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Myths and Facts on Drug Addictions

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Myth. Drug Addiction is a bad habit which causes moral weakness and over-indulgence.

Fact Drug Addiction is a chronic, life-threatening condition, like hypertension, atherosclerosis and adult diabetes.

Fact. Genetics and substance abuse - Drug Addiction has roots in generic susceptibility, social circumstance and personal behavior.

Fact. Certain drugs are highly addictive, rapidly causing biochemical and structural changes in the brain. Others can be used for longer periods of time before they begin to cause inescapable cravings and compulsive use.

Myth If an Addict has enough will power, he or she can stop abusing alcohol and using drugs.

Fact. Few people addicted to alcohol and other drugs can simply stop using them, no matter how strong their inner resolve. Most need one or more courses of structured substance abuse treatment to reduce or end their dependence on alcohol and other drugs.

Myth. Many people relapse, so treatment obviously does not work.

Fact Like virtually any other medical treatment, Addiction treatment cannot guarantee lifelong health. Relapse, often a part of the Recovery process, is always possible, and treatable Even if a person never achieves perfect abstinence, Addiction treatment can reduce the number and duration of relapses, minimize related problems such as crime and poor overall health, improve the individual's ability to function in daily life and strengthen the individual to better cope with the next temptation or craving. These improvements reduce the social and economic costs of addiction.

Myth We have reached the limits of what we can do to treat Drug addiction.

Fact The more we learn about addiction, the more effective substance abuse Recovery programs become. Matching clients to the services they most need, while supporting continuous and focused engagement in treatment is imperative. Today's treatment providers are better able to do this than ever before.

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Substance abuse adds substantially to the nation's health care bill. Studies show that adequate and accessible treatment is the most effective method to improve the health of Drug abusers and relieve the burden of drug-related health care costs.

Substance Abuse and Health Care Costs.

About one-third of AIDS cases are related to intravenous Drug use, and 90 percent of pedantic AIDS cases are related to maternal exposure to HIV.

Untreated alcoholics incur general health care costs that are at least 100 percent higher than those of the non-alcoholic. More than 5 percent (221,000) of the 4 million women who give birth each year use illicit drugs during their pregnancy, with expenditures ranging from $48,000 to $150,000 for each delivery.

Substance abuse treatment reduces hospital admission rates by 38 percent. Hospital admissions for Drug overdose decreased by 58 percent among those treated.

Substance and Drug abuse treatments are given by the Minnesota Alcohol and Other Drug Authority and saves $22 million in annual health care.

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