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Substance Abuse

Drug addiction, also known as Substance Use Disorder, is a disorder that severely affects the brain and behavior, leading to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal substance. When addicted, the person continues to use it despite the harm caused by the drug.

Substance addiction can start with an experimental use in social environments, or by exposure to prescription drugs or by taking the drug from a prescribed relative or friend. Of course, the risk of addiction and how quickly addiction can occur vary from person to person and from substance to substance. As time passes, the person begins to need higher doses. At the same time, as the person's substance use increases, staying drug-free will become increasingly difficult for him. Attempts to stop use will bring with it an intense desire and various physical symptoms along with it. These are called withdrawal symptoms.

To overcome addiction and stay away from drugs, you need help from an expert staff. In addition, the support of family and social environment is also very important.


Which Substances Are Addictive?

According to the definition of the World Health Organization, drugs; It is any substance that can change one or more functions of the organism when taken into a living organism, outside the areas for health reasons. When these substances enter the body, they are chemicals that cause physical, behavioral and spiritual changes, make the person numb, immobilize or make the person lose control and become addicted. These; alcohol, cigarettes (tobacco), stimulants (cocaine, caffeine, amphetamine, ecstasy), opiates (heroin, morphine, methadone, codeine, meperidine), hallucinogens, central nervous system depressants (benzodiazepines, akinetone, etc.), volatile substances (gasoline, thinner, honey, etc.), phencyclidine (PCP), cannabis, and the like. As can be seen, there are many substances included in the drug classification. Some of these can be found in nature, while others are produced in laboratories. For this reason, some are legal and some are not.

What Are the Symptoms of Substance Abuse?

Some of the drug addiction symptoms include:

  • Feeling as if you have to use the drug or substance regularly.

  • Having intense urges towards the substance that inhibits thoughts, especially disturbing thoughts.

  • Needing higher doses of the drug over time to achieve the same effect.

  • Continuing to spend money on medicine even if the person's financial power does not allow.

  • Failure to fulfill one's obligations and job responsibilities due to substance use.

  • Withdrawal from social or recreational activities due to substance use.

  • Continuing substance use even though the person is aware that it causes problems in her life and harms her physically or psychologically.

  • Using illegal means to obtain drugs.

  • Putting oneself in situations that could create physical danger (such as driving a car) while under the influence of drugs.

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to stop using the substance.

Apart from these, there are many different ways to understand that a person is using substances. Substance use also causes symptoms such as lack of concentration, hallucinations, tantrums, aggression, fatigue, anxiety and anxiety, sudden mood swings, restlessness, fainting, and memory loss.

physical dependence; It occurs when repeated use of drugs changes the brain's way of enjoying. The addictive drug causes physical changes in certain neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. These changes can persist for a long time, even after stopping the drug.

Reasons Leading to Substance Addiction

As with many mental health disorders, various environmental and genetic factors may contribute to the development of substance abuse. Hereditary characteristics of a person's family, such as beliefs, attitudes, or exposure to a drug-using peer group can also accelerate the progression of the disease. Regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, every person can become a drug addict. Moreover, some situations can affect the likelihood and speed of developing addiction:

  • Family history of addiction: People who have a parent, sibling, or relative with a drug addiction have a higher risk of developing addiction.

  • Peer pressure: It is a strong factor in initiating drug use, especially for young people.

  • Early age of onset: Using drugs at an early age can cause changes in the developing brain structure and increase the likelihood of developing substance abuse.

  • Using highly addictive drugs: Some substances such as stimulants, cocaine or opioids can cause addiction to develop more quickly than others.

  • Mental health disorders: Disorders such as depression, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can increase the likelihood of drug addiction. Drug use can result in addiction, as drug use can be seen as a way of coping with painful emotions such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Conditions such as low self-esteem, negative life experiences, low family and social environment support, and a negative, undisciplined and unsafe school environment can be counted among the other factors that may lead to substance addiction.

All of the topics mentioned in the article can be studied with substance addiction. If you are looking for an expert to accompany you on your journey with yourself, you can apply to Lenus Psychology.

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