Chemical Abuse – Help is Available
Chemical abuse is a serious problem. According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 22 million Americans age twelve and older use illegal drugs. In addition to that number, many others abuse legal substances, such as alcohol and prescription drugs.
What is chemical abuse?
Chemical abuse takes place any time a person uses a substance to extreme; impairing their ability, coordination and judgment. In many cases, this abuse becomes habit and affects the person’s daily living or relationships. An addict is often unable to hold a job or complete school assignments. Obtaining the necessary drug becomes the priority.
Who is at risk for chemical abuse?
While studies show that the most widespread abuse occurs in the 18-25 age range, anyone can be at risk. Children and teens are subjected to peer pressure to try illegal drugs, and may also find easy access to prescriptions belonging to parents or other family members. Older adults with issues such as chronic pain may become addicted to medicines that were originally taken for a legitimate reason. People of all ages can become dependent on alcohol.
Dangers of chemical abuse
No one knows for sure how a drug will affect them. Even medication prescribed by a doctor can have an adverse effect on certain people, and some substances can be deadly if too much is consumed, or if taken for an extended period of time. Illegal drugs are always risky, because the strength or purity of the substance is unknown. Synthetic drugs, such as K2 or “bath salts” are especially dangerous, and have resulted in death or serious physical and psychological issues for many users. Alcohol can cause many health problems. Besides the dangers from the drug itself, abusers may injure themselves or others while driving or operating other types of machinery while under the influence. Chemical abuse may lead to bad choices resulting in ruined relationships or arrest.
The threats of illegal drug abuse.
Signs of chemical abuse
â€¢ Lying or evasive behavior
â€¢ Mood swings
â€¢ Breaking rules/curfew
â€¢ Angry outbursts/tendency to blame others
â€¢ Avoiding family events
â€¢ Lack of motivation and responsibility
â€¢ Seeming either tired or hyper
â€¢ Change of friends
â€¢ Getting in trouble at school/work
â€¢ Dropping out of previous activities
â€¢ Avoiding home
â€¢ Dilated pupils/bloodshot or glassy eyes
â€¢ Weight loss
â€¢ Chronic nasal drainage
â€¢ Possession of paraphernalia â€“ rolling papers, glass pipe, straws, et cetera
How to get help
An addict or family members may feel as though life is spiraling out of control, and may feel scared and alone. They are often ashamed and reluctant to admit the problem. However, no one needs to suffer, because no matter the addiction, there is help available.
If you are struggling with any type of chemical abuse or know someone who is, please call 1-888-762-3730. There are many treatment options to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits your needs. All referrals are confidential.