For many individuals and families across the world, substance dependence is no stranger. It has impacted people from all walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds. Drug use is becoming a problem in the lives of those who have suffered from trauma. It’s also having a negative impact on those who are struggling with chronic pain. Individuals who are suffering from the effects of stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders also experience drug dependence. Many individuals use drugs in order to deal with these issues and, as a result, become dependent on these commonly used drugs. People deal with substance abuse and dependence for different reasons. And there are many types of drugs which offer temporary relief from people’s sufferings. Let’s talk about some of the most commonly used drugs and how they impact the people who use them.

Some of the Common Causes of Substance Use

As we’ve already mentioned, people use drugs for various reasons. Some use prescription painkillers as a way to deal with recurring pain. For example, a person may use OxyContin to treat chronic migraines and headaches. Those who are suffering from various chronic pain, such as back or neck pain, often receive prescriptions for opioid or narcotic medications. These meds are commonly used drugs because of one main reason: they help block pain. And, since they “work”, people tend to use them without thought of their negative impact. Also, there are some other reasons why people use prescription medications besides chronic pain. Many people who are dealing with things like sleep disorders, depression, or anxiety do the right thing by seeking professional help in dealing with these issues. Unfortunately, many doctors prescribe habit-forming drugs for their patients. Although these substances tend to heighten people’s moods or sleep better, issues can occur.

As individuals begin to use these drugs more and more, they may begin to become emotionally and mentally dependent on them. As a result, the individuals may believe that they can’t manage without the drugs. They may feel as if they will not be able to deal with the pain or address their disorder in any other way besides drug use. Their bodies may also become physically dependent on the substance. This often leads to drug abuse problems. When a person suffers from substance abuse, he or she uses the drug outside of their recommended use. So, for example, a person’s doctor may direct the patient to take pain meds a certain amount of times per day. But, the individual may begin to take the medication more frequently than that. Or, the person may take a higher dosage than directed.

Identifying Some Commonly Used Drugs

It’s important to mention that prescription and legal drugs are not the only commonly used drugs. People have also become dependent on illicit drugs for the same reasons that people have grown to depend on prescription drugs. Some people turn to illicit drugs in order to escape from the physical and emotional pain. Many use these drugs because they are sometimes more easily accessible than prescription drugs. Some of the most commonly used drugs in the United States include the following:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Painkillers
  • Methamphetamine
  • Benzos (i.e. Xanax)
  • Amphetamines (i.e. Adderall)
  • Marijuana (also known as cannabis)
  • Alcohol (often referred to as a drug)

Regardless of whether a drug is illicit or legal, it’s important to realize that many of the commonly used drugs can cause substance dependence. And, when an individual becomes emotionally, physically, and mentally dependent on a drug, it can be extremely difficult to stop using the substance.

Thankfully, professional treatment can help individuals to overcome substance misuse and dependence. If you or someone you know has been dealing with drug use problems, contact us here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services to learn how we can help.

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