Drug Abuse and Gang Activity in Topeka

Drug abuse has caused problems in Topeka. Police have arrested seven people in connection to eight recent drive-by shootings in the Hi-Crest neighborhood, in which two people, including a child, were killed. Police Chief James Brown said these shootings were related to drug and gang activity and that officers identified more than 200 gang members in the city.

Drug Abuse by the Numbers

According to sources like the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, drug abuse and addiction is on the rise. In 2011, there were over 40 thousand deaths in the U.S. that could be directly attributed to accidental overdoses. And today, more people are dying every month due to prescription drug and painkiller abuse than heroin, cocaine, or both combined.

Drug addiction indirectly affects everyone. It's estimated that alcohol, drug, nicotine, and other chemical dependencies cost American taxpayers over $710 billion every year in related crimes, lost productivity, and healthcare costs.

If you are suffering from drug abuse, call your local Topeka treatment center as soon as possible.

How Do Drugs Affect Your Brain?

The most addictive drugs work by targeting your brain's reward system. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter found in the parts of the brain that control movement, emotion, and pleasure, is triggered by the use of drugs or alcohol. By flooding your brain circuit with dopamine, you feel the euphoria (or "high") associated with drug abuse.

Unfortunately, this same over-stimulation and saturation of dopamine is instantly recognized by your brain as a reward, and teaches a person's brain to continuously repeat the behavior of taking drugs. And while the choice to initially try drugs is almost always completely voluntary, once the brain chemistry has been altered to the degree that a person requires their use to feel steady, normal, or calm, a physical dependence has developed. Dependence on drugs despite detrimental effects on your life and body are the hallmarks of addiction, and a clear sign than professional help and drug rehab are now necessary.

Don't let drug abuse take over your life. Visit Mid-America Region of Narcotics Anonymous (http://www.marscna.net/) to attend a meeting today.

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