What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is an excessive use of a type of drug that alters the brain.

Unlike substance use, substance abuse, is known as drug abuse or addiction, is a wide range of behaviors related to use and treatment of drugs.

Substance can be legal (alcohol) or illegal (marijuana), prescribed (painkillers) or unprescribed (addictive stimulants).  People who abuse substances such as alcohol and illicit drugs may engage in criminal activity to support their habit.

They might spend large amounts of time getting the substance they want, using it and recovering from its effects.

What Are Some Signs That Someone is Abusing Drugs or Alcohol?

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What are some signs that someone is abusing drugs or alcohol? If you’re concerned that a loved one may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, look for these warning signs:

– Changes in social activities and relationships. For example, someone who used to be active in social circles might drop old friends and hang out with an unhealthy crowd. Or a spouse might accuse a partner of being secretive about where they go or who they drink or use drugs with.

– Physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination and slowed reflexes may indicate the presence of certain types of drugs.

– Psychological changes such as mood swings can also occur from drug abuse—and this behavior is often unpredictable and volatile. Someone whose personality has shifted dramatically might be abusing drugs or alcohol.

– Appearance changes can signal drug abuse as well, such as lost interest in personal hygiene and poor grooming habits—and the development of sores associated with intravenous drug use. These are often signs that someone is struggling to pay for treatment for opioid addiction .

Different Types of Substance Use Disorders

What are some different types of substance use disorders?

  • Opioid Use Disorder.
  • Marijuana Use Disorder.
  • Nicotine Use Disorder.
  • Stimulant Use Disorder.
  • Sedative Use Disorder.
  • Hallucinogen Use Disorder.
  • Alcohol Use Disorder.
  • Opioid Use Disorder: Opioids are prescribed as a pain reliever and often times people can become very dependent on these drugs and begin to abuse them. Opioids were involved in 46,802 (a rate of 14.6) overdose deaths in 2018—nearly 70% of all overdose deaths in the United States. Each state struggles with continued opioid abuse but there are several ways that professionals can help.
  • Marijuana Use Disorder: Marijuana is used as a recreational drug, it is a psychoactive (i.e. mind altering) drug. It can also be used in the medical field for pain relief. The prolonged effect of abusing marijuana has been associated with severe mental disorders such as temporary hallucinations, temporary paranoia. It can also worsen symptoms for schizophrenia such as extreme disorganized thoughts, as well as worsening hallucinations and paranoia. It is important for marijuana abusers to get help right away.
  • Nicotine Use Disorder: Nicotine is an addictive substance found commonly in cigarettes. There are many severe issues when users begin to abuse nicotine. Some of these mental issues entail; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. Other issues with nicotine abuse include cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease, etc.
  • Stimulant Use Disorder: Stimulant Use disorder is associated with the abuse of a wide variety of stimulant drugs. These drugs can include; meth, cocaine, nicotine, etc. Stimulant drugs are drugs that increase activity of the central nervous system and are known to be pleasurable and invigorating. Extreme long term use may exhibit symptoms that can include significant anxiety, long term abuse of these drugs can cause severe issues such as molecular changes in the brain, intense cravings for the drug causing dangerous and irrational behavior.
  • Sedative Use Disorder: Sedatives are designed to assist with anxiety, tension, seizures, panic disorders and sleep disorders. But when abused sedative drugs can cause issues such as; erratic behavior, extreme drowsiness, decreased reflexes, overdose, etc.
  • Hallucinogen Use Disorder: Hallucinogen drugs are drugs that cause hallucinations, and other substantial changes in thought or emotion. Abuse of these drugs can cause sever hallucinations, feelings of fear, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. The abuse of this substance can make a person become very erratic and dangerous.
  • Alcohol Use Disorder: Alcohol use disorder can also be referred to as alcoholism. Alcohol is primarily used for recreation. When alcohol is abused it has a wide variety of issues that can occur. Some of these issues can include; high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Cancers have also been seen to appear with excessive alcohol use. Some of these can include, cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum. Alcoholism can also cause skewed decisions, aggression towards people, and poor choices due to a differentiated mental state.

How Does Substance Abuse Affect People?

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Alcohol and drug addiction to any substance doesn’t just affect the abuser; it ripples out and impacts friends and family members around them as well. For example:

If you’re dependent on alcohol: It will more than likely affect your family in one way or another. Drug treatment centers have remedy options that can help you.

– Alcohol might cause fights with your spouse at home.  And a DUI arrest could lead to a loss of a job and money troubles for you and your family. Alcohol has also been known to kill tens of thousands of drivers on the road in the United States each year.

– Drinking makes it hard to be a good parent or caretaker to children or aging parents. This trauma for children can be brought into their adult lives with them potentially causing some mental issues to develop. It also affects how well you perform at work, leading to job troubles.

If you’re addicted to prescription painkillers:  You will likely need treatment for opioid addiction if your use of these drugs has been compulsive and/or destructive—or hurtful to loved ones.  In treatment programs medications can be used alongside other therapies (like psychotherapy) to help you recover from addiction.

– In treatment strategies, treatment for opioid addiction can help you get your pain under control without excessive use of drugs. And treatment may make it easier to do the other things you need to do to take care of yourself and your family—like going back to work or caring for kids or pets.

– The treatment process can be long and difficult, but effective treatment works: More than half (54%) of people who complete one course of treatment for opioid abuse are still drug free a year later.  And those who complete two courses of treatment have an even better chance (63%) at staying drug free over the next year.

How Does Substance Abuse Affect Mental Health?

Mental health conditions may be involved with drug and alcohol abuse, but the relationship between these issues is complex.  There are several examples of how mental health and substance use may affect each other:

If you’re addicted to illicit drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine: treatment centers near you can help you address your treatment needs so that you can get back on track toward a healthy life and full recovery.  Drug treatment centers have treatment options that can help you.

Drug abuse may lead to depression and suicidal ideation as well as psychosis (hallucinations, paranoid delusions) if someone is suffering from chronic heavy use of stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines.  Using a treatment center could prevent these symptoms from occurring.

– Drug treatment centers may be able to help you learn skills and coping mechanisms that can help combat many mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD that you may be experiencing. You will also have the opportunity to talk about treatment concerns without fear of judgment which is an essential part of overcoming addiction.

– Addiction treatment facilities allow someone with psychiatric issues to get treatment for both the mental illness and drug abuse together so they don’t have to worry about juggling treatment alone and can be hopeful for recovery.

If you’re addicted to alcohol: Treatment centers near you can help you address your treatment needs so that you can get back on track toward a life free of mental issues from alcohol abuse.

The mental affects from abusing the various types of drugs can be detrimental and extremely difficult to live with. The mental issues from prolonged drug use can put a halt to your everyday life activities and in extreme cases, cause irreplaceable damage or death.


How to Treat Substance Abuse

The first step is usually detoxification treatment.  A treatment center may prescribe medication to ease withdrawal symptoms, which can include nausea, shakiness, vomiting and diarrhea.  Medications will typically continue until the person’s body adjusts to being without the drug of choice—which can take days or weeks, depending on how dependent they are on drugs or alcohol.

– When possible, family members of abusers should find treatment for opioid addiction treatment facilities near you. This helps them be involved in treatment throughout rehab. And it also makes it easier for people who’ve had an opioid addiction to stay sober after treatment is complete and recovery is accomplished.

– Treatment for opioid abuse, treatment centers near you can help: A treatment program that includes family therapy and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders is more likely to be successful.

What Are the Treatments for Drug Addiction?

Drug treatment solutions provide a number of different treatment options including medication assisted treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and treatment.  Inpatient or outpatient care is also an option—as well as partial hospitalization. Some forms of treatment, such as extended care aftercare, include continuing support services.

– (CBT) is a form of counseling that helps people learn how to identify patterns in their thoughts, feelings behaviors that contribute to addictive tendencies to assist towards recovery.

– Family therapy is another treatment option that can help families learn how to manage addiction, provide peer support and identify treatment options.  And in some cases, it helps people find treatment for opioid treatment treatment centers near you .

There are also holistic therapies that may be effective treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.  These include yoga, acupuncture and meditation—which have been shown in some studies to help reduce cravings for drugs and ease withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment of drug abuse includes a number of different options depending on the person’s needs.  Sometimes these treatments will be combined to form an integrated treatment plan that includes support groups , medication assisted treatment (methadone, buprenorphine), treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy and treatment.  Inpatient or outpatient care is also an option—as well as partial hospitalization.

Treatment for opioid abuse includes a number of different treatment options including medication assisted treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy and treatment.  Family help and therapy is yet another treatment option that can help families learn how to manage addiction, provide peer support and identify treatment options.  And in some cases, it helps people find treatment for opioid treatment near you .

Can Behavioral Therapies help with Substance Abuse?

Can Behavioral therapies help with various types of drug abuse? Research shows that treatment programs which include behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral treatment, CBT and contingency management interventions are more effective in promoting abstinence from drugs of abuse than treatment with only a 12 step program that is designed to help you make a full recovery.

Today there is increasing availability of treatment for substance abuse both online treatment solutions and treatment centers near you .  Inpatient or outpatient care is also an option—as well as partial hospitalization. Some forms of treatment, such as extended care aftercare, include continuing support services.

What Are Opioid Treatment Treatment Centers?

An opioid treatment treatment centers works with individuals addicted to opioids, such as heroin and prescription painkillers, like codeine or Vicodin. Opioid treatment treatment centers are designed to help manage withdrawal symptoms, stop cravings and prevent relapse.

Opioid treatment centers may work with other types of addiction treatment plans—including those that offer medications like methadone , which is used for treating opioid addiction treatment. Methadone helps ease withdrawal symptoms by attaching to the same in the brain as opioids do—blocking the effects of opioids.

Methadone treatment can take several weeks to be effective, so it’s often used in combination with other treatment options that help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medication assisted treatment is often administered at opioid treatment treatment centers near me.

An opioid treatment treatment center will likely focus on developing a relapse prevention plan for their patients. For example, they may create aftercare programs or teach patients how they can avoid risky situations like drug-free zones, bars and parties where alcohol might be present.

What To Look For When Choosing a Drug Abuse Treatment Option?

Treatment of substance abuse can vary depending on individual and unique needs. If you’re looking for treatment options near me, it’s important to find treatment plans and programs that fit your needs.  You may want to consider which type of treatment program will work best for the person who’s abusing drugs or alcohol: Some treatment centers offer outpatient treatment options while others provide intensive treatment—or even help arranging sober living homes upon completing treatment.

– Of course, substance abuse treatment programs vary depending on which treatment center you choose.  Some treatment centers offer programs that focus on the treatment of one type of drug, like opioid addiction treatment or methamphetamine addiction treatment .  Many treatment options will be similar to those seen in general rehab—such as behavior therapies and 12-step programs.

Many treatment centers also offer family therapy sessions or treatment that allows parents to participate on an outpatient basis.  There are treatment facilities that feature 24-hour care, where addicts can live at the treatment center while they receive treatment for drug addiction.  And some treatment centers offer extended care aftercare—including sober living homes and long-term follow up support.

If you’re wondering how to find treatment options near me, there are several ways to search for treatment programs: You can request referrals from your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) office, which may be able to refer you to options in your area. Treatments must provide patients with information about their credentials—like whether they’re licensed by the state, board certified or nationally accredited. You can also ask treatment centers to provide this information directly or you can check for accreditation on the treatment center’s website.

In closing substance abuse treatment and mental health go hand in hand.

There is a time for substance use but the issue is when people abuse the substances leading into other issues. Patients can find additional support can help in the recovery of drug and alcohol addiction.

Patients can also learn coping skills through substance abuse and mental health assistance. Substance use disorder is treatable and substance use is an ongoing issue in America.

See your local residential treatment center to assist with addiction and find various types of treatment that best suit your needs.


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