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Illegal drug Addiction in Alabama
injecting drugs for crack addiction

Illegal drug Addiction in Alabama

Illegal drugs have scourged communities across the country, causing a mass of problems that are costly in both lives and fortune. When an individual falls into addiction, their primary drive becomes the acquisition and use of the substance. Illegal drug addiction in Alabama can be brought to an end with professional treatment at a facility that specializes in substance abuse problems.

What Are Illegal drugs?

Illegal drugs are substances that are commonly sold on the street by dealers. Heroin, cocaine and crystal meth are the most common causes of illegal drug addiction in the state of Alabama. These drugs are used to produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation or energy and confidence, depending on whether the drug is a narcotic or a stimulant. Illegal drugs are often cut with a variety of substances that can be harmful to the user. The purity and strength of the drug is often uncertain, which puts the user at constant risk for overdose. Cravings for the drug takes precedence over all other concerns in the addict’s life. Over time, the use of illegal drugs creates a range of personal and social problems, causing the individual to spiral further and further into addiction.

Statistics on Illegal Drug Use in Alabama

According to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, about 2.5 percent of Alabama residents over the age of 12 had used or were addicted to illegal drugs in 2013. This figure is similar to the national average on illegal drugs. About 8.8 percent of adolescents in the state reported using illicit drugs during the month prior to the survey in the period between 2009 and 2013. In 2013, the largest number of arrests for possession of illegal drugs, like opiates and cocaine, occurred in Mobile County. Additionally, the use of crystal meth is increasing in the state of Alabama. This data indicates that the need for professional treatment facilities throughout the state is critical for the health and safety of Alabama residents.


Heroin is a white or brown powder that is derived from morphine, which is made from opium from the poppy plant. It is a highly addictive substance that has been classified as a Schedule I narcotic by the United States government. Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected into the body to achieve the effects of the drug. An addiction can form rather quickly because heroin changes the neurotransmitter chemistry in the brain. This is why addiction is considered a brain disease that requires treatment, similar to any other disease. The normal feelings of pleasure and reward can no longer occur without the help of the drug. In order to break the cycle of addiction, the individual must detox from the drug and learn of techniques to resist the overpowering cravings that come about because of the altered brain chemistry.


Cocaine is a white powder that is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. It can be snorted or injected. Cocaine can also come in the form of a hard, crystalline substance that is smoked, known as “crack.” Cocaine produces a feeling of heightened energy and confidence with euphoria, making it highly addictive. Cocaine addiction can lead to severe physical and mental problems. Individuals who are addicted to cocaine require treatment to help them resist the cravings that keep them dependent on the substance. Cocaine has been designated as a Schedule II stimulant drug, with a strong potential for addiction.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine, a drug that can be easily synthesized from common chemicals. The effects of crystal meth are powerful, causing heightened energy, self-esteem and feelings of power that instigates users to engage in activities that are often dangerous and ill advised. Crystal meth is generally smoked, but it can also be snorted or injected for a more powerful effect. The long-term use of crystal meth has a number of detrimental effects on both the body and mind. Furthermore, crystal meth is a Schedule II stimulant drug, and its use can lead to death. Professional treatment is required to help individuals deal with cravings that keep them from breaking the cycle of addiction.

Health Risks from Illegal drug Addiction

Illegal drug addiction in Alabama can cause of a number of health problems:

  • Heroin health effects – Long-term use of heroin can lead to collapsed veins, cardiovascular problems, malnutrition, blood diseases and the risk of infection with sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.
  • Cocaine health effects – Long-term use can cause cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, loss of sense of smell, extreme weight loss, and allergic reactions that can result in death.
  • Crystal Meth health effects – Tooth loss, skin problems, psychosis and lead poisoning can be a result of long-term use.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Individuals addicted to heroin must first detox to remove all traces of the drug from their body. This process can be difficult, with symptoms of muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills and seizures. Professional treatment can offer medical support to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and to lessen cravings after treatment. If underlying mental health issues are involved, treatment can help to diagnose and treat these conditions.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Those addicted to cocaine must also detox from the substance. Individuals are then fully able to participate in the intensive treatment program that can help to break their addiction. Underlying mental health conditions must be diagnosed and treated to ensure success in recovery. Some medications can help to reduce cravings, such as those that contain gamma-aminobutyric acid that work to restore normal brain chemistry. Relapse prevention and aftercare services help support patients once the program has ended.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

Treatment for a crystal meth addiction begins with detox to remove the substance entirely from the body. Currently, there are no pharmaceutical methods for reducing withdrawal symptoms, though antidepressants are often used to help patients deal with the depression that often occurs. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be helpful in assisting patients in understanding their triggers for drug use and how to apply practical methods to prevent relapse.

Treatment is available for illegal drug addiction in Alabama. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, call a treatment center today to learn how education and therapy can restore your life to normalcy.