Addiction and substance abuse, adult

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What are the addiction and substance abuse?

Commonly known as drug abuse, substance abuse is a term describing conditions in which the user consumes harmful substances regardless its consequences. When psychoactive substances such as alcohol and illicit drugs are over-used, it could lead to addiction and many harmful consequences. In addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, use of some drugs may also lead to criminal penalties and other social burdens.

How common are the addiction and substance abuse?

This health condition is extremely common. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of addiction and substance abuse?

There are some signs and symptoms of addiction and substance abuse that you can concern:

  • Feeling neglect because of your drug use.
  • The drugs you use are under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high.
  • The drugs you use get you into legal trouble.
  • You have problems in your relationships.
  • You have built up a drug tolerance.
  • You use drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • You lost control.
  • You continue to use drugs while know that hurts you.
  • Your life revolves around drugs use.
  • You feel abandoned to enjoy activities.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes the addiction and substance abuse?

There are many reasons for people to use drugs excessively. Substances such as cigarettes, alcohol are the most harmful substances used by many people since their childhood or the teen years. There are certain risk factors that may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.

Firstly, relationship problems are the leading cause of substance abuse. Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse. When growing up in a family which lacks care and parental attachment, a child will then growing up with high possibility of drug or substance abuse. And sometimes, when parents have been addicted to substances, their child will have a high risk of using them.

Secondly, factors related to person’s socialization outside the family may also increase the risk of drug abuse. Many people use drugs to fit in or try to avoid the shy behavior. This could be the result of poor social coping skills. Some people use drugs or alcohol to hide their feeling from mental problems like breaking up, losing a loved one or being abused.

Know the risk factors

What are the risk factors for the addiction and substance abuse?

There are some risk factors for the addiction and substance abuse, such as:

  • Socially connect;
  • Problems can sometimes sneak up on you;
  • The drugs fulfill your valuable need;
  • Drugs abuse take hold.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How to diagnose addiction and substance abuse?

For diagnosis, the doctor often uses criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

How to treat addiction and substance abuse?

Although most substance abusers believe they can stop using drugs on their own, a majority who have tried did not succeed. According to research, long-term drug abuse alters brain function and strengthens compulsions to use drugs. This craving continues even after drug use stops. Hence, the most important rule of treatment is preventing them from relapsing. Often, a drug user has an underlying mental disorder, one that increases the risk for substance abuse. Such disorders must be treated medically and through counseling along with the drug abuse.

Treating substance abuse depends on both the person and the substance being used. Behavioral treatment provides you with strategies to cope with your drug cravings and ways to avoid relapsing. Your doctor may prescribe medications to control withdrawal symptoms and certain drug cravings

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

How to manage addiction and substance abuse?

 The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with health condition:

  • Try to balance your lifestyle;
  • Stop drinking alcohol and smoking;
  • Doing exercise;
  • Eating healthily;
  • Connect with social life;
  • Keep away from stress;
  • Often share with family members or your loved ones.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 13, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019