Let’s face it, the word “Addiction” is a scary word. No person ever wants to hear this word in association with a loved one or their self. No matter what the circumstances of how an addiction starts, the devastation plus heartache that comes along with it is more than any family deserves. However, if everything is scary about it, what are the scariest things about addiction? We will take a look at the 10 scariest things about addiction here.
Some of the Scariest Things About Addiction
1.) Drug Overdose Fatality Rates in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 63,632 people in the United States died from drug overdoses in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths were attributed to prescription or illicit opioids. Drug abusers and addicts always think, “This won’t happen to me.” But it does, every day!
There were 70,237 drug overdose deaths that occurred in the United States in 2017 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This is over 192 fatal overdoses every day. This is definitely one of the scariest things about addiction.
2.) Drug Abuse Adversely Affects Every System in Your Body
Drug abuse and addiction have adverse effects on every major system in your body. Some of these physical effects can take place after only one use. This is the scary thing about abuse.
Some of these physical effects can include but are not limited to:
- Changes in appetite (increased or decreased)
- Mood changes
- Changes in sleep habits
- Increased blood pressure leading to a stroke
- Increased heart rate leading to a heart attack
Long-term physical effects of drug addiction may include:
- Cardiovascular problems (heart disease)
- Lung and respiratory problems
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Neurological problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
Drug addiction takes a toll on individuals’ health. Have you ever noticed how much older drug addicts look than their actual age? The reason for this is the effects of drug abuse and addiction. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they neglect all of their personal health needs and disregard their physical well-being completely. Their only concern is obtaining and using their drug of choice.
3.) Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Other health consequences of addiction include sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These can be life-changing consequences. Many individuals who are struggling with addiction participate in sexual acts in order to acquire money for their drugs of abuse. Others participate in risky sexual behavior while under the influence of drugs or alcohol by having unprotected sex or having sex with multiple partners. Either way, STDs are very dangerous and can even shorten a person’s life.
4.) Blood-Borne Illnesses
HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are all blood-borne infections that can be transmitted through drug injection. Persons who inject drugs (PWID) can also transmit bacteria which causes heart infections known as endocarditis. These infections are caused by using contaminated drug injection equipment such as needles, syringes, and other drug injection preparation equipment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV can survive in a used needle for up to 42 days, depending on the temperature and a few other factors. Sharing needles or other injection equipment can cause viral hepatitis. If you participate in these activities, you should seriously consider being vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B and have a blood test for Hepatitis B and C.
5.) Having Trouble with Law Enforcement and the Judicial System
Legal problems associated with addiction can be extremely serious and costly. Many forms of illicit drug participation are against the law and carry large fines as well as jail or prison time. Depending on the charges, you could serve many years in prison. Other than that, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can carry large fines as well as time in jail. You can lose your driver’s license and have no way to get to work or school (providing you still have a job or are still in school) which might be unlikely at this point.
You might be charged with theft or burglary if you have no way to pay for your addiction. When drug abusers use up all of their funds, they start stealing from family and friends. They may even resort to breaking in homes or businesses to support their habit.
Almost all places of employment now do background checks on job applicants. Many of these businesses will not hire someone who has a criminal record. If this is you, there may be no jobs available to you even if you are in recovery from your addiction.
6.) Broken Relationships with Family and Other Loved Ones
During the course of addiction, some relationships cannot survive the stress and hurt the addicted loved one puts on others. Addiction causes you to lie and steal from your loved ones. You will manipulate them every way you can to obtain your drugs. Your entire life consists of obtaining and using drugs. You are either high or trying to figure out how you are going to get your next high.
Loss of family and friends is one of the scariest things about addiction. And sometimes these relationships are irreparable. Sometimes families or friends cannot overcome the hurt and forget the betrayal of an addicted loved one, even though they try. Sometimes, it’s just not possible.
7.) Financial Loss
The cost of addiction can be exorbitant, not only for the addict. How many drug abusers have the extra money to pay for their drugs? When you are abusing a substance, there comes a time when you start avoiding paying for necessities and use that money for drugs. If you are financially responsible for a home and family needs, you are not just depriving yourself of necessities, you are also depriving your family of their needs.
Losing your job because of addiction can also mean losing your home. Not having money to feed your family may not seem scary while you are under the influence of drugs, but this is another of the scariest things about addiction. Many addicts end up losing everything, their family, their home – everything that once meant something to them before addiction came along.
8.) When the Addict Becomes Violent
Addiction can turn a sensible person into someone who is irrational and violent, even to their own loved ones. For instance, if an addicted loved one is high and wants to drive a car, you might try to stop them. You try to reason with them but the conversation turns ugly and your addicted loved one becomes violent. What do you do? Do you let them drive and possibly injure their self or even worse, some innocent victim? They may turn violent towards you, especially if they are going to meet their dealer.
Drugs affect the brain in so many ways. Your addicted loved one might have taken some hallucinogenic drug and not even know who you are or what they are doing. Yes, addiction is a scary thing, especially when effects like this example happen. And they do happen. Addicts may also turn to violence when they are trying to steal or something else illegal in order to obtain drugs.
9.) Turning to Prostitution to Obtain Drugs
This is a sad and scary thought, but oftentimes addicts turn to prostitution to support their drug habits. If addiction has taken everything from you, your finances, your family and home, you may feel that prostitution is the only answer to support your habit. Many individuals are living on the streets and turn to prostitution because of drugs or alcohol.
Prostitution can be an extremely dangerous business for anyone. You take a chance on acquiring an STD or worse. You don’t know the individuals you are dealing with and never know what kind of violence can take place towards you. You can easily lose your life. Yes, this is one of the scariest things about addiction also.
10.) You Lose Your Heart and Your Soul: You Lose Yourself
When addiction takes over your life, the person you were prior to addiction no longer exists. You may have been a compassionate and caring person who was always kind to others and helped others in need. Now, that person no longer exists.
You look in the mirror and see only darkness. Your eyes are empty and blank. You can see no resemblance of the person you used to be. You feel like an empty shell of a person. Yes, addiction has taken over and this is perhaps the very scariest thing about addiction. But, addiction has not won! You can still fight to regain your former self.
Seek Inpatient Treatment for Addiction
If you are living the scariest things about addiction or have a loved one who is, don’t wait for things to become worse. Seek inpatient addiction treatment and find your former self. Take back control of your life and your sobriety.
Contact one of our informed representatives at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to learn more about the treatment programs we offer. We can design a program to fit your individual needs and preferences. Don’t wait! Contact us now.