Substance abuse is the wrongful use of substances that are termed psychoactive and hazardous to human health, such as illicit drugs and alcohol. The use of these substances may lead to a condition called dependence syndrome, which is a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological phenomena. It develops when there is repeated use of a substance, thereby creating a stronger desire to retake the drug and use it persistently despite knowing that the consequences could be harmful. After a while, controlling its use becomes difficult; it leads to increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. In the end, drug use becomes a top priority while forgetting other obligations and activities.
Public health problems brought about by substance use/abuse can be significantly reduced by implementing policies that influence substance use patterns and monitoring the harm related to its use. Also, the level of healthcare system intervention can work in restoring the health of the affected individuals.
Early substance abuse includes the abuse of substances such as tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, inhalants, and prescribed drugs like anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills. Substance abusers typically become heavily involved in drug use during late adolescence. When drug abuse persists, and they outgrow substances like marijuana, they advance to other drugs while continuing the abuse of alcohol and tobacco. Research has revealed that drug abuse during late childhood and early adolescence is brought about by increased drug involvement, for instance, through peer pressure.
According to scientists, a family history of alcohol or drug abuse is termed as a biological cause and explains why some individuals become involved with drugs to a level that has escalated to abuse. A common explanation for drug abuse is the involvement with drug-abusing peers, and the abuser ends up gaining exposure to other drugs; this is the leading cause of drug abuse.
Researchers have also found out that young people who rapidly increase their substance use are likely to become substance abusers. Low-level risk factors include geographic location, race, and gender, but they also play a significant role in determining when and how children become involved in drug and substance abuse.
Quitting Substance Abuse
To stop substance addiction, the individual needs to set up specific, measurable, and realistic goals related to drug use. Isolation can result in depression. The addict seeking recovery needs the support of close family members and friends during the recovery period.
Substance use is prevalent, and individuals become addicted after a while. Overcoming drug addiction is tough, but when an addict decides to quit and is willing to make the necessary changes, nothing can stop him. The first step to recovery is recognizing and accepting the fact that he is an addict, but with the willingness to change. If the addiction is for a prescribed drug, he must find an alternative treatment for his medical condition. The rehabilitation process is a crucial and challenging time for a drug abuser; thus the positive influence and support given by loved ones is necessary to overcome addiction.