On a summer evening, you were riding your bike on a busy road and, in the heat of the moment, paddled faster than ever. Before you knew it, you fell and scraped your knee; it was swollen for a while.
In such a case, you would usually get back up, walk it off without any guilt, and be a bit more careful the next time. If you were to fall again, you would inspect the bike, check if the wheels are in order, and slowly ask for help until both you and your bike are well again. Substance abuse and addiction are strikingly similar to falling off a bike. With a physical injury, people immediately seek help when they can no longer control the pain; people with addiction, however, are somewhat hesitant to accept that they require assistance.
What is substance abuse?
Substance abuse happens when a person develops a dependence or addiction to a substance to function in daily life; they cannot control their impulses and usually increase their use with time.
Substance use is a common phenomenon in the young adult population. Many people experience it firsthand due to peer pressure, social events, and injury medication.
“Substance abuse, however, happens when one employs a maladaptive coping mechanism using the substance. It can be seen as a spectrum where there is excessive use of products such as coffee and tea to substances like morphine and marijuana,” says Dr. Arun, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cadabams Group
How can you identify addiction?
Suppose you or a loved one has recently experimented with drugs. In that case, the following signs can help you identify if you may be developing a substance use disorder.
Let’s say you drink caffeine regularly. You may be developing a caffeine addiction if you follow the following;
- Drink coffee, energy drinks, and carbonated drinks in more significant amounts or for longer than you’re meant to.
- Want to cut down or stop drinking coffee but cannot.
- Have cravings and urges to buy/make coffee, caffeinated drinks.
- Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because you did not drink coffee or an energy drink that day.
- Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of your use of caffeinated products.
- Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by coffee.
- You Need more cups of coffee and/or cans of Redbull to get the active vigilance you want.
- Development of withdrawal symptoms, where you feel anxious without drinking coffee.
Suppose you enjoy drinking coffee every day and say yes to most of the eight points mentioned here. In that case, this could be a sign of your chemical dependency on caffeinated products. Similarly, people who have alcoholism become chemically dependent on alcohol. Those who are battling addiction may then become ill if they suddenly stop drinking. People may also feel psychologically reliant on alcohol and continue to use it, particularly under stressful circumstances or to alleviate other psychological problems.
How to Access Addiction and Substance Abuse Treatment?
For many people struggling with addiction, the most challenging step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to start recovery or if you have what it takes to quit. Suppose you’re addicted to a prescription drug. In that case, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition.
Recovery requires time, motivation, and support. Still, by committing to change, you can defeat your addiction and reacquire control of your life. In a situation where you identify yourself or a loved one battling addiction, you can find yourself having an overwhelming experience as you try to understand it. While the process is challenging and isolating, there is always help available to assist you through it. Substance abuse can be treated in many ways. Drug Addiction Help includes Detox, medication, and counseling are a few popular methods to do so.