Substance abuse may start off gradually, but it takes no time at all for it to become out of control. What started as a few drinks on the weekend or smoking weed socially starts to turn into daily usage that often results in binge using. Through this process, substance abuse can quickly become a prison, controlling a person’s life and wreaking havoc on their mental health. Denying the problem and believing your own lies that you are in control only prolongs the substance abuse and puts you at an increased risk of wrecking your life.
Substance abuse and addiction are not the same thing, but they are closely related. Any substance that gives a person feelings of pleasure can become abused or addictive. If a person is habitually abusing a substance, they have become too reliant on it, even if they have not become physically dependent on it, which indicates addiction. All it takes to qualify a case of substance abuse is the individual being unable to control their appetite for the effect the substance has on them.
Over time, the substance begins to turn on them, affecting their moods, their decision making, their relationships and their reputation. They may even face being let go from a job, losing relationships and deteriorated health. But what keeps a person returning to the substance they abuse is their memory of how euphoric it originally made them feel. Even as the feeling of euphoria becomes ruined by the person’s growing awareness of their own self destruction, they will continue to seek the original high they felt from the substance.
They only way out of this vicious cycle is help, either personally motivated self help or the help of a substance abuse expert, such as a counselor or a rehabilitation specialist. Substance abuse can be consuming but a person’s determination to quit is capable of overpowering it. Do not give up hope!