The question, “What is substance abuse?” gets asked a lot for a reason. In the United States, 24 million Americans in 2012 abused an illicit drug. While marijuana is the most common choice, an opioid epidemic has also spread across the country. Through treatment, patients can get the help they need.
So, What Is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse often starts by overindulging in illicit drugs or alcohol. Before long, these psychoactive substances can lead to dependence syndrome. Without treatment, it can spiral into an addiction.
Over time, the individual develops a strong desire to use. They may find it impossible to control how much they use. Even when they know that drugs cause harmful consequences, they keep using. Substance abuse can quickly affect all aspects of the individual’s life. It may make relationship problems, financial issues and workplace difficulties more likely.
Signs of Substance Abuse
Sometimes, knowing the answer to “What is substance abuse?” is not enough. Families and patients must know how to recognize the signs of substance abuse. Every type of drug has different side effects.
In the short term, drugs influence the body and brain. They can cause effects like high blood pressure, mood changes, increased heart rate, dizziness, and paranoia. In high doses, drugs can cause an overdose.
Over the long run, substance abuse can cause severe social, physical and emotional effects. Individuals can develop organ damage, cardiovascular problems, psychosis, and paranoia. High dosages increase the chances of dangerous side effects like respiratory failure, strokes, or coma.
Getting Help for Substance Abuse
No one deserves to live with the pain of an addiction. Substance abuse treatment is available. Through treatment, patients can find out the answer to “What is substance abuse?” and start their recovery.
The first step in any treatment program is detox. During this stage, the physical effects of drugs and alcohol are removed. Nutritional programs, doctors, therapists and other programs support patients during their care. While each program is different, patients can find treatment options including:
- Women’s detox program
- Men’s detox program
- Group therapy program
- Medical detox program
- Dual diagnosis treatment
Every individual is different. For the best treatment, patients should talk to an addiction specialist first. With help, they can determine the right programs, treatment, and detox for their addiction. Detox lays the foundation for a long-term, healthy recovery. To get started on your journey to a healthier life, call Serenity House Detox today at 866.516.8356.