Disorders, such as addiction and substance abuse, are common disorders that involve the overuse of alcohol and/or drugs. Addiction is a relapsing and chronic illness and develops over time. Identifying and recognizing a substance use problem, whether that of a buddy or your own, may be the start of a better life.
There are three distinct terms used to represent substance-related addictive dysfunctions:
1. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse indicates the misuse of illegal substances or the abusive use of legal substances. It’s an addictive disorder that refers to a pattern of substance (usually drug or alcohol) uses resulting in significant problems or distress, such as failure to attend school, substance use in dangerous situations (like driving a car), substance-related legal troubles or continued substance use that interferes with family relationships or friendships. Alcohol is the most fundamental legal drug to be abused.
2. Substance Dependence
It is an addictive disorder that defines the use of alcohol or drugs, even when significant problems associated with their use have developed. Symptoms involve an extended tolerance–that is, the requirement for increased amounts of the substance to obtain the wanted effect; unsuccessful efforts to reduce consumption; increased time spent in activities to get the material; withdrawal signs with limited use; withdrawal from social and recreational activities; and extended use of this substance even with knowledge of the psychological or physical problems encountered by the extent of substance use.
3. Chemical Dependence
Chemical dependence is an addictive illness that describes the compulsive use of chemicals (usually alcohol or drugs) and the failure to stop practicing them despite all the issues caused by their use.
The substances often abused, especially by adolescents with addictive disorders, include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Anabolic steroids
People with addictive disorders may experience different symptoms. Some common symptoms of addictive disorders are:
- Going high on drugs or becoming intoxicated (drunk) regularly
- Lying, especially about how much they’re drinking or using drugs
- Avoiding family members and friends
- Leaving activities, they used to enjoy, such as sports or spending time with non-using buddies
- Speaking a lot about using alcohol or drugs
- Thinking they want to use or drink to have fun
- Pressuring others to drink or use
- Getting in problem with the law
- Taking risks, such as driving while drunk or sexual risks
- Suspension/expulsion from college or being dismissed from work for a substance-related episode
- Missing school or work because of substance use
- Hopeless or depressed, or suicidal feelings
- Loss of appetite, reduced energy
- Unexplained falls and injuries
- Refusal of a substance use problem
- Agitation, mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses and blackouts
- Financial problems due to spending money on drugs or alcohol
- The trouble with underage drinking, assault, public intoxication, possession of drugs, domestic violence, sexual assault, child neglect or child abuse
- Unsatisfactory work performance, frequently calling in sick at work or chronic delay
- Relationship problems, including physical harm and domestic violence
- The inattention to personal hygiene and dress
- Spending more time in activities involving drugs or alcohol
Any of these warning symptoms may have other reasons, but a composite of many signs could symbolize a problem. Left untreated, unnecessary substance use may cause serious issues, family conflicts, loss of friendships and difficulties at work.
There are multiple factors behind addictive disorders, including environmental stressors, individual personality traits, social pressures, Genetic vulnerability, and issues.
From a neurological perspective, addictive disorders arise when a substance changes how the user’s brain feels delighted. Addictive substances change the brain’s capacity to send and receive chemicals called neurotransmitters, which produce pleasure.
The addictive substances can block nerves in mind (called neurons) from getting these neurotransmitters, indicating that the drug user depends on the medication, rather than her or his natural brain chemicals, for emotions of happiness.
Most of the information available about substance use and abuse comes from analyzing adult populations. Incomplete research examining young adult substance use and misuse leaves topics concerning how it differs from substance abuse in other age groups ignored.
Some teenagers are more at risk of contracting addictive disorders, including teenagers with one or more of the following situations present:
- Kids of substance abusers
- Teenagers who are victims of psychological, physical, or sexual abuse
- Teenagers with mental health issues particularly discouraged and suicidal teens
- Physically disabled adolescents
Addiction to a self-destructive behavior can be comparable to a substance use disorder. It includes severe consequences and may interfere with your day-to-day life.
Some common types of addictive behavior include:
You’re not able or unwilling to leave an unhealthy relationship that’s unsafe to your well-being.
You spend so much time on the internet that you neglect interactions or other duties.
Food becomes a means to handle feelings and emotions, and you are not able to manage what and how much you eat.
You compulsively place bets, whatever the financial consequences.
Sexual activity becomes your life’s focus, to the detriment of relationships and your duties.
Work takes precedence over everything else including nearest and dearest and your health.
You compulsively buy things you do not need — or even necessarily need — as a means to reach a temporary “high,” despite the financial pressures.
Many flags of behavior include:
- The person can not consider anything else.
- They lie or become frustrating when others find an issue in their response.
- One may feel depressed or stressed once you stop the behavior.
- The person becomes withdrawn or isolated from friendships and family relationships.
- Addicts want to engage in the addictive behavior over and over again and at higher stakes.
Strategies to avoid substance use disorder
The best way to stay away from substance use disorder is to understand that there exists a problem and deal with it. Be proactive and observant.
Don’t wait until there’s a significant problem in the life span of a person you know or in your life. There are things you can do to get assistance or provide it to someone:
- Seek advice from a supervisor
- Speak with a mental health professional
- Keep an open dialogue with support members
- Promote healthy alternatives for dealing with anxiety
- Treatment and recovery
Most people who misuse drugs or alcohol require long-term support or expert help. Do not be afraid to reach out. Based on the kind of dependence, there are options for getting the help you require.
- Service branch substance abuse programs. You may take help from your service branch substance abuse program: Navy Alcohol, and Drug Abuse Prevention, Marine Corps Substance Abuse Program, and Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Program.
- Treatment for family members struggling with addiction is covered under TRICARE.
- Veteran Affairs programs. Eligible veterans can find substance abuse programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Ask your healthcare specialist for a referral to a therapist or a therapist in your area.
- Talk about the matter to your unit chaplain. You can find the contact info locally in your setup through your Family Readiness Officer on your installation.
If someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs, treatment may include monitoring by a health professional for signs of physical withdrawal. People who misuse alcohol and/or medicines require expert or support help.
Ask your physician. You can also find support via:
- Twelve-step service groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
- Detox programs, residential or outpatient applications, and halfway homes
- Alateen, Al-Anon and other programs that offer support to the families and friends affected by substance use disorders
To discover a program near you, call the National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information hotline at 800-729-6686. You might browse the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s fact sheet on support groups to find out more about self-help groups and 12-step programs.
No matter what you are going through, there is a peace of mind in recognizing that support is available whenever you want it. Getting help can be the starting of returning to mission and family readiness as well as the launching point beginning to a life that is productive and meaningful.