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Drug Addiction Epidemic in Our Community

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The drug addiction epidemic has become a widespread outbreak in every society today. The catastrophic effects of addiction have become an almost regular occurrence in the lives’ of so many families and communities. The occurrence of drugs today has caused several issues from the spread of diseases through users and potentially others non-drug users and the widespread drug related violence. Although the effects of drug related occurrences have threatened the society, their overall effect could potentially uncover a solution to the epidemic.

One way that drug addiction is negatively affecting communities, is through the individuals, those including injecting and non-injection users, have a more increases change of obtaining human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, and potentially other diseases that can be transmitted. These dieses can be transmitted through the sharing of tainted injection equipment and by engaging in sexual activities which can sometimes be closely connected to the use of drugs. By using effectual drug addiction treatments such as HIV/HCV prevention it will soon begin to reduce the activities that can spread disease, such as the sharing of injection supplies (needles and syringes) and taking part in unprotected sex.

Addicts who use injection equipment who refuse to get treatment are found to be six times more likely to get infections such as HIV than those who are willing to go into treatment and continue to get the help they need. Those who are in treatment can get a screening for HIV and are more able to get referred to early treatment programs if they test positive. In current research by the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, they showed how the rapid HIV testing in drug addiction treatment facilities have increased likelihood for a patient to be tested and receiving their results. The access given to drug addiction patients in facilities to be tested should be a key aspect to entering any drug addiction treatment program.

Another way that drugs are negatively affecting our communities, is through the violence that is caused by the consumption of drugs. The correlation between the two have been hand in hand, in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment it states that more than 75 percent of people who start the treatment process for addiction have proved to have committed several acts of violence, including physical assault or using a weapon to subdue a person. When evaluating genders, in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs it was seen that before realizing they needed treatment for drug addiction, the violence was a high 72 percent for men and 50 percent for women. Many people who come to seek treatment are referred to the facility by a loved one who has seen their violent acts while under the influence of substances.

Although there are many forms of violence, the violence of a domestic partner has shown to be the most serious. The abuse that is brought by a partner is not just by physical acts but also by the sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse as well. Some research has shown that the abuse in a domestic relationship can be linked to the development of a drug addiction or an advancing anger accumulation due to an already existing drug addiction. In most cases, people who are violent when on drugs are unwilling to get help in fear of arrest due to the violent acts they have committed, most are either in the system for reports of violence or have avoided police for other violent acts they have committed. In other cases, the one being domestically abused is also an abuser of drugs as well and they also do not want to risk jail as well. With increased levels of violence among drug abusers, the need for rehabilitation facilities for violent users’ needs to be at an all-time availability.

While those problems still occur in our communities, there needs to be a safe haven for addicts to better themselves, so that the chaos they live in will cease to exist. Counseling is the primary key to it all, but steps must be taken first before they are ready for counseling. The first step is to help the addict is the physical addiction, an addict needs to go through a process to wing themselves off the substance they are addicted to, also known as acute withdrawal. After the first detox, there are more steps in the process. In most cases, people believe that once an addict no longer has withdrawals from the substance, then they are no longer addicted to that substance, but unfortunately that is not that case. In the human body the toxins, which in this case is substances, get taken away into the fatty tissue so that they do not harm the other parts of your body. After several years of taking these harmful substances, the body begins the buildup drug residues and metabolites in the fatty tissue. When an addict begins to get sober, they still get the same effects as if their body were still consuming drugs; this can cause anxiety, depression, or insomnia.

When an addict wants to go into rehabilitation, the drugs that are still located inside the fat cells are sent back into the body when they burn fat. The human body burns fat every time their heart rate increases, when this happens the residues go the brain causing cravings. The next step in the process is, the ability to deal with life’s issues without the need for a substance. In an addict’s life the only thing that stood in the way of facing their problems was the supply of substances to cover it up. The most important thing that can be done is giving a recovering addict life skills, many addicts are only use to life skills such as lying, manipulation, and anything else that could get the one step closer to their next fix. Those are the only life skills that an addict knows, although those skills are destructive, an addict still needs to learn from those and become a more well-rounded member of society. The final step to solving an addict’s addiction is one-on-one counseling.

Most facilities offer little to none one-on-one counseling, they offer more of a group type therapy. In group type therapy sessions, addicts are expected to tell their darkest secrets to a large group of people. Even though there are other addicts in that group, a person is more likely to open up to someone if it is one-on-one. The idea of counseling is to get into the mind of an addict to figure out the core reason as to why they started their substance abuse. Once the issue is resolved within an addict, they no longer feel a need to use drugs. An addict is more likely to open up to someone who has been through the same thing as they have, they need someone who has been through the same process and knows what it is like to be in that position. An addict does not need a counselor who is going to read word for word from a script that they were taught. To recover from addiction, an addict needs to have guidance through a step by step process.

The drug addiction epidemic is a problem that we are still currently facing in our society. The need for more rehabilitation facilities that focus more on personal help rather than group help through the three-step approach which includes helping the physical addiction, life skills the addict will need to grow, and taking a better approach to one-on-one counseling as a way of making a recovering a productive member in society.

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