Not everyone who will try a drug in their lifetime will become addicted, but it is crucial to be able to understand addiction in its full complexity. Addiction depends on a wide range of factors, from psychological and social ones to biological and genetic. A large number of experts consider that substance abuse happens either due to genetic predisposition and poor coping skills such as dealing with stress, trauma and other uncomfortable feelings. Despite many prejudices, addiction is a disease and it needs to be treated as such.
Think about cardiovascular conditions or diabetes which are the leading causes of mortality around the globe. People develop them in part because of genetic reasons, but also because of inappropriate lifestyles. When people start disregarding what they eat, how much physical activity they incorporate in their routine and so on, they are more likely to be diagnosed with such a chronic illness. It’s exactly the same with addiction. It’s not a weakness, it has nothing to do with willpower or control over ones’ body and actions. Imagine that 10% of high-functioning executives have some sort of an addiction.
While some substances are more addictive than others, there is yet for science to uncover the exact likelihood that an individual will become hooked on various drugs. There are a lot of conversations around which drugs are most dangerous and which are more ‘lean’. For example, it is believed that 1 out 10 people will get addicted after consuming alcohol or marijuana, between three to five people after using cocaine and eight to nine of those who inject heroin or smoke crack.
According to the latest World Drug Report which looks at United Nations countries including Canada reveals some shocking findings in terms of number of drug usage trends and drug rehabilitation treatments. As expected, the growing addiction to opioids was the most worrisome. Already being a major public health threat worldwide, opioids are responsible for a staggering 76% of all deaths that involved drug use. With North America accounting for 87% of that. Cocaine distribution and production also reached its highest level ever, cannabis became the most consumed drug in 2016 everywhere and the manufacture of heroin and cocaine has never in history been more contaminated with other dangerous pharmaceutical preparations. Drug usage increased among all generations and age groups. Yet, less than one in six persons with a drug use disorder accessed some sort of rehabilitation treatment. To add even more to the pressure, while one in three drug users is a woman, only one in five of them are actually receiving the necessary help and support they need.
Drug rehabilitation treatment is the only people can recover and lead healthy and productive lives. It is not enough to know the facts and figures if support is inadequately provided or even unavailable. Making the decision to get help is probably one of the hardest ones an addict can make and it’s one that needs to be welcomed by professionals with appropriate response and resources.