Nearly 37 million Americans (ages 12 and older) have tried cocaine at least once, according to a 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, and almost 2 million used the drug in the past month. And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse and addiction carries an incredible financial burden in the U.S. -- all told, it costs us more than half a trillion dollars annually. Substance abuse also causes health problems: Long-term alcohol abuse is known to cause physical damage, including liver disease, certain cancers and neurological damage, as well as mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. But beyond the financial burden, physical and mental health problems, what about the damage this "equal opportunity destroyer" can inflict on an addict's family? There are no statistics on the chaos caused by an addict in the family. However, there are ways family members can cope when a loved one suffers from substance dependency. From educating yourself about addiction to setting boundaries, we have 10 coping strategies to help families facing this insidious disease. And that is the best place to start -- understanding that addiction is a disease.
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