Addiction is a primary, complex brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences, and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain. Twenty-three million Americans are currently addicted to alcohol and drugs, but only one in 10 out of them receives the proper treatment they need. The most commonly used and abused drug after alcohol is marijuana. Other common drugs of abuse include cocaine, heroin and inhalants. There are several causes why individuals are abusing drugs such as childhood neglect and abuse, mental health issues including depression, use of drugs at a relatively young age, and family members who have struggled with addiction.
If you are worried about a loved one’s alcohol or drug use, you may notice such symptoms like a life that seems too focused on finding drugs, increased tolerance, and uncontrolled use of drugs and continuation of drug use. Everyone around an addict knows he or she needs help, but often the addict can’t see it.