Unfortunately, drug addiction can be found anywhere you go. In the United States, however, the numbers of drug addicts and addiction related deaths, often due to overdose or other like causes, are rising and running rampant all through the country. Though it is true that drug addiction rates are higher in some communities and lower in others, drug addiction and the effect it has on the lives of those that it impacts can be found everywhere and anywhere, no matter where you go in the country.
In 2015, just about three years ago, more than twenty million people living in the United States already considered themselves to have substance use and substance abuse problems. Of these twenty million people, millions were prescription painkiller abusers (around two million, to cite more exact numbers) and more than five hundred thousand – more than half of a million – were regular heroin users.
Heroin is one of the most feared drugs when it comes to drug addiction, though any drug or substance, legal and illegal alike, have the power to ruin lives and lead to addiction and death, from alcohol to painkillers. Painkillers are actually often the first step towards heroin addiction, as statistics show that, of painkiller users, particularly those that use opioids, heroin use and subsequent addiction is more than likely to follow. Of all heroin users in the United States, the vast majority – at least eighty percent if not more – got their start in abusing painkillers. And heroin users are also more likely – vice versa – to develop an addiction to opioid painkillers, with more than twenty percent of heroin users also developing this additional addiction at some point in their time as an addict.
Deaths from heroin use and other drug related causes are high in the United States, with more than sixty thousand drug abuse related deaths in the year of 2016 alone. Of these drug related deaths, more than forty thousand were caused by opioid use and abuse, such as heroin and certain prescription painkillers (often illegally obtained, but not always). Even marijuana, though it doesn’t frequently if ever lead to drug related deaths, has been misused, with many people regularly and compulsively engaging in marijuana use without the ability to stop, though some only consider themselves to be merely recreational users (though it is easy for any type of drug use to quickly escalate and lead to the use of even more drugs and harmful substances).
Fortunately, though drug addiction is often a bleak and dark time both for the addict and their loved ones, drug treatment options are available. Drug rehabilitation centers are often recommended for acute and serious cases of drug addiction, as it allows users and abusers to fully separate themselves from their drug of choice (as well as any additional drugs and substances that might be readily available in their home environment). Many addiction treatment centers and addiction treatment programs are centered around not only weaning their patients off of drugs and substances, but around getting to the root of the drug addiction, the reason it developed in the first place. This process is often very intense, involving extensive therapy and, if it is deemed healthy and appropriate, counseling sessions with close family and friends who are providing a support system for the patient.
Drug addiction is an awful thing, but drug treatment is not impossible and is often very successful. There is always hope, even in the worst drug addiction cases, even for the addict who has been on drugs for most of their life. Drug treatment can provide that hope, giving a new vision of the future for many drug users all across the United States and even beyond it.