiction rehab center

If you’re worried that you or someone you know may have a drug addiction, it’s important to seek help. Many treatment programs exist to help you regain control of your life. Rehab centers offer comprehensive care and support so that you can get back on track. Don’t wait any longer – reach out for help today

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