An Overview

The uses of certain substances are considered as normal and are acceptable. But when these substances starts to interfere in our day to day activities or causes behavioural changes then it is considered as undesirable and called ‘Substance Abuse’. The various types of substance abuse include drugs, alcohol, cigarette, etc.

Types

  • ALCOHOL: Drinking of too much alcohol the chance of an injury or accident goes up. Heavy drinking can cause liver problems.
  • HEROIN: It is natural version of man-made prescription Opioid Narcotics. It deteriorates our thought process, causes nausea and nervousness.
  • COCAINE: This speed ups the whole body. We start to talk, move or think very fast.

A person can also have features of more than one particular type.

Signs and symptoms

1. PSYCHOLOGICAL/MOOD:
  • Outbursts
  • Loss of interest in various activities
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of judgment
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
2. BEHAVIORAL:
  • Engaging in hazardous activities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Financial problems
  • Engaging in risky behaviour
  • Deterioration of health
  • Less involvement in day to day activities
3. PHYSICAL:
  • Change in appetite
  • Less sleep
  • Negative effects on immune system
  • Fettered perceptual experiences

Causes

  • GENETIC: The chances of indulging in substance abuse are higher when a first degree relative already has a disorder.
  • BRAIN CHEMISTRY: Drugs invade the brain communication system and interfere with the way neurons send, receive and process information.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL: The environment; in which a person lives in; plays a very crucial role. In families, where alcohol and drugs are used, the changes of child engaging substance abuse is also quite high.

Treatment

  • RELAPSE PREVENTION: Medication can be given to the patient to re-establish normal brain function and to decrease cravings.
  • OUTPATIENT BEHAVIOURAL TREATMENT: It includes individual or group drug counselling. In this, the patient needs to visit the health counselor on regular schedule.
  • INPATIENT OR RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT: It is used in cases with more severe problems. It uses various therapeutic approaches that helps the patient to live a drug free life.

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