The abuse of just about any drug—legal or illegal—can result in an addiction. Drug abuse occurs when substances are used in a manner beyond their prescribed purpose, or by those without a prescription. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) reported that in 2013, approximately 2.8 million people tried an illicit drug for the first time, which demonstrates that substance abuse has wide-reaching effects.

How do addictions begin?

For many, a combination of risky behaviors and poor judgment can lead to drug abuse addiction. Below are several recognized risk factors that increase the risk of drug addiction:

Oftentimes, substance abuse can start with a well-intentioned prescription by a physician for a legitimate medical purpose. Your body can build up a tolerance to many drugs, including pain relievers, which may require more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Substance abuse can then turn into physical and psychological addiction.

What are some of the risks created by addictions?

The side effects of substance abuse depends on the specific drug being used:

Stimulants like cocaine or amphetamines can cause fatigue, depression, and lethargy after abuse.

Opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers can cause intestinal issues, muscle aches, and nervousness.

Every year, millions of Americans are admitted to emergency rooms over substance abuse issues. Many of these visits involve the nonmedical use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including stimulants, opiates, and dietary supplements.

Please contact Brookhaven Hospital today at 888-298-4673 if you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction problem.

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