Recognizing the signs of drug addiction in yourself or in a loved one is not always easy. Moreover, this past year has brought extra challenges that make getting help even more of a struggle for people who have substance use disorders and other mental health conditions.
Unfortunately, the latest drug trends in the United States have revealed just how dangerous addiction can be when left untreated. That is why we are here to help you understand the signs of drug addiction. Once you are able to identify the signs and symptoms of addiction, you will then be able to find addiction treatment and work toward recovery right away.
What Is the Most Abused Drug in the US?
Substance use disorders affect a significant number of adults in the United States, but, according to the National Institutes of Health, 75 percent of people with a substance use disorder don’t actually get addiction treatment. Not including alcohol abuse, there have been around 70,000 deaths related to addiction—particularly involving illegal drug use.
There are many different types of drugs, legal or otherwise, that have addictive qualities. However, you often don’t see the extent of the addiction until these drugs cause serious health concerns. In fact, one of the signs of drug addiction is that you need a stronger amount of the substance and crave it more frequently in order to feel its effects.
Though there is not one drug that can be quantified as the most abused drug in the US, the most commonly used drugs include:
Of course, this list is not extensive. And there are many different types of substances within these categories. Fentanyl and carfentanil, for example, are two of the many variations of synthetic opioids. While their chemical makeup is similar, the main thing to know with carfentanil vs. fentanyl is that the former is 100 times stronger than the latter.
The signs of addiction might look different depending on the substance that a person uses, which makes it more challenging to identify the dangers at play. Even if you feel as though you have a good understanding of the drugs you use, you might be surprised to learn that there are other chemicals or substances mixed in. Many times, street drugs like cocaine or meth are actually mixed with fentanyl. Not only does this put you at a much greater chance of developing addiction to these substances, but it also dangerously increases your risk of side effects that could be fatal.
Drug Use Statistics and Latest Drug Trends
Unfortunately, drug use statistics from 2020 show that the use of substances like the ones listed above has been rising throughout the country. According to an article from PRNewswire, the latest drug trends from 2020 revealed an increase of over 30 percent for non-prescribed fentanyl usage compared to the year before.
On top of this, meth use increased by nearly 20 percent, heroin use increased by 12.5 percent, and cocaine use increased by 10 percent. Moreover, the majority of states in America have experienced an increased frequency of overdose deaths that can be tied to these substances.
But how has drug use and overdose become so much more of an issue in such a short period of time? Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to these new drug use statistics. The spread of this virus has put strain on millions of people for a number of reasons, whether they be health related, financial, or having to do with substance use disorders.
Anybody can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, especially in times of great distress. Other risk factors for developing addiction include:
- Family history of mental health conditions
- Traumatic experiences
- Environmental factors
For people who already had a substance use disorder, the pandemic made it much harder for them to find safe and effective addiction treatment. Additionally, for anyone who struggles with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or other disorders, the social isolation, amongst other side effects of the pandemic, increased the severity of mental health symptoms.
When mental health symptoms go untreated, there is a much greater chance that somebody will turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to “cope” with their overwhelming emotions and pain. If you turn toward drugs or alcohol in times of pain, you might find that you get a sense of temporary relief.
However, this habit is an alarming sign of addiction. These substances will not help you to heal from your pain. In reality, drug addiction takes a tremendous toll on your physical, emotional, and mental health. Drug addiction treatment is the only reliable way to find long-term happiness.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
The first step toward finding this long-term happiness is to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction. As noted earlier, these can vary depending on your experiences as well as if you have co-occurring mental health conditions. Here are some of the signs of drug addiction:
- Drinking or using in times of emotional distress
- Frequently thinking about drugs or alcohol
- Needing more of the substance than before to feel its effects
- Changes in mood and behaviors
- Poor decision making
- Losing touch with family members and friends
- Being unable to perform daily tasks without the substance
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when not using
Do you see any of these signs of addiction in yourself or in a loved one? If so, please seek help immediately—as the 2020 drug use statistics have proven, your life depends on getting the right addiction treatment before it is too late.
How to Get Addiction Treatment
Thankfully, addiction treatment is proven to help people just like you meet your recovery goals. There are many different treatments that will help you to heal physically, spiritually, and emotionally from the trials of this past year and beyond.
At the Blackberry Center, the path toward addiction recovery looks different for everyone. However, you might receive certain services such as:
- Medically assisted detox
- 12-step program
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Recreational therapy
- Individualized and group therapies
- Nutrition education
- Relapse prevention
Additionally, the Blackberry Center offers dual diagnosis treatment to help patients who struggle with addiction as well as other mental health concerns. You cannot truly heal from one of these challenges without addressing them all head on. Behavioral health treatments are also available for adults in need and people who are currently experiencing acute mental health crises.
We understand that recognizing the signs of drug addiction in yourself or in your loved ones can bring a whirlwind of emotions. Our mental health and addiction recovery experts are here to walk you through each step of the process. If you have questions or if you already know that you are in need of help, please reach out to us at 888-512-9802 or fill out our confidential form. Remember, you’re not in this alone. Our staff are ready and waiting to help you start your recovery right now.