The term Substance or drug can be defined as any commodity which can alter the human consciousness, and have a strong ability to be addicted or habituated. The substance can change or alter the functioning of the body. Normally drugs are used as therapeutics or for medical purpose after the prescription of experts but it has a dangerous impact on the human body if used improperly.
There is a different classification of substance which is alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, sedatives, nicotine, hallucinogens, opioids, hypnotics, marijuana and sedatives. Involvement in multiple drugs at the same time is termed polysubstance abuse. We will discuss treatment for substance abuse in this article also.
Substance Abuse vs Addiction
First of all, one should know the difference between addiction and substance abuse. Substance abuse causes the repetitive use of substances which may alter the physical or social status of the individual but have no symptoms when it is stopped to be used.
On the other hand, substance addiction is the habituation of anything which resulted in the loss of control over substance consumption and various physical and physiological symptoms upon its withdrawal. There are three factors associated with substance addiction:
- The individual is unable to stop
- Appetency of increasing the dosage
- Symptoms upon stoppage of substance
There are 4 stages of Substance addiction:
- Voluntarily drug consumption for experimental purposes at the level where no behavioural change occurs
- Routine consumption of substance when the consumer establishes a network with a source
- Abusive and involved in the daily use of drugs is the warning symbol before addiction
- There is a must-use of drugs despite the severe negative effects on the body
Causes of Substance Abuse
Substance abuse results due to physiological stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self medications. There are certainly other factors behind substance abuse may include social status, easy reach to drugs.
But these factors can be excluded from society with a strong will, educational competence, information regarding drug abuse and strong care for individuals.
Substance Abuse Disorders
There are a lot of consequences of substance abuse to an individual and those can be summarized as social, physical and physiological.
1. Social implications
There are a lot of social effects of substance abuse in our society like loss of livelihood, breakups in family relations, expulsion from educational institutes, suicidal attempts, and road accidents. A lot of research concluded that there is a strong relationship between loss of employment and substance abuse.
Substance abusers lost the ability of parenting which caused serious impairment of parent-child relationships. Another social evil that is crimes is also linked with substance abuse especially alcohol abuse.
Further, there is a signification association between substance abuse and unprotected and unplanned intercourse, especially in high school students which resulted in a higher risk of (STDs).
2. Physical Implications
Physical implications include every kind of physical abuse like injuries, cuts, fractures and burns. Failing to provide home, food, and basic needs to the family is also considered physical abuse. Most culprits involved in child rapes, touching, kissing and caressing are substance abusers. In the US about one million children experience abuse each year due to their parent’s alcohol abuse.
3. Medical implications
Research conducted in Switzerland concluded that 47% of the patient is heroin abuser who has pulmonary infections, 16.4% have hepatitis, 11.1% are immunodeficient and 9.3% have minor genital issues. Heroin abusers experienced mostly liver and brain damage and intravenal (IV) drug addicts experience repeatedly bacteraemia.
4. Psychological Implications
The link between psychological disorders and alcohol abuse is more in men than women. Chronic Alcohol abuse has more impact on psychological health. Pregnant women abusers have problems with their newborn babies regarding their organ development.
Treatment for Substance Abuse
Prevention is far better than cure and there are the following preventions that need to be applied. There should be seminars and mass media campaigns to make the public aware of the severe implications of substance abuse.
The target audience is most imported in these campaigns. Other strategies may include the provision of recreational activities in the schools, discouraging materialism and effective control of drug availability.
Substance Abuse Counselling
The substance abuser who is already addicted should be rehabilitated and could get the benefit of behavioural couple therapy. This involves bringing the abuser and his partner to support each other to improve the relationship.
Contingency behavioural therapy involved giving rewards upon the completion of tasks. Cognitive therapy includes giving information regarding the risk of drug use and will to avoid them to better cope with implications.
Family-based therapy has greater effects on substance abusers, especially adolescents. This technique encourages the victim to keep up with the treatment and decreases the possibility of drug usage and almost finishes the bad behaviours.
Treatment could be categorized into three models.
- Pharmacotherapy in which synthetic narcotics are used as an alternative to the drugs during treatment
- Counselling programs include psychotherapy and meeting with patients
- Therapeutics includes a focus on socialization, lifestyle-altering and behavioural changes
Let us know below in the comment box have you ever been involved in substance abuse or if you have a substance abuser nearby in your community? If yes, then how you have tried to stop or help him?