What is Substance Abuse?

24 hour helpline call usIn 2002, an estimated 22 million Americans abused or were dependent on drugs, alcohol or both. Over the years these alarming statistics have dramatically increased, posing a threat to the public health system. There are various rehabilitation centers that help overcome drug and alcohol addiction, but we must first understand and explore what makes people susceptible to alcohol and drug abuse.

Why Do We Drink or Use Drugs?

  •  It starts with peer pressure and experimentation at parties or social gatherings, where it is sometimes considered necessary to try these drugs just to be accepted socially or in a group.
  • Some people drink or abuse drugs as a way to cope with the daily stress and tension from school, work, or to escape the daily stress of martial distress or physical illness.
  • Alcohol and other harmful substances become a substitute for satisfying personal relationships, challenging work or self-fulfillment.
  • Some may use these as a way to compensate and evade feelings of guilt, shyness or low self-esteem.

When drinking develops a pattern, or a means of dealing with the stress of daily life, then it is likely to turn into an addiction.

The saddening fact is that, these dangerous substances have become a part of our social culture and are widely acceptable even at younger ages. Exposure to alcohol and drugs at an earlier age further increases the likelihood of developing a habit and addiction.

Acute Physical Effects of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

  • Dizziness, vomiting, blurring vision
  • Impaired muscle control which causes poor coordination, slurred speech and impaired motor skills.
  • Increased heart rate and body temperature
  • Loss of consciousness, respiratory arrest and death.

Acute Effects on Mental Abilities

  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Loss of inhibitions – users say and do things which in normal circumstances, they wouldn’t have done.
  • Judgment is frequently the first mental capacity affected by alcohol. Poor decision making, rapid decision making, not being realistic in decisions is common
  • Memory loss of the events or black outs
  • Exaggerated emotions (fear, anger, anxiety, sadness etc.)

Long Terms Effects of Alcohol Use

  • Causes damage to internal organs like the brain, liver, heart and stomach
  • Breakdown of bone and muscle tissue
  • Developing nutritional deficiencies leading to cognitive impairment
  • Memory loss
  • Unfocused thoughts, short attention span and lack of concentration
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms like tremors, excessive sweating, hallucinations and more.

Rehabs and Treatment Centers

Substance AbuseTreatment for drug and alcohol abuse requires professional medical help. Dealing with the severe withdrawal symptoms can be an extremely difficult and painful experience. A professional detox facility helps addicts deal with withdrawal symptoms through medications and medical care.  Through psychological counseling rehabs centers help fight the growing need for dependent drugs. The first step to leading a healthy and substance free life is to admit you have a problem. Many people hesitate to get treatment as they don’t recognize that they have an addiction.

For more information on drug and alcohol addiction or if you need help call Inspire Malibu.

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