Substance Use: Overview, Definition, Types, and Risks

Armed with these skills you have a person who knows how to stay sober. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, longer-term programs of about 12 weeks are needed to give an addicted person enough time to recover. An individual may show behavioral issues on account of drug addiction. Depression is a serious issue that is directly linked to drug addiction.

what is considered long-term drug use

This combination could enhance the effects of opioids and worsen side effects. It’s possible to experience opioid intoxication or accidental opioid poisoning regardless of how long you’ve been taking opioids. That said, long-term opioid use is linked to a higher risk of overdose.

How to Identify Substance Misuse

Some people argue that casual, occasional use of some drugs is not harmful and is merely use, not abuse. The most vocal of the proponents of recreational drug use are those who smoke marijuana. They argue that marijuana is not addictive and has many beneficial qualities, unlike the “harder” drugs. Recognize that no one is safe, and we all play a role in tackling the grip these drugs currently hold on our loved ones and communities. Opioids trigger the release of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.

There is an overwhelming number of long-term physical and emotional effects that drug abuse and addiction can have on a person. Cultural and societal factors determine what are acceptable or allowable forms of drug or alcohol use. The question of what type of substance use can be considered normal or acceptable remains controversial. Substance use disorder is caused by multiple factors, including genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors, social pressures, individual personality characteristics, and psychiatric problems. But which of these factors has the biggest influence in any one person cannot be determined in all cases.

Preventing Substance Use

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that “abuse” is no longer used because of its negative connotations and associations with punishment and judgment. It’s important to teach children, adolescents, and adults about the prevalence and dangers of substance use and help them develop resilience skills to avoid using substances. All NSAIDs, both prescription and over-the-counter, now sport warning labels thanks to a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite the warnings, using NSAIDs remains one of the most popular ways to relieve pain. Lastly, safe usage of medication also means not stopping them the instant you feel better. For example, if you stop taking antibiotics before using up the prescribed amount, you may have a relapse.

By Buddy T

Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Studies have also found a link between caffeine use and several psychiatric syndromes, including caffeine-induced sleep disorder and caffeine-induced anxiety disorder.

Which opioids are prescribed today and when are they used?

Despite manufacturer claims, these are chemical compounds rather than “natural” or harmless products. These drugs can produce a “high” similar to marijuana and have become a popular but dangerous alternative. Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction. As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance.

  • When deciding whether or not to use a medication, it’s important to know what your options are – including your non-drug options, and what might happen if you don’t have treatment at all.
  • They include medications prescribed by healthcare professionals and substances used for pleasure.
  • While the intended short-term use of hydrocodone often includes providing pain relief with the potential for experiencing some euphoria.
  • The American Addiction Centers also provides information about free and confidential addiction hotlines that a person can call if they want to talk about their opioid use or recovery from substance abuse.
  • You shouldn’t buy medication from dubious sources on the internet, especially prescription drugs.
  • It’s possible, but more research is needed to fully understand the potential neurological effects.

Treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery. Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite negative consequences. It is recognized as a brain disease because drugs change the physical and chemical structure of the brain and affect normal functions. These brain changes can be long-lasting and can lead to harmful behaviors. In addition, long term use of certain drugs can also result in withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.

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Dr. Linde notes that family history often plays a significant role, which can include both biological factors and learned behaviors. A person’s susceptibility to substance What is a Halfway House? What to Expect in Halfway Housing misuse has a partial genetic basis, but environmental factors play an important role as well. Outpatient programs are another option for people struggling with addiction.

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