The Impact Of Drugs And Alcohol On Your Family

Impact of Drugs and Alcohol on Family

It’s no secret that addiction tears into people’s lives, leaving them physically and mentally ill, and at times fighting for their lives in an emergency room. Yet beyond the impact of drugs  on the individual struggling with the addiction, every case of addiction is bound to affect other people, including friends, strangers, and most significantly: family.

Anyone who knows an addict or has personally battled with addiction understands that a chemical or emotional dependency on a drug changes a person and brings them into a state of mind they would normally never reach. They begin to think and do things most people would never do due to the impact of drugs – including hurt those they love, lie to those they care about, and break the trust and friendship of those whom they have given years of their life to.

Beyond the household and the inner circle, impact of drugs affects society in general. Addiction and drug use plays a role in a great number of tragedies, from traffic accidents to domestic violence. While impact of drugs itself does not cause someone to get violent, they may take greater risks and cross certain legal boundaries to get to the next high. In other cases, addiction may amplify other mental health problems, or make an already violent person more prone to lashing out against others. Regardless of how addiction manifests itself, it causes problems not only for the addict, but for everyone around them.

Yet those who bear the greatest brunt of the trouble from the impact of drugs are those closest to the person:  their family. If you’re in a family struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone. Help is out there, and there are better days ahead.


How A Child With Addiction Affects The Family

Acknowledging your own child’s addiction can be a difficult thing – as can be convincing them that their problem is one that needs to be addressed, for their own good. In families with multiple children, it can create an upset in the balance of things. A previously neglected child might turn to drugs due to outside factors, including perhaps peer pressure or emotional pain, and the family’s attention is focused on supporting them through recovery, or convincing them to get help.

Parents must divide their attention between all their children in such a way that each child grows up healthy and emotionally stable. With addiction in the picture, this becomes a near-impossible challenge. Aside from feelings of worry and blame – such as one child blaming the family for their sibling’s problems, or blaming their sibling for their bad choices, out of frustration – parents will often feel like failures, either placing blame upon themselves or looking desperately for other factors.

Negatively focused thinking from the impact of drugs will tear a family apart. When a teen reveals an addiction, it’s important to pull together and think as a family unit – not as individuals undermining one another.

If you recognize that the impact of drugs is clouding your loved one’s ability to think straight – regardless of whether you’re a parent, sibling, uncle or aunt – consider seeking a councilor or therapist.


How The Impact Of Drugs On A Parent Affects The Family

When the impact of drugs affects a parent, children are often left to fend for themselves, or have to rely upon a single parent, who may be overwhelmed with supporting their partner on top of supporting a family. Sometimes, children will seek to distance themselves from their family unit and “grow up faster”, quickly taking on certain characteristics to isolate themselves from others or create as many bonds as possible to avoid a feeling of loneliness and run away from inner insecurities and anxieties.

It is important, again, to pull together as a family. The impact of drugs will force each member to go their individual path – only by pulling together and supporting one another can the family stay whole and provide support in their parent’s recovery.


The Impact Of Drugs Across Generations

Addiction in the family is a risk factor for more addiction, but the exact reason why is debatable. In some cases, it might be the fact that being exposed to addiction at a young age can leave some people susceptible to it later in life. For others, the emotional trauma of an addicted family member might contribute to their troubled coping mechanism.

For others, it might be a little bit of column A, and a little bit of column B. In any case, solving the impact of drugs is more than just helping one loved one – it’s about helping an entire family, and generations to come.


Getting Help

When families think of getting their loved one some help, the first thing that springs to mind is an intervention. While these can be useful to help someone in denial understand the extent of their disease and have them sign into rehab, it’s best to first just talk things out, and present rehab as an option (or a necessity, if the situation is dire).

If your loved one has become completely unresponsive and irrational, there are legal tools to help you get them some help for the safety of the family. But ultimately, recovery only works if the addict wants to get clean – and acknowledges that they have a problem. Sober living after recovery is a great option in those cases.

When talking alone doesn’t do the trick, interventions can help.


Support Systems And Family Therapy

Regardless of what treatment plan you or your loved one chooses, addiction is a long-term fight. Temptations exist in every recovering addict’s head, triggered by memories, sounds, smells, sights. Over time, they fade – but for a while, they can be powerful, and difficult to resist in times of stress and negativity.

It’s important to come together and form a strong support system. Families make for ideal support systems, because that is their natural function. Parents support one another, they support their children, and their children help them live on. Through trust, love and commitment, a family can stay together and continue to beat addiction together.

But if secrecy, anger, and pettiness seep into the cracks between families and destroy their relationships, then the support disappears, and loneliness grows – even in cohabitation. Keep your bonds strong, nourish the family, and resolve conflict with rational conversation and compromise – not through anger, fear, and fighting.

Family therapy may be the ideal way to rebuild trust and relearn crucial communication skills while in recovery. If you find that your family cannot stop fighting, and that the negative atmosphere is tearing you all apart, then it’s important to consult a professional and see if there’s any way to come together.

Some families communicate uniquely – if that involves friendly banter and teasing, then a little “fighting” or “bad language” is nothing to worry about. What truly matters is what’s between the lines – the feelings, worries and bonds between parents and their children, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands.

A family is a complicated thing, and addiction can be like an acid-coated wrench thrown indelicately into the mechanism. Working out the kinks afterwards can take months and years, but it’s critical to do so for both the survival of the family, and the continued sobriety of your loved one.

Prescription Painkillers: Silent, But Deadly

Overcoming Prescription Painkillers | Transcend Recovery Community

Painkillers are supposed to be our friends – they exist to alleviate pain, make us feel better, and help us get through the day with fewer complaints and less inefficiencies. Even the name makes them feel like defenders of justice and slayers of all things wrong in this world – after all, who wants pain?

But pain serves a purpose, and prescription painkillers – which can completely numb you to pain – take a terrible toll on many Americans. While drugs like acetaminophen and most non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can help you get through the day just fine, prescription painkillers are prescription-only for a simple reason: in the wrong amounts, and in the wrong hands, they can be extremely dangerous. And it just so happens that they often land in the wrong hands, and in large doses.

All prescription painkillers are opioids: opium-derivates, either natural or synthetic. Understanding what opioids do and how they work can give you insight into why they’re at the helm of our country’s growing overdose statistics.


What Are Opioids?

At some point, many centuries ago, poppy seeds were discovered not only to make for excellent moon cakes, but to contain a powerful psychoactive essence dubbed opium. Opium made the user feel less pain and feel much happier – not only did your physical troubles fade away, but it slowed your breathing and made life more pleasant. Yet opium was also addictive – and many got to a point in life where they couldn’t live without it and would go through extreme measures to obtain more of it.

While opium faded away from the West due to its Eastern roots, it was reintroduced as a powerful analgesic, the active ingredient in a painkilling tincture named laudanum. In the 19th century, a German chemist discovered morphine, a purified form of opium, named after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus. It became the common answer to most problems of the mind, from anxiety to insomnia to pain and respiratory issues. The craze around morphine grew to the point that it became an active ingredient in children’s “soothing” medicine, and with the popularity of morphine came a greater understanding of the concept of addiction.

Nearly 100 years later, towards the turn of the century, another German chemist discovered heroin, an even more powerful form of morphine, advertised as a “non-addictive alternative” at first.

Today, both morphine and heroin are illegal substances meant to be unobtainable outside of medical purposes, and many other opioid derivatives exist, including synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil, both of which are magnitudes more powerful than their natural counterparts, and far more dangerous to consume.

Opioids work by binding to the brain through the bloodstream, and can be introduced into the body through inhalation, ingestion, or injection. Once in the brain, they bind to the brain cells’ opioid receptors, inducing an analgesic, euphoric effect, coupled with a slowed respiratory system.

Due to the extreme effects opioids have on the mind and brain, they are also prone to misuse and chemical dependency, wherein using opioids regularly and then stopping can lead to painful flu-like withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, it’s also possible to build up a tolerance to opioids through continued use, leading to the urge to increase the dosage, until the heart stops or the user’s breathing stops, leading to death.


Painkillers Are A Nationwide Crisis

In the 90s, America’s fight against pain led to the official decision to heavily endorse prescription painkillers as a solution against the growing problem of chronic pain in the country. This decision was not meant to cause harm, nor did it encourage excessive prescription – but coupled with the advertising and profiteering at the time, it became the perfect storm for a massive influx in opioid prescriptions, inevitably leading to many pills out on the street, and a rise in addiction.

Heroin, trafficked in through other parts of the world and brewed at home, became a growing problem as well, and many people graduated from pills to black tar, while others began starting their addiction on illegal and often dangerous heroin, mixed with other drugs, unrelated products such as baby formula, and fentanyl, a much more powerful form of heroin that has led to a massive increase in overdoses over the past few years.


Treating The Addiction

Opioid addiction, like alcoholism and any other form of drug addiction, requires a lot of time and a strict program to overcome. There is no single program that can be successfully appropriated by all individuals – rather, addiction treatment is an individual matter, and each case needs a unique plan suited to their circumstances.

Addiction treatment often involves individual and group therapy, from art therapy to exercise and face-to-face conversation.

Of course, medical care is also a part of the solution. Medically-assisted treatment can be seen as detrimental for some patients, but for many others, it could save their lives and give them the gradual come down they need to avoid relapse, and ultimately defeat the addiction. Drugs like methadone have for years been criticized for being nothing more than simple alternatives to heroin and prescription painkillers, but the truth is that many Americans are successfully off their opioids thanks to treatments spearheaded by the diligent use of this drug.

There’s no denying that methadone dependence does exist and can occur. But to deny its usefulness may be doing much more harm than good. Ultimately, however, the goal is not to rely on any drugs whatsoever and live a life as free from medication as humanly possible.

Sometimes, sending someone into rehab or giving them an intervention is not possible – because they’re in a state of extreme physical duress. Opioid overdoses happen thousands of times a year, and cause tens of thousands of deaths – but many of those lives can be saved and given a second chance through the use of opioid antagonists.


Save A Life

Naloxone and other opioid antagonists present a way to save a life during an overdose, as the administration of naloxone can help the body effectively respond to opioids by completely blocking their effects. Using naloxone can quickly restore a person’s breathing, without needing the extensive training of a nurse or a professional first responder.

Naloxone kits should always be kept on-hand if you are personally addicted to opioids or know someone who is. In the case of a severe relapse or an overdose, naloxone can be used to completely block the effects of the drugs. It is not addictive, and could save the lives of thousands of Americans, and give them the chance they need to live a healthier, longer, sober life by taking the steps towards getting away from their drug use.

The fight against addiction is a long one for any individual, and the fight against addiction as a society may be even longer. The first and most important lesson is to separate the addiction from the individual and give many the much-needed time and love to get better and find themselves on the other end of this dark and terrible tunnel.


Dealing With The Mental Effects Of Prolonged Addiction

Mental Effects Of Addiction | Transcend Recovery Community

It’s much more than a choice. Addiction can best be described as a mental illness or a brain disease, a powerful compulsion that pushes patients to seek out drugs even if they know it’s detrimental and carries heavy mental effects and consequences. Drug users will go out of their way for the next high, to the point of risking something like prison again – repeat offenders prove that even a correctional system as harsh as America’s isn’t an effective deterrent for many.

What does help, however, is treatment. But to understand why treatment helps, it’s important to understand what addiction does to you – and how mental illness and the mental effects of long-term addiction play into why it’s so hard to stay clean for many.

There’s more to addiction than the fact that you feel the urge to get high. Prolonged drug use can physically harm you and cause mental damage, and the financial consequences of addiction can be ruinous.


What Mental Effects Drugs Have On The Brain

Drugs interact with the brain in many ways, but most of them work on the same basic principle. The best way to simplify how drugs work is to think of them as impostors of existing crucial neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals. They hijack the receptors in your brain’s cells and act as certain neurotransmitters, transmitting specific signals throughout the brain to elicit feelings of joy and happiness, but also other reactions, such as weakened coordination and slowed movement, as with alcohol, or a numbing effect that reduces the body’s ability to feel pain, like opioids. Whichever one is used, the mental effects are always negative.

All drugs have something in common, and that is their addictiveness. From nicotine to heroin, drugs elicit a response in the brain that is unnatural – this effect causes the brain to adjust. Most drugs invoke mental effects that condition the brain towards further usage, to the point where you begin to crave a drug. But as you take it more often, its effects are also severely diminished, causing you to need to take more. The two effects go hand in hand, making addiction particularly dangerous as the risk of overdosing is built into the nature of the disease.

Over time, it becomes harder to quit. Not only do most drugs cause physical damage to the brain and other organs, making it harder to think rationally and fight against the addiction, but as the brain normalizes drug use, it becomes reliant on it. Suddenly quitting can elicit painful withdrawal symptoms – sometimes, these mental effects can be fatal.

Aside from these complications, perhaps the biggest deterrent to recovery is the fact that drug use actively diminishes a person’s ability to think clearly, make informed decisions, and be critical. Drug use is also seen as a very effective short-term coping mechanism, drawing in people with high levels of stress caused by work or mental illness. At other times, due to its very poor performance as a long-term coping mechanism, and the fact that it can be mentally and socially ruinous to get addicted, addiction also leads to mental health problems including depression due to the consequences of getting addicted. A person who experienced years of loss due to their alcoholism may find it harder to quit because of the emotional (and physical) pain they endure while sober because of their drinking.

The only way out is through. One of the harder truths about recovery is that the mental effects and emotional pain are something everyone must process and overcome if they want to stay sober and successfully abstain for the rest of their lives.


Addiction, Anxiety, And Depression

Research shows that people with mental health issues – particularly forms of anxiety and mood disorders like depression – struggle with addiction more often than the general population. This is because people with mental health issues often try to self-medicate to deal with their issues without seeking out help or treatment, either to avoid stigma or for other reasons.

In other cases, excessive drug use may lead to the development of depressive symptoms and a diagnosis of major depression, because of the mental effects of addiction and the events that followed.


Seeking Comprehensive Treatment

Addiction treatment and mental healthcare have come a long way. Even though we’re not the best in the world at tending to our mental health, we do have a great understanding of the detrimental effects of stress and emotional pain, and the correlation between addiction and mental illness.

That is why many addiction treatment facilities utilize the knowledge of in-house experts to recognize the mental effects of addiction and formulate a comprehensive treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all in addiction treatment or in mental healthcare. But a treatment plan that addresses both issues as one – and even tackles physical issues through proper diet and exercise – can achieve wonders.


The Importance Of Strong Support

Ultimately, a person’s sobriety is as strong as they are – but when your strength falters, it’s important to have people in your corner backing you up, ready to help you get back on your feet and back into the ring. Some wrestle with addiction much longer and much harder than others, but regardless of your story or your circumstances, having people who love you and want you to stay clean and healthy can make a world of difference. A solid support system will give you a shoulder to lean on, an ear to speak to, and a fresh perspective whenever you feel the negativity catching up with you.

It’s one thing to have people around you ready to help you stay clean, but it’s another to be willing to ask them for help at the right moment. It’s important to recognize when you’re slipping and get the help you need to stay on the straight and narrow.

Beyond your support system and immediate circle of friends and family, consider sanitizing your relationships and removing yourself from relationships that you feel hurt you, or pull you down. Sometimes we retain friendships from the old days before the treatment, hoping to help them as well, but some people won’t accept help and have to find their own way to recovery. Knowing when it’s time to move on is important both for staying sane, and for staying clean.

In the end, it is possible that you will be struggling with the aftermath of addiction for the rest of your life. But that doesn’t have to impede on your ability to lead a colorful, exciting, and awe-inspiring life. Once you’re clean and the reigns are in your hands, it’s all up to you.


How Addiction Affects Your Mental State

Mental State Changes From Addiction | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction is not something a person chooses. It is an illness that affects nearly 21 million Americans and causes over 64,600 deaths a year. While it afflicts some people more than others, it can affect anyone from any background, and take many shapes and forms. Some people struggle with behavioral addictions, unable to stop a certain addictive behavior like illicit sexual activity or video gaming, despite severe negative consequences to both physical and mental health. Others get addicted to substances, from illicit drugs like heroin to prescription medication and alcohol, suffering changes to their mental state in the process.

Yet what all addicts have in common is the inability to regulate and control their behavior, sometimes despite a deep and intimate understanding of the consequences. We have tried the violent way – millions of Americans are put behind bars every year, and many of them for drug offenses. Yet far too often, they simply become repeat offenders, relapsing after rehab, or ending up in jail again.

The only way forward is addiction treatment – and that involves understanding what addiction does to the brain and mental state and knowing what it takes to reverse that damage.


What Drugs Do To The Mental State Of The Brain

Addiction is a neurological issue – it affects the mental state and a network of functions in the brain related to pleasure and addiction. Many everyday activities trigger these reward pathways, like exercise, comfort food, sex, and social interaction. Anything that naturally makes us happy stimulates these pathways, triggering the release of neurotransmitters that make us feel a certain joy.

These pathways can be flawed. In some individuals with clinical depression, for example, they fail to properly distribute and reuptake serotonin, an important neurotransmitter for happiness. This makes it difficult for some people with clinical depression to feel joy at all and causes them to feel deep sadness for no apparent reason, without a distinct trigger.

In people who struggle with addiction, certain behavior and addictive drugs have overstimulated the neurons in the brain, through an excessive release of happiness neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine. This abundance in dopamine releases changes the mental state of the person and causes a desensitization to the natural effect of the neurotransmitter – making drugs less effective, and making old hobbies seem less fun.


The Addiction Loop

Eventually, the drug becomes a necessity due to the altered mental state. The body develops a psychological need for more drugs, to maintain a state of normalcy. Often enough, trying to quit ends up in drastic and painful withdrawal symptoms, and extreme cravings for the drug, akin to a severe thirst for water in the middle of a hot desert.

Addiction completely corrupts the mental state of the brain and way it is wired for motivation and happiness, making the acquiring, and using of a drug or the repeating of a certain behavior more important than almost anything else.

The cycle of tolerance, withdrawal and relapse is a constant one in many people with addiction. While tolerance and withdrawal can be exclusive and are not necessary for the definition of an addiction – you can be addicted without having issues with tolerance – they are often correlated. This loop makes it even harder to quit, as people not only have to cope with living in sobriety, readjusting to life without drugs, fighting terrible cravings and being confronted with guilt and societal stigma over their addiction, but they must fight against terrible physical symptoms for days every time they try to quit.


Long Term Effects Of Drug Use

Drug use does more than temporarily change the way the mental state of the brain. Often enough, it can have long-lasting effects. Substance abuse carries the risk of long-term brain damage, often in the form of cognitive deficiencies, and issues with critical thinking and problem solving. People who have been addicted will continue to have issues with risk-assessment for some time, and it can take a while to fully regain your ability to think critically and assess certain situations.

This is often due to how long-term substance use damages brain tissue, specifically areas of the brain pertinent to making choices, and memory. Most drugs, especially alcohol, stimulants, and opiates, can have severe consequences with long-term misuse, such as organ failure and strokes.


Why So Few People Seek Treatment

The mental state of someone aware of their addiction yet unable to fight it alone can be very negative. Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are common among people with addiction versus the public due to how the addiction loop promotes and breeds negative thinking and makes it difficult to hope for a healthy and safe future. This is compounded by the fact that people with addiction are not treated compassionately in public.

Many people see addicts as morally corrupt and physically soiled, and instead of helping addicts and seeing them as people struggling with an illness, few people have the empathy to treat them fairly. The criminalization of addiction and stigmatization of addiction in the workplace means the chances of getting back into society’s good graces are slim for many addicts, making a happy sobriety seem almost impossible on the surface.

We have come a long way, and many programs exist to help addicts – but it is still a dreary outlook, making recovery very difficult, and providing one of many explanations for why so few people decide to take up treatment for their addiction. However, that does not mean treatment is not always the best option. It is. No matter how far you have come or what you have been through, getting help is necessary for everyone still struggling with addiction, and it gives them the best shot at a better life.


How Treatment Can Reverse Drug Damage

Recovery can reverse a lot of the damage done by drugs, especially through years of healthy living. A clean, balanced diet and exercise can improve a person’s cognitive abilities and help keep you healthy and living for a long while. Many of the negative health effects attributed to addiction are tied to poor diet and malnourishment – focusing on healthy eating habits as a part of sobriety can improve your quality of life tremendously.

Life after addiction can be much better – but getting to that point is not easy. Treatments exist for all people, varying in length and treatment type depending on a person’s circumstances and preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, but addiction treatment today is varied enough that anyone can seek help, and often get the help they need to achieve lasting sobriety and return to a better, drug-free life.


Early Warning Signs of Addiction

Signs of Addiction | Transcend Recovery Community

Regardless of if you are a parent, a friend, a relative or the person in question themselves, addiction is not necessarily one of the things you would expect to be sneaky. There may be something of a misconception that, most of the time, addictions are obvious. That there are obvious signs of addiction and a way to identify someone struggling with an addiction from the first meeting. Erratic behavior, or certain physical features, or even matters of hygiene.

But the truth is that addiction can hide in a person, to the point that many do not even realize they are struggling with an addiction until it is undeniable. The differences and warning signs of addiction are subtle in the best of times, and harmful yet inconclusive in the worst of times. Only a professional and the person themselves can declare someone an addict – but there are warning signs that, if diligently followed up upon, could reveal something critical.

Before we go into what signs of addiction to look out for when searching for early addiction, it is important not to forget the importance of basic decency and compassion. Nothing destroys the trust between two people like unfair assumptions and quick judgment. And if you truly want to help someone, then trust is imperative.

Do not judge, or assume – just look at the facts, conclude objectively, and pursue an adult conversation. This can be hard to do when emotions run high and entire relationships are at stake, but if you suspect someone else is struggling with an addiction, especially someone you care about, then it is important to stay calm and collected.


Drastic Personality Changes

People can change. But people typically do not change massively over the course of a very short period, unless there is a very influential catalyst driving that change. Regardless of what that catalyst may be, if the changes are negative, then it is fair to say that it is not a good catalyst.

For example: severe emotional trauma or excessive stress can push a person to adopt an aggressive, indifferent, or otherwise negative mood as a way of acting out and coping with their struggles. If the person you know is going through rapid mood changes, it could be a sign of stress.

It could also be signs of addiction and drug use. Drugs are psychoactive, which means they affect the brain and the mind, changing the way you think. Not only do the cause damage in the long-term, but short-term drug use can change the way a person behaves even when they are not high.


Frequent Lying

Another red flag is lying. People lie when they do not want the truth to be revealed – and if you have a close relationship with this person, then lying about basic things such as where they were recently or what they have been doing indicates that they have been doing something that they know is wrong, and they do not want you to know.

Finding out if someone has been lying, however, is not as easy as knowing that it is bad news. Try and snoop around a little, checking their social media and asking their friends to gather more information is you think you see signs of addiction.


Destructive Behavior

Aside from negative behavior and the onset of unhappiness or depression outside of a high, drug addiction also spurs people on to be destructive if it means getting their next fix. They might also lash out in the absence of drugs or become more prone towards risky behavior because of frequent drug use. This can quickly draw heavy consequences, including the loss of a job or terrible academic performance, and fights with others.

Observe the person you are suspecting and consider how their behavior and reaction towards things has changed. Are they impatient? Do old hobbies seem not to interest them anymore? Are they frequently unaccounted for, or unreliable and missing? These signs of addiction could be warning you about their drug habit.


Signs Of Addiction Is Not Always Drug Use

While these may be early warning signs of addiction , they are not necessarily indicative of addiction. Instead, they are a sign that something has gone wrong between you and the person you are suspecting, specifically along the lines of communication and trust.

Drug addiction is a terrible thing, but it is not the only cause of bad behavior or dishonesty. People lie and act erratically for many different reasons. Some of them are serious and carry long-term consequences, such as the development of depression. Others, however, may only be temporary, and are the direct result of some sort of external pressure causing your friend, relative or loved one to act out.

If you do not have some plausible evidence of drug use (paraphernalia, catching them in the act or getting confirmation of either from others you can trust), then any sufficiently stressful situation could be the root cause of the issues above instead of the signs of addiction. Either way, these are all signs that someone is struggling to cope with their situation, whatever it may be.

There is only one way to find out, and really make sure that your suspicions are not entirely unfounded.


Have an Honest Conversation

Nothing beats a good old conversation. Be honest, open, and come from a place of understanding rather than judgment. Open up to the person you are approaching. Talk to them about how people make mistakes, and about how we are defined not by these mistakes, but by how we react to their consequences and make up for our own fumbles. Being wrong is human, but a person’s own character is revealed by how they handle themselves and the situation.

And most importantly, let them speak. Try and understand their meaning. If something other than an addiction is causing this, it is still a vital issue that must be addressed and dealt with – perhaps they have been subconsciously crying for help. Teens especially need a lot of support growing up, as they have a lot of things to figure out.

But if it is addiction, then the most important question is whether the person wants to get better. It is unimportant how you feel about the situation – an addiction cannot be beaten unless the person being addicted sincerely wants to stop. The only thing you can do is make them see why they might want to and help guide them back to the path of sober living.


What Are Some of the Worst Drugs to Be Addicted To?

Worst Drugs To Be Addicted To | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction is terrible no matter what form it takes – but there are drugs that are appreciably more dangerous than others, featuring a long list of side effects and potential long-term damage, as well as an addictiveness factor incomparable to most other substances. The are some of the worst drugs to be hooked on, but there are options.

Addiction recovery is not a set treatment, it is a process – and it is the only way to get clean and stay clean. But how exactly you go about your recovery is entirely up to you and your circumstances – and even the worst of the worst drugs will not stop you from having a shot at living a fulfilling and sober life if you make an effort toward recovery.



Benzodiazepines have been marketed and used since the 60s, as anti-anxiety medication. The most widely known benzodiazepine is valium, and much like alcohol, it reduces inhibition and causes a mild sedative effect, due to it enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter known as GABA.

Because it acts similar to alcohol, it is also extremely dangerous in certain dosage or in cases of substance abuse, both due to its addictiveness and the fact that benzodiazepine withdrawal can kill a person, unlike most drug withdrawals.

Benzodiazepines count as sedative drugs, weaker alternatives to the much more powerful and much more dangerous barbiturates, and they carry with them a series of side effects such as potential amnesia and elevated risk of suicide.

Aside from being extremely dangerous when addicted to, benzos as they are known are also commonly combined with drugs that increase the substance’s deadliness, including opioids such as OxyContin, and alcohol.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed as anti-anxiety medication and should under no circumstance be used outside of a prescription. These are not lightweight drugs – yet the high rate at which they are prescribed means many pills of one of the worst drugs end up in the wrong hands, or in the black market, sold on the streets for a quick high and a chance of death.



While methamphetamine is known as the malice that has spread throughout the US, especially across the Midwest, due to how easy it is to produce in a makeshift lab, amphetamines can be just as dangerous and difficult to break as an addiction – and many people, especially kids, struggle with it.

Commonly used as a mental and physical performance-enhancing drug and as a major ingredient in ADHD medicine, common prescription drugs that include amphetamine are Adderall, Dexedrine and Evekeo, as well as others. Amphetamines work differently to methamphetamine, but still count as stimulants – and are still highly addictive. The availability of amphetamines, especially for purposes that lie well outside any medical reasoning (such as for academic success) has in recent years fueled a new addiction especially among teens.

Amphetamines have their uses in the fields of medicine, and they can be invaluable for certain cases of mental illness – but getting addicted to amphetamines can send you into a rubber banding experience of increased intelligence and motivation, coupled by terrible crashes brought about by one of the worst drugs to get hooked one. And for many who originally got into the habit and saw it as a risky yet effective way to make it through the academic grind, it often is that habit that sends them into a downward spiral, far away from their original and previous ambitions.



Opioids are some of the worst drugs in existence due to their sheer addictiveness – more addictive than almost any other drug, opioids are a class of drugs that affect the brain’s opioid receptors, killing pain while inducing feelings of euphoria. Opioids range from simple opium tea, cooked traditionally to relieve pain, to opium itself, and refined versions of the plant’s compounds, including morphine, codeine, and heroin, as well as synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil.

In recent times, opioids have grown to the top of the country’s list of concerning illicit drugs due to an explosion in usage across all groups, and a rise in overdoses and deaths. A number of factors caused this issue, most of which have been building up for decades, brought to the tipping point by the creation and distribution of low-quality heroin cut with the extremely dangerous and almost toxic fentanyl, one of the worst drugs to ever hit the country.

Other factors include a rise in wealth inequality and struggling industries, a rise in opioids on the street caused by homemade and imported heroin as well as prescription drugs, and most significantly, the rise in the use of prescription painkillers in the 80s, the effects of which created a new generation of people addicted to painkillers.



Although it might be a surprising addition to some on the list, nicotine is widely considered to be one of the worst drugs to be addicted to due to how hard the addiction is to break – and while the short-term effects are negligible for most, the long-term effects as well as general availability and ease-of-access to tobacco products makes smoking one of the hardest things to quit. In fact, while opioids are far more addictive, they’re statistically easier to break away from permanently.

The one thing nicotine has going for it is that it does not kill as quickly as other drugs might. While nicotine itself is incredibly toxic – so much so that a small amount of pure undiluted nicotine on skin can be enough to make you sick – the amounts present in cigarettes is unlikely to put you in the grave. On the other hand, the tar of smoking tobacco will cause long-lasting damage to your health, most notably an increased risk of cancer for yourself and everyone inhaling your smoke.


Synthetic Drugs Are Some Of The Worst Drugs

Synthetic drugs are nothing new, but they have become a challenging new addition to the list of worst drugs for law enforcement agencies trying to catch up to all of the new chemical combinations coming up both on the streets and in legitimate stores.

Synthetic cannabis is a great example: while the dangers of cannabis are questionable to some, synthetic cannabis is a completely different beast, capable of causing massive harm and even accidental overdoses due to the uneven application of synthetic cannabinoids to dried plant matter.

The long-term side effects of many of these synthetic drugs are difficult to pinpoint, due to how varied the products can be, and due to the lack of a larger sample size. Most synthetic drugs, however, including cannabinoids and cathinones (bath salts) should be avoided at all costs.

All addictions can lead to an untimely death – but these are some of the worst drugs to be addicted to, and for good reason.


What Makes Los Angeles Drug Abuse So Notorious?

Los Angeles Drug Abuse | Transcend Recovery Community

Blow, crack, booze, weed. There are countless names for countless drugs in America, and in the eyes of many, Los Angeles drug abuse is about as common as it gets. Yet despite its notoriety, the City of Angels is not exactly the worst place in the country when it comes to drug abuse – although some could argue that it’s the most well-known.

Behind all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the homes of the upper class, Los Angeles is a city like any other, built on the backs of hard-working families, forged in the sweat of countless generations.

Millions of Americans inhabit and coexist on the streets of LA, throughout the different neighborhoods, soaking in the same California weather, living on the same little spot in the Golden State. Yet the disparaging differences between wealth and poverty can sometimes be jarring, and like any big city, crime is a major problem in LA.

But before you get the wrong idea about this city and its history with drugs and drug abuse, it’s important to take a look at the bigger picture and realize the sheer scale of drug usage and damage in the USA, across all 50 states.


Addiction Is Everywhere In America

Illicit drug use has been increasing nationwide, mostly due to a worsening opioid crisis that has been gripping the US for several years – the amalgam of bad medical policies, an influx of drugs from both abroad and at home, and a lagging healthcare system that struggles to help people, and educate them on how to get help.

Since the early days of addiction as a medical condition, to the era of the prohibition, and the last few decades of psychedelics and cocaine use, drugs have been a major problem in America for generations. Illegal drugs as well as alcohol have been the cause for thousands of drug-related deaths, from homicides and suicides driven by addiction and drug crime, to overdoses, accidents, and psychotic episodes.

Among Americans over the age of 12 back in 2013, about 9.4 percent of the population has recently used an illicit drug – and the number has been steadily rising these past five years. And contrary to some belief, Los Angeles drug abuse is not at the center of attention for addiction issues.

Statistics show that, regarding the recent and extremely volatile opioid crisis, the highest addiction rates come from prescription and heroin usage in the southern states, especially Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Alabama. Per capita, alcohol is more of an issue within the states of Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, Delaware and North Dakota than anywhere else. The top five states for marijuana usage are Alaska, Vermont, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. And methamphetamines, notorious for being easily made at home, while flowing from Mexico, and producing more drug-related offenses than any other illicit drug, is most pervasive in the south and Midwest in states like Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Montana.

Where does the notoriety come from? From drugs. They do exist, and there is Los Angeles drug abuse – as well as drug-related crime, which is a common issue for law enforcement. Explaining the prevalence of drugs and general notoriety of Los Angeles drug abuse requires a look into the factors that make drug use more common in a society.


A Populous City For Los Angeles Drug Abuse

Los Angeles is one of the most populous cities in America, with more than 4 million people, and all the trouble that comes with such a large population. Dense urban environments exist due to a demand and supply of work, and the hustle and bustle of LA is no different from any other metropolis, with the added caveat of unbearable heat at certain times of the year.

This also creates a problem with poverty and homelessness, which continues to be an issue in LA that fuels the use of drugs. Furthermore, a lack of comprehensive and wide-reaching drug treatment programs throughout the city to help young homeless people stay safe and get off drugs compounds the issue, and a lack of peripheral programs, such as needle exchange programs, creates more problems.

Policy is a major issue – the US lacks the healthcare system to deal with major diseases like addiction in a poor and uninsured population, and the impact made by charitable organizations is minimal.

Aside from the struggles of being an urban area, California’s proximity to the southern border and existing history of crime further leads to the presence of cartels in the state, and the result is criminal activity in the state on massive levels.


Glitz, Glamour, And Dope

Aside from drug use, Los Angeles is notorious in other ways – most notably the existence of Hollywood, and the glitz and glamour of the American entertainment business. However, it’s not all glamour – countless Los Angeles drug abuse scandals and more recent allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse have shown that, generally speaking, showbiz has its fair share of skeletons in the closet.

The pressure and stress of the business don’t help – people become commodities. A lack in ability or willingness to perform in the ultra-competitive environment of show business might lead to failure, so many push themselves to the edge and beyond trying to reach stardom, or maintain it.

The pressure of celebrity gets to most in one way or another, and some cannot deal with it in a healthy way – further contributing to Los Angeles drug abuse, and the city’s overall notoriety.


Stress Is the Number One Killer

The entertainment industry is not the only industry in Los Angeles that demands massive amounts of commitment, dedication, and hustle.

As any large city, “making it” can be difficult – and part of the stress of living in LA is living with its costs. As the country’s second-largest city, a tourist attraction for countless visitors, and a magnet for talent in every form, almost everything in LA is more expensive than in most other parts of the country. Rent alone sits at an average of over $2,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, and a little less the further out you go from the city center.

Stress from a combination of factors that all come together in this one city contributes greatly to rampant Los Angeles drug abuse issues that are difficult to address fully. Sober living communities and Los Angeles drug abuse treatment centers are doing their best to aid people in the struggle against addiction and make a difference in the lives of those in LA.


Why Has Prescription Drug Abuse Grown So Big?

prescription drug abuse | Transcend Recovery Community

The United States is a great country. But it’s also a country with flaws, and problems. Imperfections and embarrassments. It was built on certain values, values that at the time made way for a novel nation. Yet even then, it was undermined by societal problems, problems that took centuries to fix. Improving our country is a job that no one person can undertake, and it’ll take us generations. It all starts at home, with family. We protect our own, watch out for our neighbors, and strive to create safer, better communities. And part and parcel with that dream is fighting against the things that tear apart our families and destroy our lives.

For decades, this country has been struggling with an invisible problem – over medication and prescription drug abuse. At the root of that problem is a little plant. A pretty little flowering plant, called the poppy. Opium poppy is the world’s source of opiates, a family of drugs that affect the mind by binding to our opioid receptors, numbing pain and creating a sense of euphoria and happiness.

At first, a good thing. But it’s also highly addictive – and that addiction can lead to months and years of suffering, and finally, death. Opioids like heroin, morphine, and illegally-distributed fentanyl have been problems for decades – but it’s the more recent wave of prescription opioids that triggered today’s opioid epidemic, which currently is claiming more lives under the age of 50 than any other known cause of death.

To understand the prescription drug abuse problem, we must know where it came from. And from there, we must find a way to safeguard our families from its influence, and help those around us struggling with addiction begin a new life without drugs.


America’s Fight Against Pain

It all began with pain. Pain is unavoidable. Every now and again, you’re bound to trip and fall. But most of us can learn to fall a little less, and hurt a little less.

Then there are those among us that always hurt, regardless of whether they fell or not. Chronic pain has always existed, but it’s only with our growing life expectancy and that it’s become more and more common. From rare diseases like fibromyalgia, work-related injuries, nerve problems like sciatica, aging pains and pain resulting from obesity and lifestyle-related diseases, chronic pain has been on a rise for a while.

Then, in the 90s, American doctors decided it was time for an official policy to declare a war on pain. It was specifically in the late 90s, when a panel issued guidelines for more prescription painkillers to help sufferers of chronic pain.

From there, “compassionate care” grew. Doctors were prescribing more medication, and state policy for various parts of the country became increasingly positive towards drug-related pain management. Over the course of a decade from ’97 to 2007, the consumption of opioids like methadone and oxycodone grew 13-fold and 9-fold respectively. This meant many were being prescribed far too much, which meant having a lot of unused medication – a problem to this day.

As sales of opioids skyrocketed, so did non-medical use and prescription drug abuse. While it wasn’t overwhelmingly common, those who suffered from chronic pain and took opioids were also most at risk for developing an addiction. And many did.

This lead to a massive jump in accidental overdoses. And ever since, the death toll has grown.


A Big Misunderstanding

Heroin, opium and oxycodone are all essentially the same thing, with varying degrees of potency. We’re talking about a drug that triggers a numbing effect, and makes you feel better – all while carrying an immense risk for addiction.

However, because the latter drug is prescribed by a doctor and not peddled by a drug dealer, it’s more trustworthy – and therein was the misunderstanding. Prescription drugs are still very dangerous, and not to be treated lightly. Drugs like morphine and oxycodone have their role to play in emergency rooms, and for end-of-life care – but overprescribing these medications to chronic pain patients is putting them in harm’s way – especially considering the potential ineffectiveness of opioids in treating chronic pain and potential for prescription drug abuse.


It’s Not Just Prescription Drug Abuse

Major steps have been taken to cut down on prescription drug abuse, particularly by restricting the pace at which doctors can distribute them. However, that has since given way to a new problem. With a dwindling legal supply of prescription opioids and growing grassroots movements and community efforts to reduce the number of pills in American families and households, those who already struggled with painkillers found a new, illegal means to satisfy their urge: heroin.

Heroin is an illegal substance, which means its production isn’t regulated or monitored for quality. This means it’s often cut with other substances to increase bulk, and infused with a more potent, cheaper synthetic drug to maintain street value. The result can often be an accidental overdose, and death – or lifelong disability.

Since heroin has become popular again, it’s been flooding into the United States at an elevated pace. States where drug use has been historically high – such as Vermont – and counties and towns along known drug routes are now seeing an influx of heroin use, as well.

Many first-time opioid addicts today are no longer getting hooked by prescription drug abuse, but heroin itself. Whether this is because of the increased demand for the drug following prescription drug regulations or some other reason hasn’t been conclusively studied – but the fact is that this is an even bigger danger than opioid medication, which has some assurance of safety if prescribed and supplied by a real doctor.

There is no easy factor to blame, or reason to pin. It’s a complicated mess of things, ranging from the slow death of industrial America and our recent financial crisis and depression, new wars with returning veterans struggling with the trauma and physical pain of combat, to the rising cost of living and stagnating wages, and the growing gap between rich and poor.


Dealing with Our Opioid Crisis

As individuals, we can’t fix our country overnight. But we can help each other stay alive, and live a better life: A life without prescription drug abuse. Whether it means showing compassion to a neighbor, helping your spouse stay sober, or signing into a sober living community yourself, there’s always something you can do.


What Are The Warning Signs Of Opioid Abuse?

Opioid Abuse Signs | Transcend Recovery Community

We’re living in a time when opioid abuse is at an all-time high in the US. Not only is the United States the world’s biggest consumer of opioids, but it’s struggling with one of the worst heroin epidemics in recent memory.

The only comparison that doesn’t pale completely is 18th century China, when roughly a third of the country was addicted to opium. At the time, it took several reforms, international intervention, major changes in trade, a war and a cultural revolution before the opium epidemic began to lessen in severity. That alone should hint at how much of a scourge addiction is.

Opioids are also not just any addiction. Opioids, in all their forms, are among the most powerful and addictive drugs on the planet. Derived from the poppy plant, opioids describe any non-synthetic and synthetic derivatives of a special alkaloid compound that attaches to receptors in the human brain, causing an analgesic and euphoric effect.

In other words, we’re talking about a family of substances that act as powerful painkillers, and cause feelings of pure joy. While that sounds great on the surface, these substances also come with a side-effect: an often-lethal addiction. Here are a few common opioids, as well as more information on how the addiction develops, and can be identified.


Here’s What Classifies As An Opioid

Opioids are both natural and synthetic derivatives of opium (either chemically derived from the poppy plant, or designed with opium’s function in mind), including:

  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Carfentanyl

These are the generic names for most well-known opioids, but they have separate brand names as well. Commonly known brand names for opioids include:

  • OxyContin®
  • Percocet®
  • Vicodin®
  • Percodan®
  • Tylox®
  • Demerol®

Beyond that, an opioid may also refer to any substance that exhibits very similar symptoms or functions to natural or synthetic opiates. An opiate, on the other hand, refers to any derivative of opium. Opium itself is addictive and effective as a painkiller, but is nowhere near as powerful as its later derivatives, most famously codeine, morphine and heroin.


Physical Symptoms Of Opioid Abuse

Opioids in and of itself have great medical applications, particularly as painkillers for post-surgery or emergency room situations. They’re also often used in end-of-life care, particularly with terminal cancer patients. However, when subject to misuse, they can cause significant physical side-effects including:

  • Constipation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory difficulty/respiratory arrest
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Drowsiness

As an addictive drug, opioid abuse can lead to withdrawal symptoms, which are mostly flu-like. Although opioid withdrawals are not as fatal as alcohol withdrawals, they can be quite painful and uncomfortable.


Behavioral Changes

Beyond the physical symptoms of opioid abuse, there are a few other ways in which an opioid addiction will change someone – specifically behaviorally. Opioid abuse can lead to:

  • Dramatic mood shifts
  • Unexpected and noticeable euphoria
  • Social isolation
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Recklessness

Most forms of addiction will lead to behavioral changes, as people typically try and cover up their drug use. They may go out of their way to create an illusion that everything is fine, which inadvertently can cause suspicion.

Other common changes from opioid abuse include financial trouble, excessive amounts of stress, and erratic behavior at work or at home. Finding drug paraphernalia is an obvious sign of use as well.


Long-Term Effects

Heroin and other opioid abuse can cause long-term changes in the body, some of which may be irreversible. For example: there may be evidence to suggest that heroin use leads to the deterioration of white matter in the brain. This affects learning and can slow cognition.

Other long-term behavioral changes include difficulty in decision-making and a difficulty with mood regulation and behavioral control. In short, heroin use can lead to long-term deficiency in brain function, thus impairing your thinking, reasoning and memory. This can also affect your ability to plan, solve problems, and multitask.

The brain is a remarkable organ, but it takes time to recover from abuse. Any damage to the brain can take decades to resolve, or even be permanent. The only way to know for sure is to keep working on improving your brain health after an addiction, through exercising, a healthy diet, and regular mental challenges such as tackling math, literature, or certain strategy games.


Treating Opioid Abuse

As dangerous and powerful as opioid abuse is, it can be “defeated” – or in more apt words, an addiction to opioids can be overcome. But it isn’t easy. Heroin and other opioids continue to be one of the harder addictions to beat, because of their inherent addictiveness, and availability. If it isn’t through prescription medication on the black market, then it’s through the heroin on the streets.

Overcoming addiction is difficult no matter what you’re addicted to, but some vices give you a longer period to cut yourself off from them. With heroin, your chances are a bit slimmer – but they’re there, and you’re by no means hopeless.

It’s not as easy as just checking into a treatment facility or Los Angeles Sober Living, though. Recovery is a life-changing process, and you’ll need all the help you can get. But with the help of your loved ones, your friends, and a little bit of luck, you can reclaim your life and live drug-free again.

Where Did Fentanyl Addiction And Abuse Come From?

Fentanyl Addiction & Abuse \ Transcend Recovery Community

Fentanyl addiction is from a drug among the most bewilderingly powerful opioids in the world. Up to 100 times more potent than morphine, the lethal dosage of fentanyl is about 2 milligrams. Because of its potency, illegal fentanyl is the cause for an alarming number of overdoses, especially in the growing opioid epidemic that has seized the nation.

It’s a drug so powerful that law enforcement crime labs must carry shots of naloxene, to save the lives of their own crew if one of them come into accidental contact (such as inhaling a cloud of the stuff kicked up in a bust) with a dose of fentanyl or its more potent cousin, carfentanil.

To understand what fentanyl is, why it exists, and why Fentanyl addiction is becoming a growing problem, we’ll start by tackling the drug itself.


Exploring Fentanyl Addiction And Traits

Unlike opium, heroin, and other poppy-derived analgesics, fentanyl is a synthetic opiate. First discovered by Paul Janssen some four decades ago, fentanyl and its deadlier cousin carfentanil have gained much deserved notoriety recently for being chiefly responsible for the deaths and overdoses of hundreds of opiate addicts throughout the United States. Often imported through China, which until recently was not regulating fentanyl, it makes its way into the hands of heroin producers who lace their product with the drugs to increase potency at a low cost.

Fentanyl, due to its purely synthetic production, is hard to regulate. Not only can it be illegally manufactured and sold through China, but someone with rudimentary equipment could turn it into an equally or more potent version of Fentanyl addiction not yet passed through regulation.

From a business perspective, selling fentanyl is incredibly risky. Reports have come out that pills disguised as Xanax or Oxycodone have been laced with, or replaced with pure fentanyl on the streets. Combine that with the fact that many heroin users might inadvertently overdose off a new product they haven’t tested before, and it quickly becomes a way to thin out your supply of customers. Since the introduction of fentanyl to America’s black market, opioid overdoses have risen dramatically.

That isn’t to say that the US hasn’t been using fentanyl medically. Fentanyl is typically used as a pain medication after surgery, and in the late stages of terminal cancer. It’s given either laced on blotter paper (the same stuff used to distribute LSD), or in the form of a medical lozenge (a fentanyl lollipop). Due to its potency and risk of Fentanyl addiction, other applications may be too dangerous.


The Dangers Of Fentanyl In Heroin

The way fentanyl and other opiates kill is quite simple. Due to its potency, fentanyl and its cousin aren’t just mere opiates anymore – their potency borders on nerve gas. In fact, it’s been stated of carfentanil several times that its potency is high enough to justify seeing it as a chemical weapon. These are drugs powerful enough to kill people with a few specks of dust.

The drugs bind with the opiate receptors in the brain, inducing an extremely powerful high at the cost of respiratory function. Numbing the body, the drug induces respiratory failure by making it hard, if not impossible to breathe. Your body stops respiration.

The reason it’s so dangerous isn’t just the fact that it is so potent. It’s the fact that it’s impossible to spot. Today’s crisis in America draws its origins from the days of wanton prescriptions in the 80s and 90s, when painkillers were quite abundant, and the medical world was encouraged to sell as many of them as possible. Its full history goes back even further. It wasn’t until after some time that it became apparent just how great the potential for Fentanyl addiction is with opiate-based painkillers – so regulations came in to bottleneck the supply and cut people off from an overflow of drugs.

With no legal alternative and no real access to drug addiction treatment for addiction, or any concrete knowledge around the subject, thousands of Americans turned to other means to satisfy their newfound craving: chief among them was heroin. For a time, heroin was solely responsible for a new and growing list of overdoses, as those who struggled to find a way to keep their addiction under control took increasingly larger doses to fight tolerance, until one day, their dosage killed them.

But when fentanyl-laced heroin became popular, the massively increased potency of the drug led to a new, longer string of overdoses and Fentanyl addiction.

There is no simple solution to Fentanyl addiction – not now, decades after the problem has grown and evolved. But there are measures we can all take to slow, and eventually stop the problem, and they start with education and awareness. No one wants to die from an overdose, and no one wants their life to turn into an endless cycle of withdrawal and blurry euphoria. People need to understand that there are ways to find help for Fentanyl addiction, and that they work. A Los Angeles sober living is a good place to recovery from addiction.

Despite the growth in Fentanyl addiction overdoses over the past few years, a miniscule percentage of Americans actively seek treatment for their Fentanyl addiction or other drug addictions. Healthcare costs are partially to blame, making treatment often unfeasible for those in low-income households. In many other cases, the shame and stigma attached to addiction deters people from admitting their Fentanyl addiction problem and seeking help. But through friends, family, and community leadership, drug addiction can be tackled in a constructive way to lead to less deaths and better recovery.