Substance abuse is a severe condition that can change how a person feels, acts, and looks. Usually, people who abuse drugs or alcohol do not acknowledge that they have a problem, and people around them are the first to notice the change. Many signs and symptoms indicate excessive substance use, some very obvious while others are subtle.
What is Substance Use?
- Also referred to as substance abuse, substance use is a medical term used to define a pattern of using intoxicants that leads to significant distress or negative consequences. Alcohol, marijuana, opiates, meth, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, and prescription drugs are some of the most commonly abused substances. Both cultural and societal factors play a large role in substance use, including genetic vulnerability, peer pressure, environmental triggers, mental issues, and individual characteristics.
Symptoms of Substance Use
- Consuming alcohol or drugs more or for longer periods. For instance, smoking 2 joints instead of one or drinking multiple glasses of alcohol without realizing it.
- Consuming substances during odd hours, for instance, in the early morning and throughout the day.
- Spending more money on substances as compared to other household items. Prioritizing them over necessities.
- Having more intoxicated days in a week as compared to sober days.
- Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms for long periods. Side effects usually include nausea, vomiting, headaches, blurry vision, slurry speech, blackouts, short-term memory loss, high blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and seizures.
- Changes in appetite. Either eating too much or too little.
- Fluctuations in weight due to changes in appetite and other health factors.
- Continued use of a substance despite experiencing its adverse effects.
- Growing substance tolerance. An increase in substance tolerance can make the consumer immune to the effects of the drug. This means they will either have to consume larger quantities of the same drug to feel its desired effects or experience little to no effects while consuming the same amount.
- Becoming increasingly agitated, violent, or obnoxious. Getting into fights, throwing unnecessary tantrums, and losing their temper more frequently than before.
- Overlooking friendships, relationships, and personal hobbies due to excessive use of alcohol or narcotics.
- Having trouble doing regular activities like cooking, cleaning, and office work.
- Changes in physical appearance. This may include bloodshot and tired eyes, tremors and shakes, bad breath, or frequent bloody noses.
- Changes in the social circle. Hanging out with people who abuse drugs and alcohol and go to various places to do it.
- Taking prescribed medications with alcohol or other drugs.
- Experiencing consistent financial problems and needing extra money to buy drugs and alcohol.
- Feeling paranoid, restless, hallucinating, or showing other signs of mental issues.
- Lacking proper motor skills; unable to walk properly.
- Making risky and strange decisions without paying heed to the consequences. Showing little regard for one’s safety and that of others.
Overcoming Substance Abuse
The first step to overcoming substance abuse is to admit that there is a problem. Admitting takes a lot of courage and is best done with the support of close friends and family members. Once that is out of the way, making specific changes to daily habits is crucial. These can include:
- Surrounding yourself with the right people: One of the most important steps to staying sober is to surround yourself with supportive people and cut loose those who might affect your progress. For example, if you have a social circle that likes to indulge in substances, it is best to avoid their company to stay on track and not relapse.
- Taking up a new hobby: Staying distracted is one of the best ways to keep your mind off the substance. Plus it can prove to be an enriching experience that can help you discover new skills and a new life purpose.
- A workout routine is an effective way to keep the mind and body healthy. As your physical health improves, you will experience the “natural high” caused by endorphins, which can drastically improve your mood. Having a good workout routine will also improve your physical appearance, which can provide a great boost of confidence.
- Eating healthy: The food you put into your body will considerably impact your overall health and well-being. Adding healthy and well-rounded food items to your daily routine will keep your mind and body in shape. When you feel good and look good, your chances of turning to drugs for enhanced mood significantly decrease.
- Practicing mindfulness: Training your brain through different mindfulness exercises and meditation can alleviate anxiety, decrease blood pressure, and boost the body’s immunity. Meditation is especially effective as it helps you calm down and find peace within yourself.
Getting Professional Help for Substance Abuse in Dedham MA
It might be tempting to overcome substance abuse on your own, but it is essential to remember that overcoming addiction is a long and tricky process. Getting professional help for substance abuse in Dedham, MA, means you can choose from various treatment programs. Addiction counseling is essential for full recovery as it provides patients with the right tools to overcome substance use and prevents future relapses. In Dedham, MA, you can look for programs such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs, evening IOP, virtual PHP, and IOP. If you or a loved one is struggling, it is best to seek help right away before hitting rock bottom. A customized program that considers the patient’s needs is the ideal way of getting addiction treatment.
Get Help with Substance Use in Dedham, MA, Today!
Northstar Recovery Center is an addiction treatment facility in MA that aims to help addiction patients recover in a high-quality, comfortable, supportive environment. It provides various substance use disorder programs closely customized to your personal needs and situation. As part of the addiction treatment program, you will work closely with a professional who will assist you in setting realistic goals, tracking progress, and providing the right after-care to prevent relapses.
Partial Hospitalization Program in Southborough, MA
Our partial hospitalization program in Southborough, Massachusetts is the highest level of care we offer. This addiction treatment option includes clinical care and behavioral therapies. During the early days of recovery from addiction, it’s essential to have support for both the physical and emotional challenges you might face. Our team at Northstar Recovery Center in Massachusetts will help you build a strong foundation for lifelong recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Typically, clients come to our addiction treatment center each weekday for several hours of counseling sessions and other interventions as needed.
Intensive Outpatient Program in Southborough, MA
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Southborough, MA does not require 24/7 residency at a facility, but it demands more of your time than a regular outpatient program. It is ideal for those who need a higher level of care but are okay being at home. This way the individual can still live their life while getting counseling and support that is still needed in early recovery from substance use disorder.
Individual, Group, and Family Counseling in Massachusetts
Addiction thrives in isolation, which is why group counseling sessions are a foundational part of our addiction treatment plans. In group sessions, you’ll gain perspective on your struggles with substance abuse and can connect with others who understand your experiences. Family counseling can help your loved ones understand the disease of addiction, navigate conflict, and build healthier relationships. In individual counseling sessions, you’ll be able to work through personal issues like past trauma with the help of an experienced therapist.