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  • Writer's pictureHeather Steele

What Is Substance Abuse and How Can Therapy Help?

Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the use of a drug in a way that causes harm to the individual or to others. This can include taking a drug in larger amounts or more frequently than prescribed, using a drug for non-medical reasons, or using a drug in a manner that is dangerous or risky. Substance abuse can lead to a wide range of negative consequences, including physical and mental health problems, addiction, and social and legal issues.


According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017. (1)

There are many different types of drugs that can be abused, including both legal and illegal substances. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.


Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances, and excessive alcohol use can lead to a wide range of health problems, including liver damage, heart disease, and cancer. It can also have a big impact on a person sleep and overall mental health- find out more. Additionally, alcohol use can lead to addiction and can contribute to social and legal problems such as DUI and domestic violence.


Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder. (1)

Marijuana is another commonly abused drug, and its use can lead to memory and concentration problems, as well as increased risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In addition, marijuana use can lead to addiction and can impact a person's ability to perform well in school or at work.


Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. These drugs can be highly addictive and can lead to overdose and death. The opioid epidemic has been a major public health crisis in recent years, with opioid overdose deaths reaching an all-time high.


Stimulants are a class of drugs that include cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. These drugs can lead to a wide range of health problems, including heart attack and stroke, and can also be highly addictive. Stimulant abuse can also lead to social and legal problems such as theft and violent behavior.


Treatment for substance abuse typically includes a combination of therapy and medication. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, can help individuals understand the reasons behind their drug use and develop strategies for coping with triggers and avoiding relapse. Medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine, can help individuals with opioid addiction detox and manage withdrawal symptoms. Reach out to our staff for a free consultation to see if we are a good fit to help your or a loved one overcome addiction.


Between 85% and 95% of drug users that entered into a treatment program report still being sober nine months post-rehab (2)

In conclusion, substance abuse is a serious issue that affects individuals, families and society as a whole. It is defined as the harmful use of drugs, which include both legal and illegal substances. The negative consequences of substance abuse can range from physical and mental health problems, addiction, and social and legal issues. With the proper understanding, and the right treatment, people with substance abuse can be helped, and the society can prevent and mitigate the damage caused by substance abuse.


References

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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