Drug abuse, otherwise known as substance abuse or substance use disorder, is an illness that affects someone's brain and, consequentially, their behavior. It is characterized as being unable to control the use and consumption of drugs, resulting in continued use even though their life has already been negatively impacted by this behavior. At this point, it has quickly become an addiction. Commonly abused drugs include, but are not limited to, alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, and marijuana.
The Root Cause of Substance Abuse
Much like mental illness, there can be a number of causes. A major cause for adults struggling with substance abuse and drug addiction is their surroundings. They could be surrounded by friends or family that encourage drug use, who also convinced them to try drugs in the first place. Genetics may also play a role in addiction, so if the individual's parents, for example, were addicted to a certain drug, it becomes possible that the individual can become addicted as well. Additionally, some adults develop a substance addiction from going through a series of rough patches in life, which led them to turn to drugs as a way to escape from their current reality.
Signs of Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
There are several different signs that someone is struggling with abuse or addiction. A common sign that may not be seen is when the drugs change the way the brain perceives pleasure to a point where the individual will seek it occasionally to feel good, but then they will seek it regularly. This can then progress to having an intense desire for the drug. Over time, they will only ever feel good if they keep using the drug, resulting in keeping a constant supply no matter what the costs.
After a while, constant use of the drug leads to another sign: withdrawal. It may easily be confused with fever and flu symptoms, such as nausea, sweats, fatigue, and even vomiting. In more severe cases, some symptoms may include seizures.
Other signs relate to a change in behavior and personality. For example, an adult who is dealing with substance use disorder may slack off on work responsibilities and seem distant when it comes to social or recreational activities with friends or family, often choosing to avoid them altogether. Additionally, they may start to steal as a means of affording the drug.
Outpatient Treatment For Substance Abuse at Sacred Oak
Substance abuse, as part of chemical dependency, is more common than not. Through our outpatient programs, we are able to help individuals understand the cause of their addiction, their triggers, and healthy ways to mitigate them. Help and recovery are out there, so please contact us if you or a loved one may be in need of an assessment.