What Is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is once you take drugs that aren't legal. It’s also once you use alcohol, prescription drug, and other legal substances an excessive amount of or within the wrong way.
Substance abuse differs from addiction. Many people with drug abuse problems are ready to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means you can’t stop using even when your condition causes you harm.
Commonly Abused Drugs
Both legal and illegal drugs have chemicals which will change how your body and mind work. They can offer you an enjoyable “high,” ease your stress, or assist you avoid problems in your life.
Alcohol affects everyone differently. But if you drink an excessive amount of and too often, your chance of an injury or accident goes up. Heavy drinking can also cause liver and other health problems or cause a more serious alcohol disorder.
If you’re a man and you drink more than four drinks on any day or more than 14 in a week, you’re drinking too much. For women, heavy drinking means more than three drinks in one day or more than seven drinks a week.
One drink is:
Ø 12 ounces of regular beer
Ø 8-9 ounces of malt liquor, which has more alcohol than beer
Ø 5 ounces of wine
Ø 1 1/2 ounces of distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey
Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine
These are often even as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs. You can abuse medicine if you:
Ø Take medicine prescribed for someone else
Ø Take extra doses or use a drug other than the way it’s supposed to be taken
Ø Take the drug for a non-medical reason
Types of prescribed drugs that are most frequently abused include:
Ø Opioid pain relievers
Ø Medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Ø Anxiety medicine
The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and medicine that have dextromethorphan, which in high doses can cause you to feel drunk or intoxicated.
This illegal drug is that the natural version of manmade prescription opioid narcotics. Heroin gives you a rush of good feelings at first. But when it wears off, everything slows down. You’ll move and think more slowly, and you may have chills, nausea, and nervousness. You may feel a strong need to take more heroin to feel better.
This drug speeds up your whole body. When you use cocaine, you'll talk, move, or think in no time . You may feel happy and full of energy. But your mood may then shift to anger. You may feel like someone is out to get you. It can cause you to do things that don’t make sense.
Using cocaine for an extended time will cause strong cravings for the drug.
A growing number of states have legalized medical uses of marijuana. A handful of states also allow recreational pot. But in most states, it’s still illegal.
Marijuana can cause you to feel silly and laugh for no reason. Or you may feel sleepy and forget things that just happened. Driving while high on pot is just as dangerous as drunk driving. And heavy marijuana use can leave some people “burned out” and not think or care about much.
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products
You may not think of these as drugs. But tobacco features a chemical called nicotine that provides you a touch rush of delight and energy. The effect can wear off fast and leave you wanting more. You can abuse and obtain hooked in to the nicotine in cigarettes, a bit like other drugs.
Signs of a Substance Use Problem
When you first start taking a substance, you may think you can control how much you use. But over time, you'll need more of the drug to urge an equivalent feeling or effect. For some people, which will lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that you simply may have a drag with drug abuse include if you:
Ø Lack interest in things you used to love
Ø Change your friends a lot
Ø Stop taking care of yourself
Ø Spend more time alone than you used to
Ø Eat more or less than normal
Ø Sleep at odd hours
Ø Have problems at work or with family
Ø Switch quickly from feeling good and bad
How to Get Help
Substance abuse affects every part of your life. It can hurt you and the people around you. It can ruin relationships and your financial health. Abusing drugs also can cause addiction and cause serious health problems and even death.
To stop, you may need counseling, medicine, or both. If you've got a drug abuse problem and need to quit, a doctor can help find out the simplest treatment options for you.
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