Drug Facts You Should Know
Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a spouse, or a concerned friend, there are drug facts you should know if you suspect someone close to you has a substance use disorder. With today’s emphasis on the opioid epidemic, much of the drug information that’s readily available focuses on prescription painkillers and heroin. Surprisingly, these aren’t the top most commonly abused drugs in America. Here are some drug facts you should know.
Alcohol Tops the List
Sometimes we forget that alcohol is a drug. It’s so easy to have an occasional drink with friends or to relax after work with a beer and your favorite television show. However, alcohol is the number one abused drug in the nation today. Worse, alcohol use is the third-leading cause of preventable death in America. The startling facts concerning alcohol will alarm you. Drug facts you should know include:
- 88,000 people die alcohol-related deaths each year
- More than 6 percent of American adults suffer from alcohol use disorder
- Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, and Oregon suffer the most deaths from alcohol annually
If you love someone who struggles with alcohol use disorder, encourage them to seek professional care at a drug and alcohol treatment center such as Five Palms.
Marijuana is the Second Most Popular Drug in America
The topic of marijuana use causes hot debates among die-hard users and critics. While still a drug, one of the main cannabinoids in marijuana has been shown to have medicinal value. CBD, or cannabidiol, aids in the treatment of seizures, among other uses. The THC found in marijuana, however, is slightly more sinister in the following ways:
- THC is the psychoactive compound present in marijuana
- THC can cause you to lose track of time or become confused
- This compound affects the way your brain perceives reality
Drug facts you should know about marijuana include that roughly 62 percent of people who used marijuana before the age of 16 also became users of cocaine. Another 54 percent used other psychoactive drugs later in life, leading to marijuana’s reputation as a gateway drug to more dangerous addictions.
Prescription Drug Facts You Should Know
Prescription opioid drugs are the third most commonly abused drug in the United States, but not everyone comes by their prescription drugs through legal means. Many people sell opioid drugs for money. Other people obtain these powerful painkillers from shady prescribers in return for cash. However you come by them, there are important drug facts you should know about prescription opioids, including:
- Opioids kill 130 people every day in America
- Many deaths from opioids happen as a result of accidental overdose
- It’s extremely difficult to detox and recover from opioids
Opioids send false signals from your nerves to your brain. This is how they alleviate pain. Additionally, they prompt the release of feel-good chemicals throughout your body. This causes warm feelings of goodwill and euphoria. Because you feel so good, you don’t want the feeling to fade. As a result, people become addicted to prescription opioid drugs such as morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. At the same time, your body builds a tolerance to these drugs. This means you need more and more to feel the same happiness. But if you take too high a dose of opioid pain relievers, your heart can actually stop beating, causing accidental death.
Long-term abuse of opioids will also cause important organs such as your kidneys and liver to fail. If this happens, you may need an organ transplant to survive.
Help Is Available at Five Palms
These alarming drug facts you should know are educational but don’t be discouraged by them. Help is readily available at Five Palms. At Five Palms, we treat a variety of mental health and substance use disorders, including those caused by alcohol, marijuana, and opioids. Contact us today at 1.844.675.1022 for more information on treatment for commonly abused drugs.