Substance misuse or abuse is the harmful or hazardous use of alcohol or drugs whether they be prescribed or illicit. There are many reasons why someone may take substances such as;
- To cope with negative feelings such as stress and sadness
- To experience the physical and emotional effects
- Peer pressure
- They are addicted psychologically and/or physically
- Social settings where substance use is expected
- To gain a feeling of confidence
Some of these reasons for substance use may not cause any harm to the individual or others, however, it is sometimes difficult to know when substance use does become harmful. This may be particularly difficult with alcohol due to Australia’s strong drinking culture. A sign that someone’s substance use has become harmful is when it starts to negatively impact on their life; when it causes or exacerbates problems. This may include;
- Relationship problems
- Health problems
- Disregarding safety of oneself or others
- Poor work or study attendance and performance
- Financial difficulties
- Legal consequences
Another sign that someone’s substance use has become a problem is when they want to quit but cannot do so. This may be because they are addicted. Addiction physically changes the brain which is why someone who is addicted feels a strong need to continue using that substance and why it is so hard to quit. Although this article has focused on substance use and abuse, people may also become addicted to something else such as gambling or playing video games. These addictions may cause similar problems to substance misuse.
If you or someone you know is worried about substance misuse or are having difficulties trying to quit please seek professional help. If you would like further information from Psychologists Perth or to find a psychologist, contact us today.Article Title: Am I Addicted?
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology
Web Address: www.visioncounselling.com.au
Published: 22/08/2015 Holistic Drug Rehab (2014). Understanding Social Use from Substance Abuse, Alcoholism and Addiction. Available: http://www.alcoholanddrugabuse.com/blog/understanding-social-use-from-substance-abuse-alcoholism-and-addiction/ (Accessed: 2014, April 11).
Robinson, L. Smith, M. Saisan, J. (2014). Drug Abuse and Addiction. (Help.org). Available: http://helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment.htm (Accessed: 2014, April 11).
World Health Organisation (2014). Substance Abuse. Available: http://www.who.int/topics/substance_abuse/en/ (Accessed: 2014, April 11).
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