Drug Addiction In Alberta
Once it was thought that a person was a drug addict or alcoholic only if he needed the drug daily, or if he went through withdrawal symptoms (vomiting, seizures, cramps, death) when he abruptly stopped using the substance. It was thought that alcoholics and drug addicts were unemployed, poor, and from the inner city.
These are misconceptions. Many drug addicts do not use drugs or alcohol daily and do not experience physical withdrawal when they stop using. The majority of addicted people are employed and appear to be functioning normally.
Three aspects that characterize drug addiction are:
Loss of control: The user cannot predict what will happen when he uses the substance. One day he may be able to stop after one drink, or after one line of cocaine; the next day he may not be able to control his use at all. Compulsive preoccupation: The addict spends a great deal of time thinking about the substance. Continued use despite negative consequences: If drinking or drug use causes problems but one continues to do it, one is tempted addiction or is already addicted. The person has lost voluntary control of the use of that substance. A nonuser or casual alcohol/drug user may have difficulty understanding why addicts don't just stop. Use and abuse of psychoactive (mood-altering) drugs seem to be voluntary; addiction seems to be characterized by involuntary, compulsive use. In most cases, drug addicts don't stop because they are addicted. They cannot stop on their own.
There has been controversy over the cause of addiction. Historically, it was thought that addiction was caused by lack of willpower, by poverty, moral weakness, mental illness, genetics, family socialization, anti-social personalities, and societal problems. Some scientists believe drug addiction is a disease, although the evidence to support this theory is weak.
The Drug: Some drugs are more addictive than others. This is due to the pharmacology of the substance, and how it affects the mood of the user.
The Addict: People who have low self-concepts, who feel bad about themselves, have a higher rate of addiction. People with low self-concepts use psychoactive substances either to enhance or create pleasure in their lives or to decrease the constant emotional pain they live with. The better a person feels about himself, the less likely he will be to use or abuse psychoactive substances. A society that has easy access to drugs, that has a population that is "addiction-prone" due to physical or emotional pain, and that has pro-use or unclear norms, is a society prone to addiction.
The Environment: In our biochemical society, we hear mixed messages about the use of psychoactive drugs. Some, such as alcohol and tobacco, are accepted, while the use of hard drugs is condemned. Some drug use is glamorized in the media, while different parts of the country have different standards for public intoxication. All of this makes it easier for people to accept drug use as "normal."
Drug abuse is the excessive use of legal mood-altering substances and the use of illegal drugs. Drug addiction is the extreme end of a continuum that starts with the first use of drugs or alcohol and progresses through experimentation and abuse to addiction.
Professional treatment and prevention programs and community-based organizations are available to help the addict and his family. These resources can help with education, intervention, and treatment of the addict and those who care about.
AADAC statistics on drug use: 68% were male and 32% were female. 1% were minors; 19% were aged 18 to 24; 74% were aged 25 to 54, and 6% were aged 55 or older. 46% were single (never married), 33% were married/common-law/partnered, 10% were separated; another 10% were divorced, and 2% were widowed. 57% had completed high school. 54% reported being employed full-time or part-time or being self-employed. The most frequent occupations reported were construction (24%) and sales/service (19%).
As part of their first assessment, clients receiving assistance from AADAC are asked to identify why they are looking for treatment. Most of the individuals at AADAC adult services for their own use were looking for treatment related to their consumption of alcohol (58%) or other drugs (58%). Fewer clients were seeking for treatment related to gambling (9%) or tobacco use (5%).
Ravers in the province viewed heroin, crack cocaine, and speed/crystal meth as the most hazardous drugs. Heroin and crack cocaine were also judged “dirty” and “unattractive” drugs by interviewees. Cannabis and mushrooms were seen as the least harmful substances, even rated as less harmful than alcohol and tobacco by rave Safe survey respondents.
If you have drug troubles in Alberta, contact drug rehab services Alberta, and we will gladly assist you.
Canada’s wealthiest province is getting a reputation for that of hard drug addiction and deaths. The boom in the economy due to oil has made it a playground for any dealer. Every drug possible is available if people just know where to look. Workers on the oil fields have even reported that their boss has offered them cash in exchange for selling crack and cocaine to the others on the field. Numerous suicides on the oil fields have been linked back to drug abuse.
Tragically, within the last few years though, it is the deaths of three teens who have taken ecstasy that have drawn the most attention. In Alberta’s capital city, there is a huge problem with youth taking drugs, and most often it is at the largest mall. West Edmonton Mall is quickly getting a bad reputation with its Friday night teens-only Rock N Ride. While there is security present at every entrance, and patrolling the rides, teens easily bring in drugs in their pockets or down their shirts. It is so bad that teens are reporting the exact location to find ecstasy (sold in front of a store in the mall) if they are one of the few who come in without the drug.
Alberta is divided into its drug use though. Southern Alberta is more prevalent with meth, that is frequently smuggled into Saskatchewan, the province to the east. Cocaine is more common in the northern half of Alberta. However, all of Alberta’s favorite forms of the drug are alcohol with more than eighty percent of Albertans reporting drinking.
We have noticed an increase in people who became addicted to prescription medication such as painkillers, benzodiazepine , etc. The increase should be considered major compare to 15 years ago.
Police are doing their best to stop the amounts of drugs that enter the province’s streets. Most recently the police arrested sixty-five people and laid a total of one hundred and fifty charges. The police are ever hopeful that by stopping the sale of drugs for a few days, it will make a difference; however, they do know they are fighting an uphill battle in this province. Alberta will need more and more help to get rid of drug addiction in its territory.