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Drug Addiction

 

Drug addiction in Tennessee is an ever-growing problem. Each year, thousands of people turn to drugs for the first time. And thousands more people who are already in the depths of addiction, continue to abuse these drugs.

Unfortunately, the problem of street drug addiction is more complex than that. Due to the highly illegal nature of these drugs, many users turn to other substances, including marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Combining these drugs is not only dangerous, it is often fatal.

Thus, why is drug addiction in Tennessee such a big problem? And what can we do to help those struggling with it? We attempt to answer both of these questions in more detail below.

It is important to understand what street drug addiction is, what drugs are most commonly abused, and which signs and symptoms you can look for. We end our discussion on illegal street drugs with a brief look at your Tennessee treatment options, and how drug treatment can help.

Definition of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is relatively easy to understand. It is simply when a person is addicted to one or more drugs. They develop a physical and mental dependency on them, requiring their use in order to feel normal and to function from day to day.

Many people who use street drugs are not full-fledged addicts. Instead, they are struggling with street drug abuse. However, it is important to note that the negative effects of street drug abuse can be just as harmful as those of street drug addiction.

In addition, street drug abuse is just a stepping-stone to addiction. Because of the extremely high addictiveness of these substances, the vast majority of casual users soon develop a dependence on their drug of choice. In other words, they become severely addicted before they know it.

Commonly Abused Street Drugs

There are literally dozens of different types of street drugs. And more are being discovered and manufactured all the time.

However, in Tennessee and the rest of the United States, there are certain drugs that are abused more commonly than others. Listed under the street drug category, are heroin, cocaine, and meth. All of these drugs are illegal.

Heroin is perhaps the most common street drug. It is cheap and easy to find. Its effects are strong and mimic those of prescription opioids. For this reason, many of those with prescription drug addictions turn to heroin to get their fix. Users inject, sniff, or smoke heroin to get high.

Meth is the second most common street drug in Tennessee. Also known as methamphetamine, it is extremely addictive and dangerous. Using the drug even just one time has been shown to lead to permanent changes in the user’s brain chemistry. It is also extremely cheap, meaning that those without enough money for heroin often turn to it. Users smoke, sniff, or smoke meth to get high.

Another common street drug is cocaine. It is a powerful stimulant that is sniffed or injected to get high. It is also available in another form, known as crack. The name refers to the crackling sound it makes when smoked.

While some drug users stick to one of these types of drugs, others will use whatever they can get their hands on. Indeed, this makes the problem of addiction even more serious, as it means you have a dependence on several drugs at once.

Signs and Symptoms of Street Drug Abuse

There are several signs and symptoms of street drug abuse that you can keep an eye out for. If you see these in a loved one, it might be time to set up an intervention. Catching an addiction in its earliest stages makes for a far easier recovery process.

The signs and symptoms of street drug abuse vary from drug to drug. However, heroin, meth, and cocaine produce several of the same effects. Among these effects are behavioral changes, such as mood swings, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, and social withdrawal. Physical changes like rapid weight loss or weight gain and red or glassy eyes, are also common.

Street Drug Addiction Treatment

It is important to seek treatment if you or a loved one is addicted to street drugs. It is very difficult, and often dangerous, to attempt to quit these drugs alone. The nature of the physical and mental dependencies they cause, means that quitting brings about serious drug withdrawals.

That is where drug treatment centers come into the picture. Luckily, Tennessee has more than its fair share of treatment facilities, and each of them is slightly different, catering to a different type of client.

At the same time, most of these treatment centers follow the same basic treatment plan. It consists of medical detox, inpatient treatment, and aftercare.

Medical detox is the process of detoxification in a controlled environment. A team of doctors is on hand as the drugs leave the patient’s body. The patient is carefully monitored throughout the entire withdrawal process. Special medications can be administered to ensure the patient’s safety and reduce the pain they feel.

Inpatient treatment is the next step in the process. It consists of special meetings and therapy. The goal of these is to give the patient the life skills they need to prevent relapse from occurring. Patients are encouraged to live in a residential facility during inpatient treatment for at least one month.

Aftercare is the last step in the recovery process, and it is also the most important. It consists of attending regular meetings after you return home. These meetings focus on help and support for recovering addicts. The goal is to give them the support they need to stay sober for the long-term. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a popular example of such meetings.

Contact a Professional

Contact a drug treatment center in Tennessee for more information on addiction recovery. Seeking help is an essential step in the long-term process of sobriety and recovery. Remember that you are not alone.

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