Essay on Substance Use And Substance Abuse

Essay on Substance Use And Substance Abuse

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When you hear the word addiction, the first thoughts that come to mind are those regarding alcoholics and users of illicit drugs. In reality, as recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and referred to as substance-use disorders, it encompass’ ten classes of drugs: alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, inhalants, pain-killers, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, stimulants, tobacco and unknown substances. These substance-use disorders are commonly referred to as substance abuse or substance addictions, but the term ‘dependance’ is more appropriate and accurately depicts the type individual’s that suffer from these disorders. Justly, the Oxford English Dictionary defines addiction as the:
Immoderate or compulsive consumption of a drug or other substance; a condition characterized by regular or poorly controlled use of a psychoactive substance despite adverse physical, psychological, or social consequences, often with the development of physiological tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. (OED)
The key phrase utilized in their definition is that these addictions are often accompanied with the development of physiological tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. This means that the drug user’s substance-use disorder has deteriorated from a psychological addiction to a physiological dependence that no amount of self-control or will-power can enable them to ‘just stop’.
In general, the public’s perception of an individual suffering from addiction is negative and often perceived as someone having no self-control who should ‘just stop’. Unfortunately, the driving force behind substance-use is commonly not a psychological craving but a physiological dependance accompanied by withdrawals if the substance is not used. The severity of symptom...


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...eterrents when it comes to asking for help. No one wants to admit that they have become dependent on substance-use and live in constant fear of the withdrawals that await them. Relapse is very common with individuals who suffer from substance-use disorders that have developed withdrawals during their addiction; Many recovering addicts will continue using to avoid experiencing withdrawals. The anxiety associated with withdrawals can affect these individuals long after their symptoms have subsided and it is possible that this anxiety is driving force of relapse. These individuals never knew that their psychological addictions could deteriorate into a physiological dependence, but now it is too late and they are unable to ’just stop’ on their own. This is more than a psychological addiction and must be treated in a hospital under the supervision of medical professionals.

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