The rates of substance abuse in Florida are higher than the national averages. Florida has a large number of people abusing methamphetamines, opiates and other prescription drugs. The rates of alcoholism are also high in the state. Addiction is a serious problem that can destroy lives and families. It is important to understand addiction and drug abuse.

Understanding Addiction

Many people in Florida do not understand what people experience when struggling with addiction. Addiction causes a craving for a particular substance that cannot be easily controlled without help. The compulsion to drink or take drugs is overwhelming especially when triggered by specific events or patterns. The addiction can caused a person to sacrifice everything in order to attain a temporary high with no real thought about the future.

Signs of Abuse

There are many common signs of substance abuse. They are frequently the same regardless of the substance. The first sign is social isolation and withdraw. This occurs when a person chooses the addiction over friends, family and loved ones. Another sign is a change in personality. The drugs can cause random mood swings, inappropriate reactions and dissociative behaviors that people will notice as different. A clear sign of addiction is a change in physical appearance. Addicts could start to look ill, gaunt or pale as the drugs start to harm the body.

The Effects of Addiction

Addiction will affect nearly every area of life for both the individual addict and anyone close to that person in Florida. An addict could lose a job because of showing up intoxicated or excessive absences. Financial problems are prevalent because money goes to buying drugs and alcohol instead of paying essential bills. Financial problems can result in homelessness. Friends and family can suffer because an addict changes so much. Additionally, addicts sometimes steal from or exploit loved ones to gain more money for drugs.

How Addiction Affects Health

Substance abuse can have a significant impact on the health of an addict. The body will start to change to accommodate the constant presence of a particular substance. This can cause kidney or liver damage over time. It can weaken the heart or lead to seizures and strokes. Many drugs damage the brain. Addiction can cause permanent psychological problems such as depression or anxiety. People in Florida who have been doing hard drugs for a long time can even die from the addiction.

Treatment for Addiction

People who are dealing with substance abuse in Florida have many treatment options available. Inpatient medical treatment is necessary in some instances. This is because withdrawal symptoms after stopping long-term drug use can cause seizures, strokes and hallucinations. Most programs involve cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy seeks to identify triggers and modify behaviors so that addicts perform constructive activities instead of drinking or doing drugs. Some programs also include group therapy or family therapy.

Long-Term Recovery

Recovery from substance abuse in Florida takes a long time. Most people struggling with addiction must have counseling for life. These individuals eventually learn different techniques and tools that help to resist cravings and channel energies into other activities. Anyone who does complete a treatment program successfully has a better chance of avoiding a relapse later in life.