Substance Use / Abuse

Like many college students, my friend likes to go out with her friends and drink alcohol. They have a good time, and everyone knows that my friend is always up for a party. But a few of the people closest to her have started worrying that perhaps she has a drinking problem. Are they right? Is she addicted? Or, is she just having a good time like other college students? To answer that question, let’s start by defining some terms that are sometimes confused. Substance use is when someone consumes alcohol or drugs. Remember my friend? The very first time that she took a sip of alcohol, he was using. Substance use does not always lead to addiction; many people occasionally use alcohol or certain drugs without being addicted. However, substance use always comes with the risk that it might lead to addiction. Substance abuse, meanwhile, is when a person consumes alcohol or drugs regularly, despite the fact that it causes issues in their life. The issues caused by abuse may be related to their job, their personal life, or even their safety. People who abuse drugs and alcohol continue to consume them, regardless of the consequences. Last month, my friend’s partner threatened to break up with her because she drank too much. Instead of using that as a warning sign, she kept drinking and ruined her relationship with her partner. This is an example of substance abuse: The person is in such a situation continues to drink, even though there are consequences.

There are many symptoms of substance dependency, including developing a tolerance for the drug, going through withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, fatigue, shaking, sweating, and nausea, difficulty concentrating) and struggling to cut back on it. When she tried to stop around the time she had to prepare for her final exams she experienced terrible headaches and could not stop shaking. Which leads us to the question so, was my friend addicted? According to the definition yes, she was dependent on alcohol, which is an indicator of addiction. This is the same case with various drugs such as opiates, LSD, and others. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms or find it difficult coping with any crisis situations and think that you might be addicted to alcohol or drugs do talk to someone qualified regarding it before it turns into a major addiction and starts affecting your life and others.

Uthista Ram Thota (Bsc Psychology,  Msc Psychology and P.G. Diploma Applied Child Psychology (U. K)

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