Substance abuse is the consumption of illegal drugs, alcohol or prescription medicines in a way that results in physical, emotional or psychological harm to the user. Substance abuse often leads to addiction, at which point treatment in a substance abuse rehab facility is needed. Many clients in substance abuse rehab began using legitimate medicines such as painkillers and tranquilizers but later developed a dependency on these drugs. Others use drugs to alleviate the symptoms of mental illness or for recreational purposes.
If you or your loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, a substance abuse rehab program can help. Call Alcohol Treatment Centers Hoboken at (201) 620-9144.
People in substance abuse rehab programs may be involved in several categories of substance abuse. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) classifies drugs according to their potential for abuse, addictiveness and legitimate medical uses. There are five levels of classification, known as schedules.
This category includes drugs such as heroin, LSD, cannabis and ecstasy, which are thought to be especially dangerous and addictive physically and/or psychologically.
This category includes drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Adderall and Ritalin. These drugs may have medical applications but are considered potentially harmful if abused for recreational or other purposes.
These categories are considered the least addictive, although they may still be open to abuse and cause harm if improperly used and include the most commonly prescribed painkillers and tranquilizers.
Substance abuse typically starts as a recreational pastime or way of coping with stress. Persistent abuse of drugs can lead to physical and psychological dependency. If you experience irresistible cravings for a drug or feel that you cannot function properly without it, it is likely that you are addicted. A powerful warning sign is when other people express concern about your drug use or if you have tried and failed to give up. At this stage, you need the help of an addiction treatment center.
Health effects vary depending on the drugs. Common health risks include a greater likelihood of heart attacks, an increased risk of cancer, and reduction in liver function, kidney failure, and cognitive or emotional disorders. Mental illness can also be a product of substance abuse, with symptoms such as psychosis, paranoid hallucinations, anxiety, aggressive behavior, mood swings and depression being quite common.
The first step is a medically supervised detoxification program, or “detox.” This is followed up with therapeutic interventions including psychotherapy, group and occupational therapies. A period of continued support as an outpatient may help consolidate recovery and minimize relapse.
People often avoid treatment because they find it hard to accept they have a drug addiction. It is common to rationalize continual and worsening abuse. Family and friends have to undertake a planned intervention, during which they explain the severity of the problem, insist on positive change and try to encourage the addict to willingly enter the treatment that has been arranged for them. This can be a big step and the services of a professional intervention counselor can be a great help.
If you’re struggling with addiction or need advice about approaching a loved one with a drug abuse problem, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Hoboken today on (201) 620-9144. You don’t have to go through your battle alone. Our specialists are on hand to answer any questions you may have.