Substance Abuse Disorder
Everyone who drinks or uses is not necessarily an alcoholic or an addict.
Who is a Social Drinker/User?
A social drinker/user is someone who will indulge in drinking and using within the parameters of one’s social dynamics and norms. He or she is someone who will drink only at social gatherings and will never overstep to a level of uncontrolled using.
What is Substance Abuse?
To know addiction, we need to understand Use, Misuse and Abuse.
USE can be categorised under social drinking or medications prescribed by a physician.
MISUSE is a situation where an individual uses the substance fro a purpose it is not intended for.
ABUSE is where an individual continues tol indulge in consuming a substance inspite of experiencing severe crisis.
Substance abuse is normally a condition bordering between Misuse and Abuse.
A simpler explanation will be “That any activity involving the consumption of a substance, that lead to missing out on priorities of one’s life “can be termed as Substance Abuse.
Substance Abuse is a chronic illness, where an individual indulges in an obsessive and compulsive consumption of the substance that exceeds the normal parameters. It is aided by psychosomatic conditions that manifests itself as a disorder of behaviour.
How does one identify that one is experiencing a problem with Substance Abuse
The following can be used as benchmarks to help one identify:
- Experiencing BLACKOUTS
- DRINKING OR USING ALONE (Prefers to be alone rather than a social setting)
- GULPING DRINKS (The “bottoms up” philosophy is frequent. )
- INCREASED TOLERANCE (The need for consuming more of the substance to get intoxicated)
- PROTECTING SUPPLY (Ensuring the availability of the substance within easy reach 24×7)
- PREOCCUPATION with the substance . (When, where and how do I use)
- NON PRE-MEDITATED USE ( Impulsive action to pick up a substance, inspite of a supposedly strong commitment not to).
If an individual has, does or is experiencing any of the above, he or she seriously needs to take stock and reach out for help.
Causes For Substance Abuse:
Having a family history of substance abuse can contribute largely to the development of a person becoming a substance abuser.
Growing up in an environment as a child that has consumption of alcohol or drugs instils the belief system – that to feel good and happy, one needs to use. Also, the peer group in the formative years plays a crucial role.
Substance Abuse is just not the use of substance. The abuse of substance is a manifestation of a deeply ingrained personality trait in such individuals. A very famous psychoanalyst once termed it as the “King or Queen Baby Syndrome”.
This syndrome is acted out in the form of “I want what I want and I want it now – no matter what”. In a broader term, the person indulges in self gratifying behaviours at the cost of others.
Non adherence to the demands of “The King or Queen Baby” normally has the person acting out in the form of Blackmail, Threaten, Sulk, Tantrums or Extort.
Families need to watch out for these symptoms in early childhood and adolescence and seek professional help as soon as possible
Substance Abuse can have a negative impact on a person, not just mentally and emotionally, but physically too.
- Excessive indulgence is linked with several medical conditions. The common ones are liver disease, hypertension, diabetes, infection of the pancreas, cancers of the breast, ovaries and prostate, cirrhosis of the liver, seizures and gout. Drinking or using during pregnancy can harm the fetus and cause permanent brain damage.
- Alcohol and drugs can cloud one’s judgement and make a person more prone to risky behavior, including road accidents and violence.
Families of a substance abuser are set of hurt, confused people. They are victims struggling to solve their own problems. They end up being Co-dependent. They end up reacting to the problems of the addict as well as thir own. This becomes a habit and thus ends up as an equally destructive lifestyle. The families need lots of help to start Acting and not Reacting. This can be achieved with the help of counselling and self help groups
No individual dealing with this problem is helpless or hopeless. Come join our support groups and allow our experts guide you in the right direction