The number of items people can be addicted to keeps growing. Traditionally, people used to become addicted to alcohol, gambling and drugs. Today, populations can become addicted to social media, video gaming and politics. Today, finding treatment for addiction is much easier, too. Since many of the taboos associated with this mental health condition have been removed, society has moved to a place where seeking help is encouraged.
What is an Addiction?
An addiction exists when a person develops a compulsion to participate in activity even though the consequences of this decision are harmful to that person. It is considered a disease of the brain, and it often leads to deteriorated mental health. As soon as the person addicted to a substance begins to choose their drug of choice over their daily responsibilities, the time it takes them to pull back will be longer.
Addictions used to be most common among the older generations. In these days, addictions have begun to touch teenagers. Teenagers already have a lot on their plate as they navigate through the maze that is puberty, high school and learning to become a young adult. Now, they get to deal with saying no to the peer pressure of vaping, the internet and cyber-bullying.
The good news is that addictions can be avoided. Parents can help the mental health of their teenagers, and younger children, by being engaged in their lives. Addictions related to technology do not have to get out of hand. Limiting the time they spend on electronic devices and offering alternatives, like walking and other outdoor activities, is a great start.
Peer pressure, however, exists within the teenage and adult realm. If you, your child, or a loved one fall to the pressure of substance abuse, a variety of mental health and addiction treatment are readily available. In Florida, under the Marchman Law, the court can now be petitioned if family members believe that one of their own has lost control of themselves. It grants them the authority to bring the person in question in for treatment, as necessary. In less severe cases, a simple intervention may suffice.
The Effects of Addiction
Most people know that getting to the point of addiction is bad and that it should never reached. It still happens, and over the last decade, addiction rates have been on the rise. Moreover, addiction does not only affect the addicted; addiction affects those close to that person as well as society and the economy.
There are legal addictions, like tobacco-smoking, and then, there are illegal addictions, like the use of heroin. A smoker who is employed is given by law a number of smoke breaks during their shift. Each smoke break is a loss for the employer since that is paid time when productivity is zero for that employee. Depending on how deep the smoking addiction is, it may cost that employee $3000 a year to smoke a pack a day.
An illegal addiction, on the other hand, is a different story. It can cost a person $26,000 a year to maintain a heroin addiction. Heroin causes imbalances in the brain. Eventually, these imbalances lead to negative side effects that do not allow the user to maintain daily responsibilities, like keeping a job. Heroin addicts, therefore, often end up homeless or in jail. It costs about $2200 a month to keep someone incarcerated. This cost is passed on to the taxpayers. If a person seeks treatment in a rehab facility, they can expect to incur a bill of $20,000 a month. The costs for treatment vary, and finding treatment for addiction is always advised over incarceration.
Seeking mental health and addiction treatment benefits the person addicted to a substance and society since it prevents the person from falling into a deeper hole that could lead to crime or poverty.
Studies have found that those who live below the poverty line experience more psychological stress than those who live above. Compounding that stress with addiction puts a person in unnecessary peril that has become increasingly difficult to overcome. As portions of the United States economy continue to experience the bust of the previous administration, a recession could swallow up those already on the edge.
Addiction never has to happen to you. If you are prone to an addiction, there is no shame to standing up to peer pressure. If you falter, though, mental health and addiction treatment is available as finding treatment for addiction has become easier.