Sunday, August 15, 2010

Addiction Trends Of The Last 30 Years

By Catherine Cosgrove

By definition, an addiction is described as being abnormally
tolerant or dependent on something that is psychologically
or physically habit-forming. Addictions come in many forms,
from substance abuse addiction to behavior addictions, all
of which may require intervention or professional treatment
to overcome. As addictions have changed and redeveloped over
time, programs have had to progressively change and modify
approaches as well. In fact, while addiction trends have
changed in the last three decades with some becoming more
problematic than others, more help is available for
overcoming addiction than ever before.

Though alcohol dependency has been a constant addiction
recognized for many years, in the mid-1970s, illicit drug
use and addiction peaked to a point almost rivaling that of
alcohol. Illicit drugs, including cocaine, heroine, and
marijuana were the primary source of drug addictions until
the 1990s. At this point, illicit drugs that were more
cheaply made and acquired, like meth, became a growing

Marijuana dependency and addiction is a source of interest
in both the medical and political sectors today. As more
states explore the legalization and government control of
marijuana for medical purposes and even recreational use,
the potential for marijuana use to peak and become as
problematic as alcohol addiction is possible.

While dependency on illicit drugs continues to be a problem
for some, prescription drug addiction has nearly
overshadowed illicit drugs in the last decade. Narcotic pain
relievers and stimulants top the list of prescription drug
addictions. In 2001, reports indicated that nearly 87
percent of prescription drug addicts were white. Some
reports also indicate prescription stimulates, such as those
used to treat ADHD, are primarily abused by people under the
age of 21. In addition to prescription drug addiction, over
the counter (OTC) drug addiction has seen a rise in the last

In addition to substance abuse, other addictions that are
behavior oriented have seen rises and falls as well. Some
behavior-based addictions that have existed for years have
only recently become recognized as genuine addictions
requiring intervention. For example, where gambling
addictions were once unacknowledged, 12-step programs for
gambling addicts are now as mainstream as AA. Similar
addictions, including sex addiction, have also seen an
increase in awareness. Certain addictions, like food
addictions, have less social stigma but have come into the
forefront as behavior addictions requiring modification

For many, an addiction may stem largely from habitual
familiarity but many addictions are both psychological and
physiological. Those who struggle with addiction are bound
not only by the psychological habit but in many cases, a
physical addiction. Substances that cause the body to
respond to an absence, such as caffeine, nicotine, or an
opiate drug, make overcoming addiction that much more

With an increase of studies pertaining to the psychological
and physical dependencies created by addiction, programs to
overcome addiction have improved as well. Programs to treat
addiction were once barbaric in some sense, ignoring the
psychological aspect of addiction. Today, programs that
focus on the individual and each aspect of their addiction
make it possible to overcome addiction once and for all.
Through various support and treatment programs that address
an individual's addiction in both traditional and
non-traditional methods, addiction recovery is becoming more

Addictions of all varieties have seen some resurgence in
different times but the core of addiction and the road to
recovery remain the same. People struggling with addiction
are often depressed and can see their life spiraling out of
control but feel too alone or ashamed to ask for help.
Oftentimes, denial is at the core of addiction, with those
suffering from addiction unable to acknowledge their
dependency. Those who are involved in an addict's life also
feel alone and afraid and may not know how to help.

Thankfully, as addiction at its core has remained virtually
unchanged, the influx of information available through the
Internet and the increase in public awareness and health
education curriculum has improved the way people can find
help. Additionally, this increase in information and
awareness has improved the way recovery and treatment
facilities are able to offer help. Treatment and recovery
centers exist for nearly all types of addictions, in nearly
every part of the country. Substance abuse hotlines and
mental health benefits through insurance companies have also
helped to facilitate addiction help. If you or a loved one
is struggling with addiction, the first step to recovery is
to ask for help.

Catherine Cosgrove is a representative of Heritage Home Drug
and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. Heritage Home Drug and
Alcohol Rehabilitation Center offers a tranquil and
therapeutic environment to begin your recovery from alcohol
and drug addiction. Our team has worked together in
( drug rehab centres for many years
and will give you a personal, unique, and individualized
approach to emotional healing and sobriety.
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