Roughly 1 out of every 7 Americans will eventually develop an addiction or substance abuse disorder in their lifetime. Despite the prevalence of addiction, only 10% of those with a substance abuse disorder complete treatment. One of the many dangers of substance abuse is that it can lead to both physical and psychological addiction, which can make it difficult to fully recover without treatment.
Addiction is a complex and progressive disease and symptoms will continue to worsen until you begin recovery. During the stages of addiction, your brain’s pleasure and reward center changes and you experience a major neurotransmitter imbalance. It takes time for your brain and body to heal, which is why completing treatment is essential to your recovery.
The Dangers of Substance Abuse
Addiction occurs when you compulsively abuse drugs despite encountering negative consequences as a result of your use and having a strong desire to quit. Drugs cause your brain to release more neurotransmitters than it should, which then results in your brain associating your substance of choice with pleasure. Since addiction starts with your first use, the dangers of substance abuse increase the longer you use and abuse your substance of choice.
As your tolerance builds, you have to keep increasing your use in order to feel the same effects. If your substance of choice is expensive, this can lead to significant financial problems. Other dangers of substance abuse include:
- Medical and mental health problems
- Fatal and non-fatal overdoses
- Strained personal, professional, and familial relationships
- Decreased standard of living
- Legal problems
Abusing drugs can increase your chances of experiencing housing problems, as spending the majority of your money feeding your addiction can make you choose to spend money on your substance of choice instead of making rent, utility bills, or your mortgage payments. Because the dangers of substance abuse become worse the longer you abuse drugs, it’s important to complete treatment when you first recognize that you’re struggling to control or stop your drug use.
Both inpatient and outpatient programs offer short-term and long-term substance abuse treatment options. During inpatient treatment, you remain on-campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The increased supervision and structure is especially beneficial if you have a severe addiction, co-occurring disorder, or multiple attempts at recovery. Most inpatient programs last for 28 days, although some treatment centers offer long-term programs that can last for 90 days or more.
Outpatient programs provide you with the freedom to return home every night and to continue working or going to school during treatment. Partial hospitalization programs are the highest level of outpatient care and meet 5-7 days per week, while intensive outpatient programs usually meet for 3 days per week.
Connecting with Treatment Today
Addiction is a disease that can prevent you from living a happy, healthy, and stable life. The dangers of substance abuse can impact all areas of your life and make it difficult to recover without help. If you’re struggling with an addiction or substance abuse disorder, reach out to us today at 855.786.1978 to find out more about our programs.