What is drug addiction?
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain—they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, have serious harmful consequences, and are preventable and treatable, but if left untreated, can last a lifetime.
People who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues, which may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders. Imaging scans, chest X-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of long-term drug abuse throughout the body. For example, research has shown that tobacco smoke causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. In addition, some drugs of abuse, such as inhalants, are toxic to nerve cells and may damage or destroy them either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system.
The Impact of Addiction Can Be Far-Reaching
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hepatitis B and C
- Lung disease
- Mental disorders
- East Ridge Health Systems: For adults and adolescents, outpatient substance abuse services include assessment, diagnosis, intervention, individual, group and family therapy, and pharmacological management. Clinicians serving adolescents also work with local school systems to provide services to youth engaged in or at risk of alcohol or drug abuse.
- (304) 263-8954
- 24-Hour Crisis Number: 1-855-807-1258
- Martinsburg Institute: Since 2002 Martinsburg Institute has been providing treatment for Opioid Dependence in Berkeley County and the surrounding areas. We provide medically assisted treatment which includes a daily dose of methadone, individual and group counseling, urinalysis testing and more. The Martinsburg Institutes’ goal is to help you reclaim your life by creating a recovery plan, education, building a support network, and decreasing harm to yourself, family and community.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- BRCTC rules and sanctions can be found here: http://www.blueridgectc.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Rule-14.2-Drug-Free-Workplace-Drugs-and-Alcohol-On-Campus.pdf
- There are many laws that govern alcohol and drug use. For specific questions regarding laws and possible sanctions, please contact your local legislature.
Federal Law: How Drug Convictions Affect Financial Aid
The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires all colleges and universities to notify all students, even those who are not receiving financial aid, about the financial aid implications of drug convictions. Under federal law, anyone convicted of a drug offense while receiving federal financial aid will lose their eligibility.
Here’s a quick guide to the regulations:
Those convicted of possessing illegal drugs will lose financial aid eligibility for:
- First offense: 1 year from date of conviction
- Second offense: 2 years from date of conviction
- Third offense: indefinitely
Those convicted of selling illegal drugs will lose financial aid eligibility for:
- First offense: 2 years from date of conviction
- Second offense: indefinitely
For more information, review the Federal Student Aid rules on financial aid eligibility. We also invite you to acquaint yourself with BRCTC’s drug and alcohol policy.
If you have questions about this federal financial aid policy, speak with a financial aid advisor.