Substance abuse is generally defined as the use of any psychoactive substance to the extent that it severely affects physical health and well-being, social functioning, relationships, and personal responsibilities. It is widely thought that substance abuse refers to the consumption of illegal drugs. In fact legal drugs, either legally or illegally obtained, may feature in substance abuse or a substance use disorder.
Substance abuse and drug addiction are often wrongly conflated. This is perhaps unsurprising as substance abuse and substance dependence have been combined by some experts into a single diagnostic category of substance use disorder covering a range of severity. Alcohol and drug abuse may well indicate a high degree of susceptibility to addiction in some people.
The most commonly abused drugs are: alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, cocaine, prescription drugs and opiates.
Steroids, hallucinogens and volatile substances are also abused. Some experts argue that caffeine and refined sugars should be included. While people may have a “drug of choice”, it is rare nowadays for people with substance use disorders to restrict their use to just one chemical.
Drug abuse creates problems which impel the person to seek help. However at this point it is probably the more or less conscious aim of the person to find a way to continue their use of the substance but without the range of harms that come with doing so. It is therefore essential at the beginning of the treatment process to undertake a thorough drug addiction assessment. Knowing the right stage of addiction can be used to help give proper treatment and the right level of care to you or a loved one.
As well as focussing on substance quantities, frequency and history of abuse, the drug addiction assessment will encompass physical and mental health, previous treatments, family and the person’s wider social situation. It will be important to understand the person’s alcohol or drug addiction treatment goals and the resources (or lack of them) that they bring to achieve those goals.
If they desire to continue using drugs or alcohol, the risks of doing so need to be carefully examined and a harm reduction approach initiated. In devising an addiction treatment plan that can help the individual, safety will be the top priority. The treatment should introduce personal strategies and recovery therapy to enhance physical and mental wellbeing.
Depending on its severity, treatment for a substance abuse disorder may be undertaken with the help of an outpatient treatment service, which will look to reduce alcohol and drug addiction risk and improve personal resources, including positive social support. The involvement of families is strongly advised for substance treatment.
A lifestyle that supports alcohol and drug use will be respectfully challenged with alternatives being explored that would bring greater meaning, purpose and self-fulfillment to life. Underlying and co-existing problems such as trauma can be addressed depending on the types of treatment for your substance abuse and mental health issue.
A residential drug treatment service is probably the choice for those seeking to end their relationship with a substance completely. While taking time out from the pressures of an unhealthy environment, medical supervision can oversee safe withdrawal and related health issues while specialists work holistically on the psycho-social aspects of the disorder.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, Clinic Les Alpes can help. Our luxury rehab in Montreux Switzerland offers private treatment in our medically licensed clinic. Contact us today.