Substance abuse refers to the inappropriate use of any substances intended to alter behavior or mood. These substances can include alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine. A person who is abusing a substance typically uses regularly and to excess, and he or she suffers from physical, social, and emotional side effects as a result of that substance abuse.
What Are the Indicators of Substance Abuse?
If you are concerned that a family member or friend could be engaging in substance abuse, there are numerous signs to watch out for. The physical effects can vary, but generally include a breakdown in personal hygiene and physical appearance. Users may not eat well or maintain normal sleeping patterns. Your loved one might often wear long-sleeved shirts, even during hot weather, and sunglasses, even while indoors. You may also notice unusual behavior in the home. For example, users may often retreat to the bathroom or another locked room, act secretively, and ask to borrow money frequently. A person with a substance abuse problem may neglect to take proper care of his or her home and children.
What Are the Societal Effects of Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse has devastating consequences for the user and his or her family members. However, society as a whole also suffers. Substance abuse lends itself to increased crime rates and increased use of government assistance programs. The economy suffers from lost wages and productivity. A community plagued with substance abuse problems is more likely to have significant homeless populations and a higher unemployment rate.
What Are the Types of Treatment Available?
Supervised and structured treatment programs for substance abuse can be quite effective in turning around a person’s life. Rehabilitation generally includes a detoxification period, followed by intensive inpatient care involving group and individual therapy.
The substance abuse specialists of Las Encinas Hospital treat the underlying causes of addiction with a comprehensive range of behavioral healthcare services. If you are concerned that a loved one could have a substance abuse problem, please call (888) 348-2165 to speak with one of our specialists. Our treatment facility is conveniently located in Pasadena.