Addiction and Abuse

History, Facts, Effects, Statistics, and Treatment for Common Addictive Substances

Here we offer insight around various drugs, their abuse, and treatment options for each.

At Lighthouse, we believe that all addiction is treatable and that people can and do recover.

Alcohol Abuse

Wine, Beer, Spirits, Liquor.

Although highly available in grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, and more, alcohol has killed more teenagers than every other drug combined. Today, it’s considered the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, accounting for 88,000 fatalities in a year. This persistent problem costs the country upwards of $249 billion annually.

Contributing to the development of 200 different health conditions, alcohol consumption also plays a role in violent crimes and domestic abuse. No doubt, the use of alcohol has become a global problem that penetrates not only personal lives, but also homes and families. Presently, it’s considered a major threat to the health and safety of individuals around the globe, and alcohol abuse remains a serious global burden.

Alcohol Addiction Facts

Benzodiazepine Abuse

Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Benzos.

Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed medication for sedation. Also called ‘tranquilizers’, benzodiazepines come in a wide range of varieties – amounting to 2,000 different kinds. But presently, the FDA only recognizes 15 which are categorized based on the longevity of their effects.

Presently, benzos are considered a Schedule IV drug which means they have a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. But the widespread availability of benzodiazepines and the role they play in countless overdose cases means that abuse might be far more common and likely than it seems.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Facts

Cocaine Abuse

Coke, Crack, Freebase, Blow.

Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug that’s made from the leaves of the coca plant which grows native to various areas in South America. In the medical field, cocaine is typically used as an anaesthetic, especially for numbing the mucous membranes of the mouth before a medical procedure.

For this reason, cocaine is considered a Schedule II drug, which means that it has a high potential for abuse, but also provides sound, viable uses when administered by a licensed medical professional. However, cocaine is also the second most commonly trafficked illegal drug in the world, with an estimated 1.9 million people aged 18 and over using the drug in the United States alone.

Cocaine Addiction Facts

Methamphetamine Abuse

Speed, Meth, Adderall, Vyvanse.

A highly addictive stimulant drug, methamphetamine is used by an estimated 12.3 million US citizens. With similar effects to cocaine, this drug is a Schedule II stimulant, which means that it may have medical use but it also has a high potential for misuse. However, even in the medical setting, methamphetamine is rarely ever prescribed, with doses being far lower than those required to achieve the high that the stimulant provides when misused.

Coming in the form of a white, crystalline powder, methamphetamine is bitter to taste and dissolves almost instantly in water. A single dosage of 0.25g costs an average of $20, which is why the drug has been known to cause significant financial problems for those who abuse it.

Methamphetamine Addiction Facts

Opiate Abuse

Heroin, Oxycontin, Morphine, Fentanyl

In 2018, it was found that a total of 128 daily deaths were recorded in the United States daily due to opioid abuse. Considered a health crisis or epidemic, opioid addiction can cause serious dangers to a person’s health, social, and financial problems. The class of drugs are typically prescribed in the healthcare setting to treat pain, but their strong potential for abuse has become a major problem worldwide.

Today, it’s estimated that 15 million people are addicted to opiates, and in the United States, the problem is costing $78.5 billion annually to cover the cost of healthcare, productivity losses, criminal justice, and abuse treatment.

Opiate Addiction Facts

Marijuana Abuse

Pot, Weed, Dabs, Shatter

There’s a lot of ambivalence surrounding the use of marijuana. On one hand, it has been found to provide benefits for individuals with certain medical conditions. But on the other hand, it’s also been tagged a ‘gateway drug’, which asserts that once a person starts using marijuana, they become more likely to explore other, illicit, hard drugs.

Although the likelihood that a person might abuse and become addicted to marijuana are slim, there are cases when dependence might form. And just like any other drug problem, marijuana dependence requires treatment and rehabilitation in order to free the individual from the need to use the drug.

Marijuana Addiction Facts

Synthetics Abuse

K2, Spice, Bath Salts, Smiles

The drug trade is ever evolving with manufacturers constantly thinking of ways to give their market new experiences. And while drugs used to be made from natural ingredients like poppy plants, coca plants, and cannabis plants, many of the drugs of today are synthetic or completely man-made.

The roster of synthetics includes notorious names like methamphetamine, LSD, and ecstasy, all of which cause significant effects on both mind and body. But while some of these drugs are well-known and thus predictable, there are hundreds of ‘designer drugs’ that showcase chemistry, effects, and content that experts have yet to fully understand. And the danger behind these strange concoctions is that there’s no way to tell how they affect the body.

Synthetics Addiction Facts

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