Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can be described as harmful or dangerous use of psychoactive substances, like alcohol and illegal drugs for mood-altering purposes.

The Effects of substance abuse:

The adverse impact of substance abuse can be seen in every aspect of your life from hurting yourself to making people suffer around you. Also, it ruins your relationships and your financial well-being. Alcohol and substance abuse can further lead to addiction and serious health problems, sometimes even death.

Initially, you start taking a substance thinking that you will be able to control its usage. But there is a subsequent increase in the consumption of the drug to get the same effect. For some people, it goes beyond abuse to addiction.

Signals indicating substance abuse:

  • A lack of interest in stuff you used to enjoy
  • Frequent change of friend circle
  • Quit taking care of yourself
  • More isolated time
  • Eat less or more than regular
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Have work or family-related issues
  • Mood swings

Addiction vs. Abuse:

Drug abuse refers to the usage of legal or illegal substances in ways you are not supposed to. You may take a double dose of prescribed medicine to feel pleasant, relieve stress, or avoid reality.

Addiction is when you are unable to stop yourself from taking illegal drugs or drinking alcohol. Even when it puts your well-being in danger, causes economic, emotional, and other issues for you or your closed ones. This insatiable urge to get and use drugs is an addiction.

The Effects of Drug Abuse on Health:

Substance use disorders are connected to various short term and long term health issues. These health effects vary depending upon the type of drug an individual is taking, how frequently, and in what quantity.

In general, the outcomes of drug abuse and dependence can be grievous, impacting almost all organ in the human body.

Adverse effects of drug addiction may include:

  • A weak immune system, enhancing the risk of sickness and infection
  • Heart conditions varying from irregular heart rates to heart attacks from injected drugs
  • Queasiness and abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Increased pressure on the liver
  • Fits, stroke, mental breakdown, and brain damage
  • Lung disease
  • Memory problems
  • Poor decision-making ability
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of self-control

These consequences of drug abuse may give rise to serious issues in daily life, like criminal offenses, accidents, and injuries.

Depression and alcohol abuse are very closely correlated with each other. Many individuals suffering from depression often turn towards alcohol to escape, desperately striving to feel better or numb the suffering, even for a short while. Alcohol abuse is widespread among people undergoing depression. Around 30%-40% of alcoholics encounter a depressive disorder.

Sadly, alcohol is a depressant that has the opposite effect on our body. Many studies have consistently shown that alcohol increases the span and severity of depressive episodes. It also raises the probability, frequency, and severity of self-harm or suicidal ideations. Alcohol triggers other stressors in life, worsening the problem of depression. A person quickly falls prey to the vicious cycle of alcohol in order, to make themselves feel better, which becomes very difficult for them to break off.

Alcoholism can also stimulate depression in some situations. Continued alcohol abuse can drastically alter and rewire the brain, along with affecting many other chemical balances in the body. It's especially true in case of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which transmit electric and chemical impulses controlling the functioning of the mind and body, leading to depression.

Substance Abuse Treatment

To put a stop to it, you may need counseling, medication, or both. There are various approaches that counselors may use for the prevention of substance abuse which focuses on assisting individuals to develop understanding, beliefs, and skills they need to make healthy choices in life or improve harmful behaviors for a healthy future. If you are going through the problem of substance abuse and want to discontinue, a qualified doctor or a certified substance abuse counselor can help you to figure out the suitable treatment options for you via drug and alcohol abuse counseling.

Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness
www.nami.org/Find-Support/ (800) 950-NAMI

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