Ontario Drug Abuse: What You Need to Know
Denial is often the most noteworthy symptom of addiction, with some addicts willing to do anything to avoid the reality that drugs have overtaken their lives. Before you write off your drug use a harmless, consider these frightening statistics:
- Drug overdose deaths in Ontario have doubled since 1999.
- Heroin use is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions in South Ontario.
- There were 318 meth lab incidents in Ontario in 2012.
- About 8% of Ontario residents admit to abusing illegal drugs during the last year.
- You’re more likely to abuse another person while under the influence of drugs.
- Men account for the majority (about 60%) of Ontario drug addicts, but drug abuse rates among women are on the rise.
- Whites account for the overwhelming majority of drug users.
- Most drug addicts are not homeless; instead, drug addicts live among all of us, and are often productive and seemingly healthy members of society. Anyone can fall prey to the disease of addiction.
What is Detox?
To the outsider looking in, drug addiction might seem like a choice. It is anything but. Instead, addiction produces measurable changes in your brain and body that keep you using. Over time, addicts become so physically dependent on drugs and alcohol that their body behaves as if it needs these substances to stay alive. When you suddenly stop using, you experience intense physical and psychological symptoms as your body goes through withdrawal.
Addicts often face depression, anxiety, headaches, muscle cramps, sleep disturbances, excessive sweating, changes in mood, suicidal thoughts, nausea, restlessness, and similar symptoms. Occasionally, symptoms turn severe, especially among those with compromised immune systems, a long history of drug abuse, or a history of abusing multiple substances. Consequently, it’s extremely important to seek professional assistance rather than risking detox alone.
Detox typically lasts between 5-7 days, but your length of detox will vary depending on your health, which drugs you use, and how long you have used them.
What Does Your Detox Center Offer?
Detox centers should offer comprehensive care that addresses your psychological and physical needs. This include:
- Management of your detox symptoms as they occur.
- Assessment of whether you can safely detox.
- The use of drugs, where possible, to reduce cravings. Some addicts can take substances that reduce their cravings, thereby alleviating some of the pain of detox. For instance, a number of drugs are available for alcohol abuse.
- Psychological support to manage the emotional pain of coping without drugs for the first time.
- Long-term planning for your psychological and physical health. Your doctor should talk to you about any long-term effects of drug use, strategies you can adopt to mitigate these effects, and lifestyle remedies that can reduce the pain of detox while helping you resist longer-term drug use temptation.