What is substance abuse or drug abuse?
In simple words, it can be described as the over or compulsive use of a substance that can harm an individual in a way or two. It is a disorder that influences the health condition of an individual in a negative way. The term “drug abuse” was previously used by medical professionals to explain the substance use disorder. Apart from this, another term that medical professionals use is “addiction.”
The data provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), more than 70,000 people in the United States lost their lives just because of drug overdoses. Drug overdose is a situation in which a drug or substance is taken in excessive quantities regardless of whether it is prescribed or not by the doctor. Moreover, these substances can be legal as well as illegal. Hence, the drug overdose can be stated as accidental or intentional depending upon the person.
Drug overdose is very harmful to your body because drug overdose the body’s functionality disrupts abruptly.
Drug overdose can cause severe medical problems and it can be life-threatening as well.
What is addiction?
Addiction can be termed a complex medical issue. This complex medical issue directly affects the brain. Most of the time, people categorize addiction only as a materialistic thing. Addiction is not only limited to substances but also non-materialistic in nature. Research has been conducted that suggests addictions can be of substance as well it can be based on compulsive behavior .
That means it can be categorized into two categories;
- Chemical addiction: chemical addiction is a type of addiction that is related to the use of a chemical substance.
- Behavioral addiction: behavioral addiction is a type of disorder that is consulted with the compulsive behavior of an individual. These include persistent or repeated behaviors that an individual carries out.
How does substance abuse happen?
Substance abuse or drug abuse can happen in different situations, and it does not have any type of pattern or reason, it just happens when the person experiences the addiction. There are several factors that contribute the substance abuse, and these are as follows;
- Improper storage of drugs: When you are diagnosed with some illness, you have your medications for that illness. Now sometimes when these medications are not stored properly, they can come into contact with small children. The children do not know about those medications, they just know that these are some things that you eat so they mimic them and eat them unintentionally. That is how the overdose of the substance happens. This overdose of substances is not only related to drugs, but it is also related to alcohol, and things that are consulted with behaviorism.
- Not knowing or following dosage instructions: overdosage of the medication is quite common. Sometimes, even adults mistakenly or intentionally consume the overdose on their medications.
- History of addiction: the history of addiction is defined as the intentional misuse of the prescribed as well as nonprescribed drugs. These drugs can be illicit as well and the overdose of these drugs can be life-threatening.
- History of mental disorders: there are certain factors that are responsible for drug overdose and one of these factors can be a mental disorder. The person will go through suicidal or depressed thoughts because of the overdose of the drugs.
What are the symptoms of substance abuse?
Substance abuse or drug overdose symptoms may vary from person to person. It depends upon the number of drugs taken by the person. But there are universal symptoms that include;
- If a person is going through nausea and vomiting.
- If a person feels drowsiness.
- If a person loses consciousness.
- If a person is going through a breathing problem.
- If a person is having difficulty walking.
- If a person has agitation.
- If a person has aggression or violence.
- If a person has enlarged pupils.
- If a person has a tremor.
- If a person has convulsions.
- If a person is hallucinating or in delusions.
Mentioned above are certain universal symptoms that can be seen if a person is exposed to the overdose of the drugs. Therefore, you should seek medical help if you overdose.
How do addictions or substance abuse work?
There are certain aspects that one needs to keep in mind to understand how addiction or substance abuse work. These include;
- The reward system: The reward system can be explained as that if you are with your best friend, and you are having a good time. Drinking a bottle of wine or using cocaine etc. the reward system releases the neurotransmitter dopamine along with other chemicals. It is stated that dopamine is not responsible for the feeling of pleasure or euphoria.
- Cravings and tolerance: cravings or tolerance is a type of desire that a person must experience the same feeling of euphoria or pleasure. This feeling arises when the person goes through the same cues or notions. For example, if he or she is partying then he or she can have this feeling of experiencing the same state of euphoria.
- Disinterest in other activities: when a person develops an addiction, he starts to lose all interest. They are interested in hobbies and other things that they enjoyed doing earlier. This happens because of the lack of the production of dopamine in the body. The production of dopamine is less because the brain is unable to get triggered by natural triggers like having sex or making something good.
- Loss of control: the loss of control can be subjective here. That means, that addiction usually makes a person lose things that have meaning in their lives.
What are the treatments for substance use disorder?
When we talk about the treatment for substance disorder it seems difficult because the addiction to a substance is difficult to let go of, quit, or control. Therefore, it is recommended that if a person wants to quit or control their addiction, they need to do it in the presence of a trained professional. The treatment of substance use disorder starts from the very first step and that is detoxification. Substance use disorders that involve alcohol, heroin, cocaine, etc. all need a medically supervised detoxification. This will be just the beginning of the process because detoxification helps people to go through the withdrawal process safely.
After that, there are a few ways of treatment provided and they are listed below;
- Residential treatment: Residential treatment is a method that involves staying at a treatment facility where the treatment is conducted by trained professionals.
- Therapy: psychotherapy and addiction counseling are the second methods that can be used to treat substance use disorder. This method is very beneficial especially if someone started using substances to deal with distressing emotions.
- Medication: medication is another method that is used to treat people who are suffering from substance use disorder. Medication methods can help people working through addiction have greater success with recovery. It helps to prevent relapses.
- Support groups: support groups are another solution and method to treat people who are suffering from substance use disorder. These programs rely on self-help treatment methods and involve anonymous group support from other people working toward recovery.
Treatment for behavioral addictions
The treatment for behavioral addictions can easily be categorized into two spectrums;
- Therapy: in therapy treatment, a type of approach or method that is used is known as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). CBT helps patients to focus on thoughts that create distress.
- Other treatments: includes support groups or peer groups that have a lot of support and guidance.
Disclaimer: “HealthLink.news does not have any intention to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide its users and/ or the general public with information to better understand their health. All content (including text, graphics, images, information, etc.) provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment. HealthLink.news makes no representation and assumes no responsibility/ liability for the accuracy of the information, advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided herein or on its website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ IT HERE OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE HealthLink.news WEBSITE.”