6 Ways that Addiction Is the Same Across the World

6 Ways that Addiction Is the Same Across the World

Addiction affects every country and social and economic class

Addiction is a global problem; in fact, according to drugabuse.gov, over 5% of all people between the ages of 15 and 64 struggle with drug abuse (“Addiction Science: From Molecules to Managed Care”). Addiction can be found in every country and among every social and economic class, so, while individual addiction experiences always vary, some aspects of addiction are universal. In other words, while California drug addicts are all unique individuals, they will probably struggle with the following six issues.

Addiction Is Physical

Addiction is a physical disease, so, no matter where California residents live or what their lives have entailed, drugs physically affect the body and mind. Conversely, addiction may be a direct response to genetics, preexisting mental health concerns or physical or emotional pain. While the physical and genetic aspects of addiction do not excuse its existence or continuation, they do explain the global experience of addiction.

Addiction Is Social

Addiction is a social disease. The Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research explains that factors associated with addiction include “the availability, cost and method of administration, as well as environmental factors such as behaviors acceptable in a community…Addiction to drugs and alcohol is increasingly becoming a worldwide trend in lifestyle that is prevalent in rich and poor countries alike” (“Drug Addiction: A Global Problem for the Rich and Poor,” June 2009). Accepted behaviors, peer acceptance and lifestyle trends make drug abuse seem acceptable or even encouraged, which directly affects the growth and development of addiction. In other words, aspects of a California resident’s life may encourage drug abuse.

Addiction Contributes to Crime

Addiction fuels petty theft, black markets and global crime levels. California drug addicts may steal to support their habits, while “a number of addictive substances are illegal in most countries, and this fuels the illegal drug trafficking and business that are often associated with criminal activities” (Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research). Addiction impacts countries and cultures as a whole, even if the disease originates at smaller, localized levels.

Addiction Costs Society

Alternet.org explains that treating all substance-dependent individuals would cost $250 billion a year. This seems like a staggering amount of money, yet “The $250 billion required for adequate treatment amounts to about 0.3 – 0.4 percent of the world’s GDP…Lost productivity related to drug abuse has much a higher price—each year, it costs the US at least 0.9 percent per capita” (“UN Report: Global Treatment of Drug Addicts Costs $250 Billion,” June 27, 2012). Even removing the personal cost to individual California families, addiction is still more costly than treatment and recovery on a global scale.

Addiction Is Stigmatized

Even as drug use becomes increasingly normalized across all cultures, addiction remains globally stigmatized and misunderstood. The Lancet explains that, regarding addiction, its “stigma is a pervasive influence on disease and responses of nations, communities, families and individuals to illness” (“Stigma and Global Health: Developing a Research Agenda,” 2006). No matter the disease, misconceptions and misunderstandings limit the treatment available, its efficacy and the willingness of California residents to seek it. In other words, changing global opinions about addiction can change access to treatment.

Treatment for California Drug Addicts

Addiction is a global disease, but a disease with scientifically-backed treatment options. While there is no cure for drug dependency, management and support are nevertheless available. California residents can lead drug-free lives and find the fun and joy that come with sobriety. If you are ready to begin your journey to wellness, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. No matter where you live, our admissions coordinators can help you find proven treatment options to recover from addiction, so call now to begin recovery today.

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