We live in a fast-paced, complex world today. It seems not a week goes by when we don’t hear about yet another social issue. The prevalence of substance abuse in our communities is still a major concern. Many Americans don’t realize the dangers of substance abuse. Everybody’s busy today. Often, our day-to-day task consume all of our top-of-mind concerns. The result of all this busyness is, we may not be as cognizant to the signs our loved ones are struggling with addition.

Leave Me Alone!

For those who struggle with addiction, the causal agent was usually ignited during their teen years. According to, The Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, bullying and substance abuse have a cause and effect relationship in adolescents. Treatment professionals have discovered those who were tormented, who were usually smaller in stature, used drugs as a coping mechanism. At that time in their lives, they didn’t realize how dangerous is substance abuse. Their quick-fix solution eventually led to their substance abuse problem.

Peer Groups

We look for underlying factors to understand problems. In terms of substance abuse, me must return to the teen years. Facial acne, voice and body changes. Socially awkwardness. As social animals, humans naturally want to bond with others. In stressful situations, there can be a form of safety within a group. The 18 and older adult who goes for treatment today, can often connect the dangers of substance abuse back to this earlier time in their lives.

Substance Abuse (The Big Three)

  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription medication

These (along with a host of others) were the most common gateway drugs for the 18 and older person in treatment today. In group sessions, this is a frequently mentioned jumping off point. From there, it was but a small step towards harder drugs, that ultimately, lead them to seek treatment.

Everybody is doing it (it seems)

It seems substance abuse is rampant in America. We almost expect to hear on the news about yet another celebrity getting hooked on drugs. But we cringe when we also hear this societal menace has reached our grade schools, universities, co-workers on the job; including those close to us or whom we hold to higher standards. So, how dangerous is substance abuse? According to a recent on-line article in Forbes.com, the cost of addiction are many. Poverty is another major factor in those who struggle with addiction.

We’ve all seen the drug abuse symptoms depicted on television. The abuser is often homeless. Or may display the symptomatic behavior of someone struggling with mental illness. But what’s lost on many is how much drugs impact the family dynamic. It’s a tale of loss. An overall loss of health. Loss of missed opportunities in life. Including loss of a once tight familial connection being chief among them.

These can be long-lasting effects if a person doesn’t seek treatment immediately. Life is too precious to sit idle. The most important thing to remember is to recognize that drug addition is a disease. If you know someone who is struggling with substance abuse, a hug would be a great start.