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Is Addiction to Substances Common?

If you have recently gotten sober after battling an addiction, you may be wondering just how common it is to deal with a substance use disorder.

While statistics vary between different types of substances, generally speaking, there are approximately 20 million people in the U.S. who currently struggle with a substance abuse disorder of some kind.

What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

Some drugs or alcohol unnaturally increase dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, in the brain that is involved in feeling pleasure and motivation. Common examples of dopamine-raising substances include nicotine, cocaine, prescription painkillers, alcohol, and other illicit substances.

When someone abuses one of these substances, the increased dopamine teaches the brain learns to associate the substance with pleasure. This can cause the person to become addicted and develop an uncontrollable urge to use that substance. They might also begin engaging in other harmful activities, even though they know there could be negative consequences. A person with a substance use disorder they may be mentally or even physically unable to stop using the substance, even when they want and try to quit.

Consequences of Substance Use Disorder

When someone with an addiction does not get treatment, they can cause lasting damage to important relationships in their lives, lose their jobs, suffer health issues, and develop financial and legal problems. Over time, excessive drug and/or alcohol use can also lead to a range of severe health issues and may result in overdose or death.

Due to the serious consequences of a substance addiction, it is crucial for people dealing with an addiction to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for a substance abuse issue can involve many different methods, including medication, rehabilitation, and therapy.

Sober Living at Tharros House

Once a person is ready to overcome their addiction and enters recovery, looking into sober living homes can be a good next step in maintaining sobriety. Tharros House, in the Boston area of Massachusetts, is a great choice for men looking for somewhere to live among other sober individuals to help rebuild their life following a battle with addiction. Call us today at 617-249-1087 to learn more.