What is substance abuse? You’ve heard the term before, but are you sure you know what it is?
The World Health Organization refers to substance abuse as the “harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.” When someone abuses psychoactive substances, such as alcohol, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or some other substance, they often develop what is called a “dependence syndrome.”
This dependence that occurs because of their initial substance abuse causes physiological, cognitive, behavioral, and psychological changes. One of the biggest changes in individuals with substance abuse problems is a strong desire or craving to use their “drug of choice” — often all the time. It is common for this strong craving to completely overwhelm the individual’s life. It trumps everything else so that their job or career, school, family and social life, finances, health, and everything else falls apart.
Signs of Substance Abuse
There are numerous telltale signs of substance abuse disorder. If you are concerned about what is substance abuse in a family member or close friend, check for these signs in their behavior and lifestyle:
- New sleeping patterns–sleeping too much, too little, or at odd times
- Irritability and overall erratic behavior–you never know what their mood will be
- Trouble in school, at work, or with the law
- A sudden new group of friends or significant other
- Financial problems
- Lying and hiding things
- Changes in appearance–not showering, uncombed hair, continually wearing the same clothes, mouth sores, tooth decay, sagging skin, red eyes, larger or smaller than usual pupils
- Loss of interest in old hobbies and pastimes
- A history of addictive behavior
If you are concerned about a substance problem in yourself, watch for these signs in your own behavior and lifestyle:
- Intense cravings for drugs or alcohol
- Trouble at work or school
- Financial problems
- Trouble with the law
- Fighting with friends or family members
- Friends or family members who tell you they’re concerned about your substance abuse habits
- Lying to loved ones to hide your drug or alcohol use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you go for a while without using
- The inability to stop using drugs or alcohol even when you want to or have tried
- A history of addictive behavior in yourself or your family
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?
If you’ve ever looked up “what is substance abuse?” on the Internet, you’ll immediately be flooded with information on substance abuse treatment centers. That’s because the best form of substance abuse treatment comes in the form of detox and rehab at a professional addiction treatment center.
Serenity House Detox & Recovery is one of the leading detox centers in Florida. We prepare our clients for full addiction treatment and recovery by providing the following services:
- Medical detox
- Treatment of the varied symptoms of withdrawal
- Detox programs for the individual
- A holistic approach to recovery
- An introduction to 12-Step program
Start your recovery journey today with our help. To get in touch with Serenity House Detox & Recovery, give us a call at 866-294-5306. An expert addiction specialist will help you decide how to get the treatment you need right away.