Commonly Abused Substances

substance abuseSubstance abuse is found in every culture and every demographic on earth. All types of people can be prone to substance abuse. There are many substances that provide people with feelings of pleasure and relief. These feelings are rewarding, and it can be hard to tell one’s self that they are better off moderating those feelings than they are of completely indulging in them. Of all the substances that are frequently abused, there are some that people are far more drawn to than others. These substances are as follows:

  • Prescription medications. This commonly abused substance is on the rise despite legal efforts to contain it. People frequently become too dependent on the medications that are prescribed to them by a doctor and take them in excess, run out faster than they should, and find more through any devious means they can, including going to multiple pharmacies.
  • Alcohol. This substance is commonly considered the world’s oldest substance to have been abused by people. Alcohol has been around for thousands of years, and even dating back to its earliest uses are examples of people using it to excess for its mood altering qualities. In modern times, this problem has only become more serious, with alcohol related deaths occurring in shocking numbers in many places around the world.
  • Street drugs. Illegal recreational drugs are popular the world over for their mind altering effects. Some are modern and some are ancient. Street drugs are abused because they put the user into a euphoric state, which many users do not want to come out of. The demand for street drugs has caused millions of deaths due to overdose and the violence and corruption of sales being made on an unregulated black market.
  • Food and ┬ábeverage. Every day foods and beverages are frequently overlooked as objects of substance abuse, but there is no doubt that they are. The abuse of food and drinks accounts for some of the most prevalent health problems in the United States and Canada.

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

substance abuse mental illnessA diagnosis called a co-occurring disorder is determined for those who struggle with substance abuse problems and a mental disorder. Substance abuse problems can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Similarly, mental disorders can create serious problems for people who suffer from them. For some people, both conditions are a reality. This may arise in the form of alcoholism and depression, drug addiction and anxiety or many other variations. Sometimes knowing which disorder is informing which decision is extremely difficult, and treatment will have to be intensive and long-lasting in order to be successful. This dual diagnosis requires special treatment in order get rid of because the two conditions affect and aggravate one another in a complicated manner.

Ongoing substance abuse damages the body’s chemistry even when the person in question is not under the influence, so their weight, sleep schedule and nutrient intake are completely erratic, making their mental disorder that much more out of control. Substance abuse is the overindulgence or the dependence on an addictive substance, such as alcohol, drugs or certain foods. People abuse substances for a number of biological, environmental, psychological and emotional reasons. Substance abuse can refer to a one time incident or a repeated behavior. When a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, anxiety, anger or ADHD is acting in conjunction with substance abuse, the person may have severe mood swings, manic episodes, anger management issues or attention problems that are enhanced by the substance abuse. This is not only while the person is under the influence.

Do not hesitate to gain support from local substance abuse and mental health professionals if you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and mental issues. Co-occurring disorders are very damaging when left untreated, even fatal in some instances. Both can be damaging or fatal to life and health one their own, but together, the destruction is enhanced and sped up. If you or someone you know is known to abuse a substance and exhibits signs of a mental disorder, urgent treatment is necessary.