Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment Questions and Answers
If you or someone you know struggles with substance abuse and addiction, call Advanced Psych Care today. Read our below Q and A page below. Please call us for more information or request and appointment online. We serve patients from Salem NH, Windham NH, Atkinson NH, Plaistow NH, Pelham NH, Hampstead NH, Danville NH and Derry NH.
Substance abuse and addiction are extremely prevalent conditions, affecting the lives of millions of people in the US every day. Substance abuse and addiction does not only affect the individual: it affects everyone in that person’s life, both friends and family and even coworkers and colleagues. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments to combat substance abuse and addiction and to break free of the grip that it has on an individual.
Is it substance use or substance abuse?
The difference between ‘substance use’ and ‘substance abuse’ can be confusing. ‘Substance abuse’ is an antiquated term used previously by the APA (American Psychological Association). Along with ‘substance dependence,’ ‘substance abuse’ was replaced by ‘substance use disorder,’ which is now the proper term for addiction.
What does substance abuse include?
Substance abuse can be defined as a pattern of use of any substance for mind-altering effects. Substances can include alcohol, medication and illegal drugs, among others. Abuse does not immediately refer to addiction, as someone can abuse illicit drugs, alcohol or prescription medication by taking more than the recommended amount or using them in a way that is not intended or recommended without developing a dependency or addiction.
What is the basis of addiction?
A healthy brain rewards healthy behaviors, such as eating, exercising, or spending time with loved ones. This occurs by activating areas of the brain that promote feeling of wellbeing, which then motivates people to repeat those behaviors. On the other hand, when experiencing danger, a healthy brain pushes a person to react quickly with fear or distress to enable them to remove themselves from the dangerous situation. When tempted by something questionable—like eating dessert before dinner or buying things on impulse—the front regions of the brain help in deciding if the consequences outweigh the benefits.
When an addiction starts to form, the normal hardwiring of advantageous brain processes can begin to impede on one’s decision making. Addictive substances can hijack the pleasure/reward circuits in the brain and persuade a person to continue using the substance, regardless of the physical, psychological, mental or interpersonal ramifications. Addiction can also send the emotional danger-sensing circuits into overdrive, making a person feel anxious and stressed when they are not using the substance. At this point, the addictive substance, be it illegal drugs, prescription medications or alcohol, are relied upon to prevent the users from feeling bad rather than for their pleasurable effects.
In addition to this, continual and repeated use of drugs or alcohol can damage the prefrontal cortex, an essential decision-making center at the front of the brain. This region of the brain is responsible for recognizing the dangers associated with substance abuse. Therefore, when it is damaged, an individual’s capacity for reasoning is greatly inhibited.
What Is the Difference Between Substance Abuse and Addiction?
Understanding the difference between substance abuse and addiction can help you better understand the problem at hand. Substance abuse implies that there is still a level of control an individual has over their life, while addiction refers to a disease that has many negative impacts on several different aspects of their life. The two can be hard to distinguish, as someone with an addiction may seem to only have an abuse problem, when in reality their addiction is tearing their life apart. Likewise, someone with an abuse problem might appear to have an addiction, but they actually have control over their substance use.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, come to Advanced Psych Care for treatment today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in helping people overcome substance abuse and addiction problems. Start your journey on the road to recovery today. For more information on our addiction and substance abuse treatment, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our substance abuse and addiction specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.