Addiction in Pennsylvania has steadily increased over the past two decades. A rise in vehicular accidents, violent crimes and domestic abuse are often related to drug addiction. Everyone agrees that addiction does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of age, background, financial status, or education. Whether it is drug addiction or behavioral addiction (such as from gambling or sex), the outcome is major distress that affects everyone involved in the user's life.
Drug abuse and drug addiction start for a variety reasons. Two major causes of drug abuse are:
1. A way to fit in with peers and colleagues
2- Coping with emotional problems or stress in life
Initially to the drug abuser it seems that the benefits of self-medication outweigh the risks. As time passes, however, addiction starts to interfere with job or school performance, personal relationships, finances, health conditions, and in many cases leads to legal problems.
Effects of Addiction
Behavioral addictions adversely affect a person's life. An addict might resort to gambling as a way to solve financial problems, only to find him or herself even further in the hole. An alcoholic might drink to feel better about a situation, yet alcohol is actually a depressant, while drinking leads to mood disorders and/or aggression. A sex addict may desire intimacy but is so focused on the physical act that he or she sacrifices being in a healthy relationship with another person.
People that suffer from addiction are unable to stop their abusive behavior. Finding the money to pay for the addiction often leads to problems with the law, since the need to get high will force the addict to get the money to support his or her addiction one way or another, which usually includes illegal acts. Loss of appetite and sleep deprivation also leads to physical deterioration. Changes in the brain's chemical balances can create long-term psychosomatic illnesses.
Addiction can happen quickly or may take years to manifest. For example, casual usage of Meth (methamphetamine) produces dependency and addiction in a relatively short time. Meth creates a euphoric rush that accompanies an increase in heart rate. Within a few weeks a person can develop a tolerance, where an increase in dosage is needed in order to feel that same high experienced in the starting days of usage. In contrast, other addictions such as alcoholism may take longer, even years before the abuser realizes that he or she has a problem.
Alcohol addiction in Pennsylvania ranks as the highest form of substance abuse. Alcohol is legal, readily available and relatively affordable. People often start drinking alcohol as a way to release stress and personal inhibitions at social gatherings. Functioning Alcoholics are able to maintain personal relationships, job responsibilities, and generally "keep out of trouble.” Ultimately, an alcoholic will start drinking alone, throughout the day, and will be unable to stop. Trouble with the law, loss of productivity at work, violent outbursts with family and friends, social isolation, sleeping and eating problems will gnaw away at an alcoholic's life.
Addiction can happen to anyone. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, then there is help. Call one of our professional counselors today and ask what can be done to regain your life, achieve sobriety and start becoming a productive and happy person once again.
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