What is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is characterized as when someone abuses psychoactive substances including alcohol and/or drugs. This often leads to dependence of the substance where cravings become uncontrollable.
What Are Some Common Signs Substance Abuse is Present?
Substance abuse affects different people in different ways depending on the substance and the individual. There are many common signs that are directly related to when a person becomes addicted to a substance though, and they may include:
- Letting primary responsibilities slip through the cracks. Examples include: failure to complete school work leading to flunking or not attending work because you’re too hungover.
- Financial and legal consequences are becoming a factor because of your substance abuse. Examples include: proven guilty of driving while under the influence, stealing to support your addiction, or getting into fights while under the influence.
- Relationship problems are starting to arise due to your substance abuse. Relationships are beginning to become distant between you are your partner, family members, co-workers, etc. Often times the relationship will become mostly a common battle or lead to a total loss of the relationship.
- Compulsive behaviors revolving around the substance. Examples include: stealing money, driving while intoxicated, having unprotected sex, etc.
There are other signs and symptoms of substance abuse, but these are some primary signs to be aware of.
How Quickly Can Substance Abuse Progress into Addiction or Dependence?
This common question is a hard one to answer. The reason being because there are so many factors that come into play when addiction becomes dominate. Family history or genetics is one primary factor that may determine if you can or will become addicted to substances. Those who have a history of addiction in their family are more likely to become addicted to substance after trying it. Whereas, someone without family history of addiction may take longer or more times using the substance before becoming addicted. It all depends on the drug, the person, their genetics, and their environment.