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Is Drug Addiction More Dangerous during the Winter?

Drug Addiction during the Winter

Drug Addiction during the Winter

Drug addiction under normal conditions can result in negative and sometimes dangerous consequences. For example, the American Psychiatric Association indicates that addiction can lead to a number of physical consequences.

Dangerous consequences of drug addiction include the following:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Brain damage
  • Psychosis
  • Overdose
  • Death

Furthermore, a 2006 survey cited by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicated that over 30 percent of state prisoners and over 25 percent of federal prisoners said they had committed their crime while under the influence of drugs. Drugs are often a factor in car crashes and other accidents, as well as sexual assaults and physical violence. A reported issued by the Department of Justice indicated that over 60 percent of perpetrators of domestic violence also have substance abuse problems. These statistics illustrate how dangerous drug addiction can be.

Weather and Addiction

One mitigating factor that can make drug addiction even more dangerous is the weather. Many people are more prone to gloom and sense of malaise that the winter months bring. Those winter months can create dangerous situations in which drug addicts can find themselves.

Dangerous situations made worse by the winter weather include the following:

  • Homelessness: Some people in the throes of addiction become so consumed by their addiction that they become homeless. Others who are homeless become addicted in order to cope or escape. Those living on the street, in their car, or in a makeshift shelter face various forms of violence, including assault, robbery, and even murder. The winter conditions only make homelessness more dangerous. The cold temperatures can lead to hypothermia, serious illness, and even death. Without a warm home, warm clothes, or warm food, many people face the reality of death.
  • Driving during inclement weather: The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that over 10 million people over the age of 11 admitted to driving under the influence of illicit drugs in 2011. This dangerous behavior becomes even more dangerous during the winter months. Snow, ice, and other freezing precipitation can make the roads treacherous. The road conditions, paired with slowed reflexes while using drugs, can create a highly dangerous situation.
  • Exposure: Drugs leave a person susceptible to making poor decisions. A study reported by the American Psychological Association indicated that repeated drug use disrupts the brain’s ability to make decisions. It also leads to poor planning and poor memory. This explains why addicts often make unwise choices and engage in dangerous activities, such as unprotected sex. In the winter season, this inability to make good decisions, coupled with poor planning, can lead to dangerous situations. For example, someone under the influence of drugs could forget to wear proper clothing and suffer hypothermia, frostbite, and even death from exposure to the cold weather.

If you or someone you love is susceptible to the dangers of drug addiction during the winter season, it is important for you to get help immediately. Don’t gamble with the increased possibility of encountering a dangerous situation brought about by wintery conditions.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, we can help. You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time. You can talk with one of our admissions counselors who can help you determine the best course of action for your situation. Our staff can also help you determine the best treatment options for you or your loved one.

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