Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse Interventions

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Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can be characterized as the overindulgence in and dependence on addictive substances, especially drugs and alcohol. While alcohol and prescription drugs can be used in moderation or as directed by a physician, any use of illegal drugs is usually considered substance abuse.

Substance abuse usually begins with a "gateway drug," such as marijuana or alcohol, and then can progress to more serious drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, and can even result in addiction. As people continue to experiment with different kinds of drugs, their risk for suffering from substance abuse increases.

Those engaged in substance abuse can experience cravings for alcohol that are as strong as the need for food or water. Substance abuse can cause people to continue to drink or do drugs, despite serious family, health or legal problems. Substance abuse can take over your whole life, causing the need for drugs or alcohol to become overwhelming and undeniable.

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You may wonder if you have a problem with substance abuse. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the guide physicians and therapists use to make medical decisions, someone having a problem with substance abuse must have experienced three of the following symptoms during a twelve-month period:

· The patient takes the substance in larger amounts or over longer period than intended
· The patient experiences the persistent desire to cut down on substance use
· The patient has made unsuccessful efforts to control substance use
· The patient spends a great deal of time in activities necessary to obtain the substance (visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance or recover from its effects
· The patient gives up or reduces important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance abuse
· The patient continues substance use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent problems caused or exacerbated by use of the substance
· The patient experiences an increase in tolerance, the need for greater amounts of the substance in order to achieve intoxication or desired effect or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount
· The patient experiences withdrawal symptoms if he or she discontinues use of the substances

If you think you might have a problem with substance abuse, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. A progressive disease, substance abuse can adversely affect your home, work and family life. The only way to become free from drug or alcohol abuse is to seek treatment at a rehabilitation center.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please contact Treatment Referral today to find out more about your drug abuse treatment options.
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