The Toll of Addiction
Addiction takes a terrible toll on many people other than just the addict. The toll of addiction is paid by loved ones of the addict, friends of the addict, and society as a whole. Taxpayers pay millions, if not billions, every year because of addictions. Innocent victims pay the toll of addiction with stolen property and money every year because of addictions. And yes, the addict pays, sometimes with their life.
Anyone who has lived with an addiction or with a loved one who has an addiction knows that a life addiction free is a wonderful life. Just the peace of mind is worth more than any money could buy. If you are a loved one of an addict, do everything you possibly can to get help for them. Do not let it drag on and on. Addiction is hard to beat at any point, so the sooner you can get help the better the chances are of recovery.
Addiction Leads To Many Different Feelings
Addiction leads to feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, despair, failure, anxiety, and rejection. Addiction can be caused by a combination of factors, physical, mental, and circumstantial. Another factor is simply emotional. The addict is dependent on the substance as a means to cope with their daily life.
The individual may stop doing things that they used to enjoy, like sports or family outings. They live a life of secrecy and solitude. The household budget may suffer due to purchasing their substance of abuse. They may try to stop using but can’t because of the withdrawal symptoms.
Another toll of addiction is the addict’s physical health. They are more susceptible to diseases because one of the side effects of addiction is lack of appetite. They do not have a healthy immune system. They also run the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STD s) and HIV/AIDS, especially if they inject drugs with dirty needles. Any drug, including alcohol, makes the user more likely to participate in risky sexual behavior.
A very large toll of addiction is accidental injuries or death. Many car accidents are from people driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This kills many innocent people on the highways today. There is also the risk of individuals falling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a cause for many broken bones and back injuries. Much of the domestic violence today is from individuals being on some substance and resorting to violence when otherwise they would not.
Many Problems Arise From Alcohol or Drug Addiction
There are many other problems that arise from alcohol or drug addiction. Child neglect or abuse is maybe the most heartbreaking of them all. Addicts many times leave their children unattended with no food in the house for days on end if it goes unnoticed. The addict may take all of the household money and spend it on drugs or alcohol, leaving nothing for the children to eat. All the addict is concerned with is getting high. They don’t care about their kids or anything else. All they care about is that next “high” and the children suffer the consequences of these actions. No little child should ever have to live this way.
Many times unemployment and homelessness are the result of addictions. Many individuals have lost jobs due to addictions of one form or another. They may miss work as a result of drinking and suffering from a hangover. They may fail a random drug test and lose their job due to this. They may get hurt on the job due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Many problems with law enforcement are the direct result of addictions. A large percentage of the time crimes are committed because of drugs. Many addicts steal from anyone to obtain their drug of choice. They burglarize homes and even steal from friends and family to get that next “high.” They will steal money or any items that they can sell for money or trade for drugs.
Addiction Treatment Centers Offer Help
As you can see, addiction takes a toll on everyone, not just the addict. There is help though. There are numerous treatment centers all around the United States today. They can offer help to anyone addicted to alcohol or drugs. There are many programs to choose from, inpatient or residential and outpatient programs. You can find a treatment center to fit your individual needs or the needs of a loved one.
About the Author
Marilyn Kegley works with Florida Drug Rehab to educate individuals about the dangers of substance abuse. After watching numerous loved ones struggle with addiction, her goal is to help as many people as possible get effective and successful rehabilitation treatment.