Weighing the Pros and Cons of Drug Abuse
Understanding and weighing the pros and cons of drug abuse is often a part of the process for someone who is trying to decide if they need addiction treatment and if this path will be worth it for them to begin. If you or someone you love is looking for substance abuse treatment, call 800-681-7369Who Answers? now or search our directory.
Why Don’t Some People Want to Seek Treatment?
Drug abuse starts out as a voluntary action in most cases, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But over time, it changes the way the brain works, causing a person to not be able to choose when they want to use and when they don’t. Many individuals become addicts and experience problems in their lives that are caused by their inability to stop using or control their use of drugs. But by this point, they will often not want to stop because of how the drug has changed their brain, or if they do want to stop, they will not be able to on their own.
Drug addiction also makes a person lie: to themselves and to everyone else. Some people tell themselves they don’t need treatment when they do or they start to feel that everyone is pushing against them and trying to force them to seek help when they don’t really need it. It makes people avoid treatment and the pleas of their loved ones because they want to keep using.
As a result, many people don’t seek help voluntarily until their substance abuse has become a real problem. But whenever an individual does decide to seek the treatment they need, weighing the pros and cons of drug abuse is usually part of the process.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Drug Abuse
If you are considering whether or not your substance abuse is causing more problems or benefits in your life and whether or not it would be a better option to seek treatment, you are at a good place. This means you are truly ready to consider the consequences of your substance abuse. However, as stated above, becoming an addict can cause a person to ignore the downsides of their substance abuse and to lie to themselves. This is why it is important to really consider how this issue is affecting your whole life.
Drug abuse can affect many aspects of an individual’s life and the lives of those they interact with on a day-to-day basis.
- Positives: Some people start using drugs in order to increase their performance in work, school, or sports. They may also do so to take the edge off of the daily stressors caused by their professional life.
- Negatives: However, many people experience problems at work and school because of their substance abuse. According to the National Library of Medicine, addiction can cause a person to “miss… work or school.” And, while a person may start out using drugs to increase their performance, continued and frequent use will often lead to a decreased performance.
- Positives: Some individuals start abusing drugs in order to increase their sociability or to make friends with other people who use. This can start out making a person feel good about their social self but can quickly turn problematic.
- Negatives: When a person starts using all the time, their social relationships tend to suffer. They will only want to spend time with those who use and, often, others will start to become concerned about their drug use. In many cases, drug addiction causes long-term relationships to dissolve and people to burn bridges with those they care deeply for.
- Positives: Many people believe their drug use will make them feel better physically or even, in the case of anabolic steroids, become physically stronger.
- Negatives: Substance abuse actually leads a person to experiencing more medical issues than they would have if they had avoided this behavior. Many individuals become sick or contract diseases from their drug use before they seek treatment.
- Positives: As stated above, some individuals use drugs to cope with stress or other psychological issues, including mental disorders (NIDA).
- Negatives: However, when one seeks substance abuse as a kind of coping mechanism, it can usually make psychological problems much worse.
In addition to these issues, substance abuse has a number of other possible negative effects, including
- Creating legal issues for those who get caught using or selling
- Causing individuals to be in inebriated states where they are more vulnerable to dangers like muggings and assault
- Causing individuals to get into car accidents or other types of accidents because they are inebriated or high
Weighing Continued Drug Abuse Against Treatment
Some people refuse to seek the treatment they need because they feel it will be a better solution for them to merely continue using drugs than to look for help. This myth exists for a number of reasons.
- Belief: Treatment for addiction costs more than drug abuse.
- Reality: Treatment is less expensive than continued use.
- According to the NIDA, rehab is much more cost effective for the country than the other solutions for substance abuse, which include continued use and prison. But it is also cheaper the individual who seeks help than for the same person to feed a habit that can sometimes cost upwards of several hundred dollars a day.
- Belief: Treatment doesn’t work. I don’t want to waste my time and money for nothing.
- Reality: Addiction treatment has been found to be incredibly effective.
- Evidence-based practices like medication and behavioral therapy have been used for almost fifty years to create a safe recovery model for individuals in treatment. In addition, new and holistic treatments have been increasing the benefits of rehab.
- Belief: If I relapse, it means my treatment didn’t work, and I won’t be able to recover.
- Reality: Relapse is often a part of recovery, but it doesn’t mean treatment has failed.
- Many people relapse at some point during their addiction recovery, but those who do must continue on their path and seek help when needed. This is the only way to create real change.
Treatment is cheaper, more successful, and safer than continued substance abuse, which means it can actually help you make a positive change in your life.
How Has Substance Abuse Affected My Life?
Consider your life and the way that substance abuse has affected it. Now, begin to weigh the pros and cons of drug abuse as it has affected you.
- Has my substance abuse caused problems between me and my friends and family members?
- Have I lost any relationships because of my drug use?
- Have I experienced any health problems associated with my drug use?
- Do I notice my eating, sleeping, hygiene, etc. habits are less healthy because of my substance abuse?
- Has my work taken a downturn, either in school or at my job, and have other people begun to notice?
- Have I been suspended, fired, or otherwise formally reprimanded in my professional life for issues related to my substance use?
- Have I lied to others in order to obtain or use more drugs?
- Have I stolen to get what I wanted?
- Have I found myself doing things I never thought I would do because I wanted another fix?
- Is using the only way I can feel good or good about myself?
- Have I experienced legal problems associated with my addiction?
- Do I feel like I am less able to cope with stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings now than I used to be?
- Does a large amount of my money go to maintaining my substance use habit, and is this beginning to affect my finances?
- Have I ever put myself or someone I cared about in danger because I wanted to use drugs?
If you have been using drugs for a long time, or even for only a month, there is a possibility that you have experienced at least one of these negative consequences. Weighing the pros and cons of drug abuse can help you to finally realize the truth: you lose a lot more than you gain when you use, and seeking treatment is often the only way to make a real change.
How Can I Find the Help I Need?
We can match you with safe, effective rehab programs all over the country that will benefit your current situation. In addition, we can answer any questions you may have about treatment and recovery, including which rehab programs will take your insurance plan. Call 800-681-7369Who Answers? now and begin your recovery today.