Substance abuse can interfere with every aspect of a person’s life, from how they perform on the job to their ability to enjoy spending time with loved ones. Alcoholism and drug dependence also have several physical consequences, some of which can lead to lasting organ damage or even death. Fortunately, there’s hope.

High-quality addiction treatment can help people with substance use disorders regain control of their lives. Clinic Les Alpes uses a holistic approach to drug abuse treatment, blending proven medical treatments with complementary therapies to address the whole person.

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The Consequences of Drug Addiction

Someone with a substance use disorder is dependent on alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs. When people hear the word “addiction,” they often think of cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs, but the truth is that many people with substance use disorders struggle with prescription drug abuse. Although prescription drugs have important medical uses, some of them also have addictive properties, causing them to be dangerous when used without the supervision of a medical professional.

Physical Symptoms

Some of the most significant consequences of substance abuse are physical in nature. Depending on the type of substance used, drug use can lead to heart attacks, strokes, respiratory problems, seizures and organ damage. In the most severe cases, drug use can even lead to coma or death.

Excessive alcohol consumption is also an issue, especially when it comes to liver function. Alcoholism has been linked to cirrhosis, a condition characterised by the accumulation of scar tissue in the liver. When scar tissue replaces healthy tissue, the liver doesn’t function as well as it should, leading to yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), fluid accumulation in the abdomen and other symptoms.

Behavioural Symptoms

Because drugs and alcohol affect the brain, drug addiction can lead to concerning behavioural changes. People struggling with drug addiction may exhibit preoccupation with accessing more drugs, increased irritability or anger, lack of interest in normal activities, increasing drug use or alcohol consumption, or evasive behaviour designed to conceal their addiction from others.

Engaging in illegal activity can also be a symptom of severe drug addiction, as people who abuse drugs become so consumed with getting high that they may resort to stealing money or assaulting others. Someone who’s usually a careful driver may also start speeding or behaving erratically when they’re driving an automobile.

The Importance of Professional Substance Abuse Treatment

Because substance abuse has profound effects on the body, mind and spirit, it’s essential for people struggling with substance abuse problems to seek professional treatment. It’s good for friends and family members to offer their support, but they don’t have the training needed to help an addicted person through the detox process or the long road to recovery. Well-meaning friends and family members may even make things worse by enabling their loved ones, judging them harshly or suggesting treatment options that are dangerous or ineffective.

Treatment professionals have the knowledge and expertise needed to assess each patient, identify underlying mental disorders and put together customised treatment plans to address the physical, mental and behavioural aspects of substance abuse. An experienced treatment provider will also be able to determine if a patient needs inpatient treatment instead of outpatient care. With the right recovery treatment options, it’s possible to overcome a drug problem or a dependence on alcohol.

Recovering From Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Clinic Les Alpes offers holistic treatment for substance use disorders and other types of addiction. Holistic treatment considers what’s best for the patient’s physical health, mental health and spiritual health, ensuring every patient has the support needed to stop using drugs.