Drug Addiction

Written by Michael Federico
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Drug addiction is a problem that goes unacknowledged by many Americans. Movies, television, and a healthy dose of blind ignorance have created the image of the stereotypical drug addict. This has lead many to take the "not in my community" approach to drug addiction, and sadly this has only caused the problem to grow.

Drug addiction affects people of all ages and all ethnicities, and it touches those at all points on the socio-economic scale. Since the end of the 1980s, the number of 12 to 17 year olds abusing prescription drugs alone has gone from 6.3 per 1,000 users to 32.4 per 1,000 users. These numbers do not take into account the rise in the use of club drugs such as Ecstasy and GHB among those under 18.

Treating Drug Addiction

Treatment methods have long suffered from low success rates. The majority of programs only see 10 percent of their patients stay off a drug after initially quitting. Also, methods that substitute legal drugs for illegal ones, such as Methadone for Heroin, have often resulted in simply substituting one addiction for another. These problems have led doctors and scientists to seek new methods of treatment.

As medical advances are made, more and more doctors are viewing drug addiction as a physical disease and true chemical imbalance that can be overcome with medical techniques used in treating other diseases of a similar nature. The problem of drug addiction is not one that will likely ever disappear, because there will always be those who do not seek or do not want treatment. But as more methods of detoxification are developed, doctors and therapists believe more of those who do seek treatment will experience success.

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