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Introduction to Substance Abuse

According to WHO (World Health Organization) misuse of a substance like tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs and other substances like aerosol gases and paint thinners etc. which leads to the alteration of working of body and mind. The abuse of certain substances can be done without becoming dependent on them but if they are abused on a relatively continuous basis, people can become dependent in the long run on physical, emotional and psychological realms. In certain cases, one becomes quite dependent on the substances that are very tough to be reversed. Substance abuse is a serious issue across the world as people falling prey to this lose their health, relationships, lose their personal and professional lives or even die in a short span of time. The substances that are commonly used for substance abuse are cocaine, alcohol, amphetamines, depressants, inhalants, anabolic steroids, narcotics, tobacco, prescribed medicines, over the counter medicines marijuana etc.

Issues of Substance Abuse

When a person is dependent in substance abuse, he or she can be physically, emotionally or psychologically affected and in a long term use they get addicted to the same. This happens because continued usage of such substances leads to growing tolerance for the substance and the dosage of the substance is increased for getting the same effect of the substance. The substance abuse leads to different effects to different parts of the person’s body.

The prolonged abuse of a substance leads to addiction and the person is compelled to use the substance no matter what the problems it brings about to the body on the whole. The psychological addiction leads to usage of substance for the feeling of satisfaction and the physical addiction leads to sickness and physical withdrawal symptoms in the person when the abuse of substance is stopped. The issues are different in different people from the abuse of different substances ranging from children to old people.

How to diagnose the Substance Abuse?

The diagnosis of substance abuse is difficult and the treatment for the same is also tough as the convincing act of the substance abusers is equivalent to impossible as the addiction of the substance is very high. The diagnosis can be done with the help of medical history, physical examination, urine and blood test. This is because the abuser is scared of losing the substance or the withdrawal symptoms above his or her health or safety.

How to treat Substance Abuser

The substance abuser can be treated for getting substance abusers stop using the substance, getting them over the withdrawal symptoms and stopping the relapse after the treatment. The psychotherapy of the patients who are out patients can be done along with self-help groups for effective results. The treatment is given by doctors and organizations specializing in the rehabilitation of such substance abusers. The treatment includes:

  1. Check the psychiatric and medical disorders of the abusers.
  2. Explain the consequences of drug abuse and its addiction.
  3. Provide support
  4. Give group and individual psychotherapy treatment
  5. Provide rehabilitation and life skills training to the abuser.

Above all, the abusers once treated need to be guarded well so that they don’t turn back to substance abuse again.