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Understanding Murfreesboro Substance Abuse and Addiction

Murfreesboro is a city located within the state of Tennessee. It has an estimated population of 120,954 people and a median household income of $50,337. While this city is renowned for its rich history with regards to the American Civil War the recent years have been quite bleak. There is a rising number of teenagers and young adults that are using illicit substances such as marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. There is also growing concern with regards to the dangerous habit of binge drinking alcohol. Here is a look at some of the things everyone should know about substance use and addiction.

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Top Risk Factors for Substance Abuse

Risk factors are things that make some people more vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction. Understanding some of these factors can go a long way in preventing or discouraging individuals from using substance.

Poverty – various studies have shown that people who are not financially stable are at a higher risk of taking substances. These individuals have a lot of free time which is why they can afford to stay intoxicated for longer than employed people. It is also important to note that people who are poor are unable to raise enough money to purchase safe recreational drinks which is why they resort to the use of hard drugs that are made by unknown people.

Age – most drug users are between the ages of 12 and 24. It is during this period that a lot of people tend to get curious about their surroundings and substance. It is also true that at this stage a lot of people are still unsure about their self identity and in a quest to discover themselves they may end up taking too much alcohol or drugs. Another issue to note is that it is at this age that most people are energetic and enjoy fun activities such as partying

Gender – while both men and women are known to use substance it is true that more men are at risk when compared to women. Research has shown that men are twice more likely to use substance when compared to women. The reason for this is that men are naturally aggressive in nature and may be willing to try out just about anything. It is worth pointing out that the society is such that women are viewed as homemakers and any attempt by them to use substance would elicit a lot of criticism.

Group of users – individuals that spend a lot of time with substance users are at a risk of catching onto the habit. Some substance users have a tendency of persuading non-users to try out drugs or alcohol just so they can experience the pleasurable effects that are derived. Other users go to the extent of making fun of those who do not want to use substance. Indeed in a lot of cases young people have been pressured into substance abuse by individuals who termed them as weaklings or spineless individuals. It is also difficult to spend time with people who are using substances without trying it out.

Family of users – teenagers that come from families that have substance users may start taking substance themselves. This is because they grow up believing that the use of alcohol or drugs is not really dangerous. They are also able to find alcohol or drugs within the home setting. This is why adults or older people within the home are advised to avoid bringing alcohol or drugs into the house. They are also encouraged to avoid coming back home while heavily intoxicated.

Lack of restrictions – when people are not governed by rules and regulations they have the freedom to do just about anything they want. This is why it is common to find workplaces or learning institution with strict regulations on substance sale and use. Individuals that are found to break any of the rules and regulations stipulated must be punished to discourage the behavior. When there are no restrictions people are more likely to use drugs.

Lack of supervision – when young people are not kept under close watch by responsible adults things tend to get out of hand. Teens are naturally curious which is why they may start experimenting with alcohol or other dangerous substances such as marijuana. It is wise to monitor teenagers at all times. When parents have to go away for business or other activities young people should be left under the care of someone that is responsible.

The Six Stages of Substance Addiction Explained

Before an individual is fully addicted to substance there are certain things that take place. This may take an extremely short time or drag out over years. The rate at which individuals go from not using substance to full blown addiction depends on factors such as type of substance, amount taken and the method of intake. Below are some details regarding each stage of addiction.

Stage 1: Introduction to drugs or alcohol

Most people get to learn about alcohol and other drugs at the age of 12 or 13. This is why it is prudent for parents and teachers to set aside some time and talk to the young ones under their care. Young people that get to learn about the dangers of drug use and abuse are at a better place when it comes to resisting the temptation. As for people who do not receive adequate information about substance the end result is not always pleasant. Some alternative sources that may be used to learn about drugs include movies, music lyrics and social media. There is also a significant number of people that are introduced to substance by their friends or relatives.

Stage 2: Initiation to substance use

Once people have become aware of the various substances that are in existence they are likely to move to the second stage if not given proper guidance. During this stage individuals are overcome with curiosity which is why they end up looking for substance just to experiment.  People experiment on drugs for various reasons with some wishing to feel like their friends while others simply want to experience the pleasurable effects of drugs. It is important to note that approximately 1,500 people die from drug related complications each week in the United States. A quarter of the people that experiment on heroin end up becoming addicted to the substance. Basically this means that people can become addicted to substance at this stage.

Stage 3: Regular use of substance

There is a given percentage of people who experiment on drugs only to go through an unpleasant time. Some people end up doing things they would never wish to repeat again while others have an extremely unpleasant reaction to the substance they test. It is these individuals that quit any further use of substance. However, there is also a significant percentage of people that have an extremely good time during experimentation. It is these individuals that continue taking substance on a regular basis. Such people take up the use of drugs or alcohol as a recreational activity and this puts them at a great risk of progressing to the next stage

Stage 4: Risky use of substance

After a short while of regular use people slip into the fourth stage. This is commonly referred to as risky or problem use of substance. It is during this stage that a lot of people start losing control over their drinking or drug use. Students may start missing classes because of intoxication while employees may also fail to meet their goals due to the same effects of substance.

Some people start taking substance on a daily basis because they enjoy the effects derived from use. It is also during this stage that individuals start developing a tolerance for substance. This forces them to increase the amount of substance they take just so they can feel the pleasurable effects they desire. Some individuals may start mixing drugs such as cocaine or heroin with other additives to increase their potency. All these issues are dangerous and may result in serious internal organ damage or death due to poisoning or overdose.

It is at this stage that family members and friends become extremely concerned with the habit of their loved one. It is common to find several family members confronting the individual only to be met by harsh replies or violent behavior.

Stage 5: Dependence on substance

Having used substance for too long it is possible for individuals to become dependant on it. This means that the body becomes so accustomed to the effects of the substance that failure to get some amount in the system results in negative withdrawal effects. Dependence on substance is a physical effect and must not be confused with addiction. Below are some of the withdrawal effects often experienced by people that try to quit substance use at this stage.

  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Cold chills
  • Extreme sweating
  • Sleep disturbances or insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Extreme anxiety or fear of the future
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Isolation from other people
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
  • Nightmare

Stage 6: Full blow substance addiction

Right after becoming dependent on substance individuals slip into the sixth stage which is addiction. This is basically a condition in which substance users are psychologically compelled to take drugs or alcohol despite the glaring negative effects that occur. People that are addicted to substance may go through experiences such as arrest, accidents and divorce but still continue using drugs. For a lot of people the negative effects they go through make them want to quit substance use. However, because of the fact that continuous substance use has affected them both physically and psychologically they are unable to quit. Below are some signs of being addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

  • Feelings of guilt after taking substance
  • Thinking about substance use most of the time
  • Missing important appointments due to the effects of intoxication
  • Getting involved in frequent accidents due to intoxication
  • Using too much money on alcohol and other drugs
  • Alienating family members and friends
  • Talking about drug use most of the times
  • Trying to quit substance use several times without any success

Why an Addict Might Not Get Help

Despite the fact that there are proven ways to treat addiction only 11% of Americans that need treatment actually get it. Below are some of the reasons why only a handful of people receive the much needed addiction treatment.

Lack of information – there are a lot of people that are battling addiction without knowing that they can be cured of their condition. These people continue dealing with withdrawal and the devastating health issues that arise due to addiction. Only a few people ever get to learn about rehabilitation and how it can be effective in dealing with addiction.

Fear of the law – a number of people use illegal substances within Murfreesboro which is why they may not be too willing to come forth and receive treatment. These individuals continue to suffer in silence because they do not want to risk going to jail. If you are such a person or know of an individual that is using prohibited substances you should be aware of alternative programs provided under the law. Indeed drug addicts can substitute their jail sentence for rehabilitation. This means that instead of going to prison you are given the chance to seek help and recover from addiction.

Lack of finances – people that are living below the poverty line are not able to raise enough money for treatment. These people can barely get enough money to buy food or clothing which is why the thought of spending even more in a rehabilitation center is not entertained. These individuals should be encouraged to seek help because it is the best way to ensure they enjoy quality life. They also risk damaging their internal organs, social relationships and financial success.

Shame – substance addiction is something that is looked down upon by the society which is why those who are imprisoned by it may be hesitant to reveal their condition. A lot of addicts and their loved ones do not want neighbors, friends or relatives to find out about what is going on. Instead of having to deal with the shame they prefer to suffer in silence.

Denial – people that are not willing to admit to the fact that they are suffering from addiction may not get proper treatment. As mentioned earlier this condition affects the body and mind. It is therefore only a willing mind that an be taken through a successful treatment program.

Treatment for Substance Addiction

Treatment for substance addiction an be done using a variety of techniques depending on the severity of addiction and preference of the patient. Some programs can take 30 days while others may run for up to 90 days. Patients may be enrolled for inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.

Inpatient care

This type of treatment is mostly offered to patients that seem to be extremely affected by addiction. Basically this program is such that patients are required to stay at the treatment facility at all times throughout the duration of their treatment. Family members and friends are allowed to pay visits as they deem fit or as directed by the rehabilitation officials. Patients who are under this program are taken away from their former environments that may be playing a role in their substance abuse. Keep in mind that there are no drugs or alcohol at rehab centers.

Outpatient care

This type of treatment is mostly provided to people that are not extremely affected by addiction and its effects. A lot of times individuals under outpatient care are able to make good decisions except on few occasions when they slip up and fall into dangerous substance abuse. Under this program patients are not required to stay at the rehabilitation facility. However, they may be directed to attend sessions at stipulated times. This program allows individuals to carry on with their daily routines while receiving specialized treatment for their condition.

Partial hospitalization programs

This is more of a hybrid between inpatient and outpatient care. Patients under this program are required to stay at the rehabilitation center for the most part of the day and night. However, they are given breaks in which they are free to go back home and spend some time with their families.

What Happens In Treatment

Detox – this refers to a process through which the body rids itself of drugs and alcohol. Doctors may facilitate the process by use of certain medications, dieting and exercise.

Medical treatment – substance users that may be affected by diseases and infections are treated for these conditions to ensure their health is restored.

Counselling – to ensure that patients are able to have better control of their thoughts and emotions counselling sessions are organized on can ongoing basis.

Physical therapy – this may entail things such as exercise, massage and aided movements for those who may have been involved in accidents that caused physical injury.