Alcohol and Drug Addiction Facts You Didn’t Know
Drug addiction is a disease that adversely impacts a person’s brain and behaviour. As a result, overcoming the urge to abstain from drug use is challenging, regardless of the potential harm the drugs may cause.
Your decision to use drugs or not will significantly impact how the rest of your life turns out. Nobody with a drug or alcohol addiction will ever admit that they initially had any idea that their addiction would take over their life. They believed they could control their drug or alcohol use, but it got out of hand. These ten drug-related facts are things you probably didn’t know.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Facts
1. The Most Widely Used Drug Is Alcohol
Alcohol continues to be the most commonly abused substance.1 Many people are unaware that alcohol, a legal substance, is one of the most addictive and harmful drugs. Up to 15 Australians per day pass away in Australia alone due to alcohol-related illnesses.
2. Heroin Was Once Legal and Promoted as a Cough Medicine
Heroin, the most addictive of drugs, was first marketed as a “non-addictive” morphine substitute and cough suppressant in 1898.2 At that time in history, common illnesses like colds, coughs, and tuberculosis killed more people than any other diseases combined, including pneumonia. Heroin was the perfect solution to the world’s desperate need for a cough suppressant. Patients with TB and pneumonia benefited greatly from its sedative and analgesic properties. So naturally, heroin became a very well-liked treatment until users developed addictions to it. Heroin quickly lost popularity and was eventually made illegal worldwide when it became clear that it was an addictive remedy.
3. Cannabis Generates Tax Revenue
Many people appear to forget that marijuana wasn’t always illegal amid all the fuss surrounding the gradual legalisation of cannabis in many regions of the United States. In Fact, from 1631 until the early 1800s, it was accepted as a legal tender for tax payments. The English navy heavily relied on cannabis hemp fibres to make the ropes and sails for its ships, so the British are to blame for this. In addition, the British ordered that all farmers grow cannabis to demonstrate its importance to their economy. Even household names like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson complied with this order.
4. Prescription Drugs Kill More People Than Illicit Ones
Given the horror stories surrounding them, one would assume that crystal meth, heroin, and cocaine are the most lethal drugs available. However, the truth is that when it comes to death rates, prescription drugs outrank them all. Overdoses from prescription drugs alone resulted in more than 16,000 fatalities in the United States in 2013.3 In addition, these drugs are still easier to obtain than heroin, even though you need a prescription for them.
5. Coca Leaves Are Used as a Herbal Remedy
Coca leaves were and still are, used as herbal remedies long before they were used to make the extremely dangerous drug cocaine. Alkaloids found in coca leaves have medicinal uses.4 When chewed, coca leaves also reduce feelings of thirst, hunger, pain, and fatigue. They also lessen the effects of altitude sickness.
6. Some Spices May Make People Feel Euphoric
The seemingly innocent nutmeg has been the subject of much discussion for many years. Numerous reports suggest that nutmeg can lead to particularly high and, in rare cases, hallucinations. Although it was common in the 1960s and 1970s to use nutmeg in place of alcohol and other drugs, nutmeg as a recreational drug is thought to have originated during the Crusades.
7. Animals Likely Use Drugs as Well
Has your pet ever given you a longing look as you raise a beer bottle to your lips? Some pet owners give their pet a beverage drink, and from how eagerly the dog or cat drank the liquid, it is clear the animal enjoyed it. Although it is merely imagined on our part that animals enjoy consuming substances as well, there have been reports of wild animals displaying a taste for drugs. For instance, Australian wallabies appear to have a preference for opium poppies.5
8. There Is a Rise in Drug Use Among Older People
People generally see drug addiction as a problem affecting youths. However, there is mounting evidence that drug use is increasing among people in their fifties and sixties in the United States.6 The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that older members who were heavily involved in drug use during the 1960s and 1970s as part of the expanding counterculture movement are to blame for the rise.
9. There Are New, Riskier Drugs That Consume Human Flesh
Crystal meth is well known to leave users with horrifying scars, but these scars only appear after extensive drug use. A street drug from Russia surpasses crystal meth’s ability to consume human flesh. This deadly concoction of pills, gasoline, cooking oil, and lighter fluid is known as “krokodil.” It causes users’ skin to rot in a matter of days. Users will eventually develop skin that resembles a crocodile’s, which is likely how the drug got its name. It is a widely used drug in Russia’s poorest neighbourhoods, where an estimated three million people have developed an addiction.
10. Japan Is Where Crystal Meth Was First Developed
The critically acclaimed and viral American TV drama series Breaking Bad may have made crystal meth popular worldwide. Still, the drug was not invented in America. Instead, crystal meth was created in Japan. Nagai Nagayoshi, a Japanese chemist, developed the drug in 1893.7 In 1919, pharmacologist Akira Ogata reduced the ephedrine content of crystal meth to create its present form. In Japan and other Asian nations, crystal meth is referred to as shabu.
How to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Handle the Pressures of Life
People today deserve a good break or a reward because they are overworked and overburdened. However, drugs ultimately only increase life’s stress, and many of us fail to realise this in the heat of the moment. Find alternative ways to relieve stress and relax to avoid using drugs as a reward. For example, start working out, reading a good book, helping the less fortunate, or making something. Anything uplifting and soothing can divert attention from using drugs as a stress reliever.
Maintain a Happy and Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise, a healthy diet, and meditation are all great ways to abstain from drug and alcohol use. Leading a healthier lifestyle makes it easier to resist the urge to turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of escape. In addition, a healthy body makes it easier to handle daily stress. You can handle trauma more easily if you have experience with healthy living and stress management. Plans for preventing drug or alcohol abuse within the family are also very successful in assisting kids in resisting the temptations of drugs or alcohol.
It is crucial to assist someone on the brink of developing an addiction to realise that the type of behaviour is risky before they seek therapy. Many addicts don’t think their actions are improper. They frequently turn to drugs to get things done. Others use drugs to experience the high they provide. They must first acknowledge their drug addiction is a problem before getting help. Keep your composure, avoid making snap judgments, and be honest with them. You need them to feel comfortable speaking with you.
Before regularly using a drug, people will start experimenting with it. Then, assist someone before they start abusing others. First, discuss with the addict and explain how recreational use can develop into dependency. After that, assist them in realising that therapy is the ideal medical intervention. Their needs and issues determine the kind of care a person receives. In addition to treating underlying issues, a good healthcare provider will outline the risks associated with drug use for recreational purposes.
Establish Workplace Drug Policy and Testing
A drug and alcohol policy will help to mitigate this since it spells out the consequences of using and selling illegal drugs at work. Drug and alcohol users are likely to introduce drugs to coworkers, creating an unhealthful work environment. Employees who might harm themselves or others by working while impaired by drugs or alcohol are encouraged to exercise greater responsibility. It provides a straightforward and generally reliable way to determine whether drug use is occurring.
There is still a lot to learn about illegal drugs, which are bad for society and the workplace. As an employer, you should have established drug and alcohol testing policies. These workplace drug testing policies will help protect your company, business, and staff from drug-related damages.
Learn more about Drug Testing.
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