Mental Podcast Show

Title: Substance and Alcohol Abuse Disorders

“No matter how good your intentions are, they amount to nothing if you fail to take the necessary steps to make them happen. Wishing for recovery isn’t enough. Take the first step by accepting help from an addiction treatment program.” unknown. 

Two of the most troublesome problems that support people who are addicted are:

1. Denial or the refusal to face the fact that they have a life-threatening issue and

2. some well-meaning family members who support the addiction.

These are among the reasons why addiction often begins in the family. It is also why family members unwittingly support the addiction.

Addiction is characterized by compulsive substance-seeking behavior, despite harmful consequences. Addiction includes substance and alcohol abuse disorders. There are severe public health issues affecting countless individuals worldwide.

Drug and alcohol abuse involves the excessive use of substances, such as leading to a profound alteration in mood, perception, and brain functionality. 

Neurobiologically, addiction is a brain disorder triggered by recurrent drug exposure, which induces changes in the brain’s structure and function, specifically within the reward circuitry. Unable to stop, no control, strong desires, unrecognized problems, and dysfunctional emotions.

Factors Influencing Addiction

Multiple factors contribute to the development and maintenance of addiction disorders. These include genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and individual psychological traits. People with a family history of addiction are more susceptible because of genetic predispositions. Environmentally, exposure to drugs and alcohol at a young age, peer pressure, trauma, and stress all play a substantial role. Psychological traits such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety are also contributing factors.

Impact and Consequences of Addiction

Addiction disorders have devastating consequences on individuals, families, and society. Prolonged substance and alcohol abuse results in severe health complications. These complications include liver disease, respiratory problems, heart disease, stroke, and death.

Psychologically, addiction can result in cognitive impairment, emotional instability, and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

The societal consequences of addiction disorders are vast. Economically, they impose a significant burden due to healthcare costs, lost productivity, and crime. On a more personal level, they often result in broken relationships, child neglect or abuse, unemployment, and homelessness.

Substance and alcohol abuse disorders represent a profound challenge in our society, with significant individual and societal implications. In the face of such a complex issue, it requires a collective effort from policymakers, healthcare professionals, families, and individuals to foster a society free from addiction. We can design better strategies by understanding addiction.

Drug addiction can start with the experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins when they take prescribed medicines or receive them from others who have prescriptions.

The risk of addiction and how fast one becomes addicted varies by drug. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.

As drug use increases, a person will find it increasingly difficult to go without it. As time passes, one may need larger drug doses to get high. Soon they may need the drug to feel good. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill. These are called withdrawal symptoms.




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