Dealing with addiction and substance abuse for adults

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

Addiction Substance abuse occurs when a person over uses a particular drug to achieve a certain result. Substance abuse and addiction can be cause by a number of different factors. One of the main causes of substance abuse is due to genetic factors. If there is a family history of substance abuse, there is a greater chance you could one day battle drug abuse or addiction. There is also an increased risk of substance abuse and addiction for someone dealing with a mental illness. Those who are one pain medications for certain injuries or illness can also become addicted if medicine use is not properly monitored. One of the most prominent causes of addiction and substance abuse is peer pressure. It can be difficult to “just say no” when the people you are around are pressuring you.

Dealing with addiction

There are many signs and symptoms to look for in someone you think may be dealing with addiction or substance abuse. Not every person who is suffering from substance abuse or addiction exhibits the same symptoms; however, there are a few common ones to look out for that are prominent in most addiction cases. A common symptom is increased irritability and trouble sleeping. Those dealing with addiction may also exhibit slow and inhibited movements and speech. At times they may appear confused or disoriented. Look for sudden weight loss* or weight gain, as this too can also be an indicator of addiction and substance abuse.

When a person becomes addicted to a substance they begin to build up a tolerance and more and more of that substance is required to achieve their desired outcome. Once tolerance sets in, it can be extremely painful and difficult should a person decide to stop overusing. Some withdrawal symptoms can range from mild chills, aches and pains to full on hallucinations and psychosis. Many people who are dealing with substance abuse are afraid of withdrawal and its symptoms, thus avoiding recovery.

If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction or substance abuse, it is important to know how to deal with it. First, you cannot make someone stop using drugs or alcohol is they do not want to. It has to be up to that person whether or not they want to take that first step on the road to recovery. Should a person decide that they want to become sober, it is almost impossible without a strong support system. Be there for that person and help them through this difficult time. Once the recovery process begins, do not expect results overnight; recovery is a continual ongoing process, where ongoing support is necessary.

If family or friends are not available to provide a support system to a recovering addict, there are support groups available. You can join a support group based your particular type of addiction. Joining a more specific support group can help to better battle your addiction and lead to a more successful recovery. Local support groups are very easy to find. These prove to be helpful as it allows recovering addicts to meet and share their stories and concerns with people who have gone through or experienced some of the same things.

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