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Substance Abuse Resources

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Are you wondering whether yourself or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse? It can be scary coming to terms with the fact that you or a loved one is struggling with addiction. But, if you can accept it, you can do something about it. It is possible to gain fulfilling and lasting recovery from substance addiction. Before choosing an addiction treatment center to gain sobriety and start your journey to recovery, you can benefit from learning more about substance abuse.

Types of Addictive Substances

There are many different forms of substance abuse. This is because there are a number of addictive substances, either legal or illicit, which can lead to both chemical and psychological dependence. It’s important to know about different addictive substances so that you may understand more about a loved one’s addiction. Addictive substances and their characterizing classes may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Bath salts
  • Clonidine
  • Cocaine/crack
  • Amphetamines
  • Heroin
  • Opiates
  • Opioids
  • Ecstasy/MDMA
  • Kratom
  • Marijuana
  • Barbiturates
  • GHB
  • DMT

How Do I Know if I’m Addicted to a Substance?

You may have come here looking to find out if you’re addicted to a drug you’ve been using. The surest way to tell if you’re addicted is to determine dependence. Addiction follows chemical dependence of a substance. This means that the body has become accustomed to the presence of a chemical in the body. So much so, that the body actually reacts adversely when the substance isn’t present. These adverse reactions are also known as withdrawal symptoms. Dependency is noted when the drug is not used and withdrawal symptoms are experienced. So, if you are dependent on a substance, chances are, you are struggling with addiction.

Another main characteristic of addiction is experiencing consequences of using the addictive substance. Consequences can show up in numerous areas of life. Although some people deal with these consequences better than others (known as a functional user), it’s impossible for an addicted individual not to experience consequences of their addiction eventually. Areas of life that consequences of addiction may affect include:

Financial: Feeding an addiction isn’t cheap. The only way to stop painful and aggravating withdrawal symptoms for an addicted individual is to use the drug of choice that the body depends upon. That means constantly buying more to soothe these symptoms and stay high. Often, addicted individuals will drain their bank accounts before they come to accept that they may need help for an addiction.

Broken Relationships: Actively abusing drugs is not usually something loved ones praise. So, individuals suffering from addiction will usually try to hide their addictive behaviors from their friends and family. To hide these addictive behaviors, individuals avoid social outings and will lie to loved ones. After a while, this behavior can damage relationships and harm trust. Addiction doesn’t only affect the individual using drugs, it affects their loved ones as well.

Work/School Complications: Hangovers, withdrawal symptoms, and even getting high can all get in the way of daily obligations like work or school. This can result in expulsion and/or termination. Not to mention, using addictive substances can lower judgment. This can result in apathy for obtaining a job or good grades.

Health issues: It may be obvious that long term drug use may lead to sickness and loss of health. Each addictive substance provides its own onslaught of health risks. The most commonly reported physical consequences of substance abuse include cancer, HIV, damage to vital organs, hormone imbalance, infertility, and other diseases.

Legal Issues: Drug abuse can cause impaired judgment. Sometimes, this impaired judgment can become danger the lives of others. Also, many addictive drugs are illegal to buy and sell, so being caught with them is a sure way to sit in a jail cell. Drug abusers often have legal records due to behaviors associated with drug use.

Treatment for Substance Abuse and Addiction

Unfortunately, many individuals don’t seek help for their addiction until they’ve already experienced many consequences of addiction. So many, in fact, that they have nowhere else to turn. This is commonly referred to as “hitting rock bottom”. While it’s a common statement around the recovery community that it takes a person hitting rock bottom to get help, it’s just simply not true. If you can come to the terms that you suffer from addiction, you can get help before you experience one or all of these consequences. Treatment IS effective in helping individuals struggling with addiction to ANY substance. Although there is no one cure-all for addiction, if you have the commitment and support required, you can indeed recover from addiction and live a life of sobriety.

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