Substance abuse has been on the rise over the last decade. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, more and more people are becoming addicted to substances that can lead to addiction. This is a serious problem for many families who have loved ones who suffer from substance abuse. But there is hope! Thousands of individuals across the country are getting help with their addiction every day.
What Is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is the use of drugs or alcohol in a way that harms or impairs your health, safety, or ability to work. It can also mean having problems with your relationships because of drug or alcohol use. Substance abuse includes using drugs or alcohol while pregnant.
Drugs are chemical substances that change how your body works. They can damage cells in your brain, liver, and other organs. Some drugs can make you feel good for a short time, but they can also lead to long-term health problems and addiction. Alcohol is a legal drug that can also be addictive and cause serious health problems.
If you have a substance abuse problem, it means you cannot control how much drug or alcohol you use. You may need help to overcome your addiction and get your life back on track.
Types of Substance Abuse
There are many types of substance abuse. They include:
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
If you drink too much alcohol or you can’t stop drinking, even when it’s affecting your health or the quality of your life, then you may have an alcohol use disorder. It is also possible to become addicted to drugs such as opioids (heroin). You might be dependent on another drug for relief from withdrawal symptoms after long-term use. In this case, stopping its use without medical help could lead to severe agitation and disorientation which could last weeks – not days like with nicotine withdrawal.
Drug dependence means that a person needs a particular substance in order to function normally. The physical changes caused by chronic drug use cause tolerance, which means that the person needs to take more of a drug in order to feel its effects. A small dose may not cause any effect at all, and over time, taking regular doses can become necessary for normal functioning.
Another type is drug addiction, which is a compulsive need to use drugs despite harmful consequences.
Prescription Drug Abuse
This type of abuse occurs when people take prescription drugs that were not prescribed for them or they take them in a way that is not recommended. For example, someone might take more pills than prescribed or use the drugs to get high. It also includes taking prescription drugs without a prescription.
Illegal Drug Use
This type of abuse happens when people use illegal drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. This also includes using drugs that are bought on the street, such as crack cocaine.
Signs of Substance Abuse
If you think you or someone you know may have a substance abuse problem, there are some signs you can look for. These are some signs of alcohol abuse:
Changes In Behavior
People who are abusing drugs may exhibit changes in their behavior. They might become less responsible, withdrawn from others, and seem to have a lot of tension or nervousness. Drug abuse can also lead to mood swings, feelings of anger, and paranoia (a feeling that people around you mean you harm).
Dilated Pupils or Constricted Pupils
Dilated pupils are a sign of drug use. They show that the person is experiencing some type of chemical reaction in their body, usually to stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines (meth). Conversely, constricted pupils can be caused by withdrawal from opiates like heroin and prescription medication for pain. It can also indicate sleepiness and dehydration from alcohol abuse. Using drugs causes many changes in behavior – it makes you feel different than normal so if someone’s personality suddenly seems totally unlike themselves then they may have an addiction problem with drugs or alcohol.
Drastic Weight Change
Substance abuse can cause drastic weight loss because people often forget to eat due to being high on something else. People with an addiction problem may also eat a lot because they are using drugs to avoid feeling any negative emotions.
Changes In Sleep Patterns
Drug abuse can cause sleep problems and insomnia (trouble sleeping). A person might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for long periods of time. They could even wake up at night having hallucinations about their addictions that lead them to do more drug use.
Changes In Skin Appearance
Some drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamines (meth), cause the skin to become dry. Others can make it oily or sweaty, while still others cause acne breakouts. Substance abuse may also lead to sores on your lips from licking them obsessively when you are high on something else.
Causes of Substance Abuse
There can be many causes of substance abuse. People turn to drugs or alcohol for many reasons. Some of these are:
Trauma or Stress
Some people use drugs or alcohol after a traumatic event. This can include losing someone close to you, witnessing an accident, getting hurt in some way (including physically and sexually), being victimized by crime, having conflict with parents or friends, experiencing poor grades at school, feeling overwhelmed emotionally because of stress from family members – any kind of trauma can lead to substance abuse. People also turn to substances as a way of coping with the fear and anxiety that come from stressful situations.
Sometimes people use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with being abused. This can include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
Depression or Boredom
People who are depressed may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of trying to feel better. They might think that the high from the drug will make them happy. People who are bored may also use drugs or alcohol because it seems like more fun than doing nothing.
Lack of Self-Esteem
Some people have low self-esteem and turn to drugs or alcohol to try and make themselves feel better. They might think that using these substances will make them more popular or attractive. It can also give them a sense of control in their life.
People may use drugs or alcohol because their friends are doing it and they don’t want to be left out or seem different. Peer pressure can be very strong, especially when people are young.
Wanting to Fit In
Similar to peer pressure, some people may use drugs or alcohol because they want to fit in with a certain group of people. This could be people who have similar interests or who come from the same social circle.
Some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol in order to get money for more drugs or booze. They might steal money from family members, sell personal belongings, or do other things that are illegal so that they can get their fix. This is known as a drug or alcohol problem that stems from greed, not addiction, and these people are often referred to as an addict rather than an alcoholic.
Negative Impacts of Substance Abuse
There are many negative impacts of substance abuse. Some are:
Physical Health Problems
Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to many physical health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory problems. These diseases often require hospitalization and can be fatal.
Mental Health Problems
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often experience mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder), schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these conditions can be treated with medication and therapy but they are often difficult to overcome if a person is also abusing substances.
Substance abuse can cause major family problems. Addicted parents may neglect their children or even physically abuse them. Siblings of addicts may also be affected, sometimes becoming addicted themselves or developing other mental health problems. Marriages often fall apart when one partner is abusing substances.
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol can often lose their jobs because they are unable to focus on their work or they miss a lot of time from work due to their addiction. They may also get in trouble with the law for drug-related offences.
Substance abuse can lead to financial problems because people often spend a lot of money on drugs and alcohol. This can include buying drugs illegally, spending money on bars and clubs, and getting into debt from buying things that they cannot afford.
Drug and alcohol abuse can cause social problems because people may isolate themselves from their family and friends. They might also get into trouble with the law or be arrested for committing crimes while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How To Overcome Substance Abuse?
There are many ways to overcome substance abuse. Some of these are:
This method is used for people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs and need medical detox (detox from the substance in a safe environment). Rehab centers provide counseling and group therapy. The goal is to help you understand why you started using substances, how it affected your life, what led up to addiction, ways of dealing with stress without turning back to drugs or alcohol, as well as other issues that may have contributed to your problem.
Drug Treatment Centers & Alcoholism Therapy
This method is also used for people who are experiencing addictions problems such as alcoholism and drug abuse. In this setting, they use different therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy which helps patients learn new strategies when facing situations where they would normally turn towards their drug(s) of choice. can also include group therapy, family therapy, or individual sessions.
These are used for people with alcohol or drug addictions. There are different medications that can be prescribed, depending on the person’s addiction. These medications help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
This is a program that is based on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The 12 steps are designed to help addicts achieve and maintain sobriety.
These groups offer support to people who are trying to overcome an addiction. They provide a safe place for people to share their experiences and learn from others who are going through the same thing.
This method is used for people with any type of addiction, not just drugs or alcohol. Therapy can be individual or group therapy. It helps people to understand their addiction, how it developed, and how to cope with cravings and other difficult emotions.
There are many different types of support groups available for people who are trying to overcome an addiction. These groups can be in-person or online. They offer a safe place for people to share their experiences and learn from others who are going through the same thing.
These programs help families deal with the effects of addiction on everyone in the family. The goal is to improve communication within the family, increase understanding of addiction, and find ways to better support each other.
In conclusion, drug and alcohol abuse affects a large number of people. It is very important to find ways to deal with the addictions in order to stop using substances that are bad for your health, self-esteem, relationships, career prospects, etc. There can be many different ways to overcome addiction, and it is important to find the right one for you. If you are struggling with an addiction, please seek help as soon as possible.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
Also, at Therapy Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.