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Substance Abuse Disorders

Substance abuse is the excessive use or misuse of certain substances such as illicit drugs, alcohol or prescription medication. Substance abuse disorder is a condition where you are not only addicted to substance use, but also dependent on one or more substances to function normally. It leads to various symptoms and certain abnormal and sometimes harmful behavior.

There are many factors that can lead to substance abuse disorder. Genetic factor, anxiety, drug addiction, depression, peer pressure and environmental stress are thought to be some of the causes.

This disorder may cause symptoms and behaviors such as confusion, violence, reduced performance or missing work and school, no interest in eating, lack of care regarding personal appearance, and neglecting important responsibilities and recreational activities because of drug abuse. Drug use continues even when it starts to interfere with relationships, family and work. Substances are used even when alone. Controlling the use of substances leads to withdrawal symptoms.

Substance abuse disorder is a condition that is difficult to treat as it requires your complete cooperation. Treatment of substance abuse disorder mainly involves recognizing the problem and then quitting the substance. When you accept that you require help and visit your doctor, a few blood and urine tests are ordered to detect drugs and chemicals in your body. Empathy and respect as opposed to confrontation is the approach that best works to help guide you to a resolution of this problem.

Drug overdose may require immediate medical attention. The drug is either gradually stopped by substituting the substance with a drug that has a similar action or withdrawn abruptly with detoxification by creating a supportive environment and eliminating triggers. Counselling may be required with a psychiatrist, psychologist or addiction counselor. Your doctor may also recommend rehabilitation programs and self-help groups. All efforts are made to ensure that there is no relapse once you go back to your regular activities.
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