Substance abuse is using a substance for purposes other than its intended use; it is different from addiction but still a cause for concern. The abused substance often causes significant problems or distress, including missing work or school. People struggling with substance abuse often pursue their toxic trains regardless of the harm it causes them or others. If you are struggling with substance abuse Park Slope, you may realize you have a problem but have difficulty stopping it on your own. The signs of substance abuse vary depending on the type of drug. Below are the most commonly abused substances and their signs and symptoms.
Marijuana and cannabis-containing substances
Cannabis is available in different forms meaning that people can eat, smoke, or inhale the vaporized form of the drug. It is often used along with illegal drugs or other substances such as alcohol. Recent use of marijuana or substances containing cannabis results in symptoms such as a sense of extreme excitement (euphoria), red eyes, increased blood pressure and heart rate, heightened sense of auditory, visual, and taste perception, dry mouth, anxiety, and exaggerated cravings for certain foods at odd times. Long-time abuse of these substances often causes poor performance at school or work, decreased mental sharpness, and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
Hallucinogens are a class of psychoactive drugs that change or alter mood, thought, and perception. They make you feel, see, and hear things that are not real and distort the interpretation of your surroundings. Hallucinogens such as LSD, ketamine, and PCP are manufactured, but others like mescaline and magic mushrooms naturally occur in plants. LSD is the most common hallucinogen, and it causes signs and symptoms such as impulsive behavior, hallucinations, rapid shifts in emotions, tremors, and rapid heart rate.
Inhalants are everyday products used at home, in industries, or for medical purposes that produce vapors that people inhale to get intoxicated. There are different types of inhalants, each bearing its effects and risks. Some of the most common inhale substances include felt tip marker fluid, paint thinners, glue, gasoline, cleaning fluids, and household aerosol products. The products are toxic and may cause brain damage or sudden death. You may tell a person is using an inhalant when they possess an inhalant substance without a reasonable explanation. Other symptoms of abusing inhalants include dizziness, involuntary eye movements, nausea or vomiting, brief euphoria, irregular heartbeats, and combativeness.
Opioids are pain-relieving medications that health professionals prescribe for patients with severe pain that doesn’t improve after trying other drugs. They are highly addictive, and for this reason, providers only prescribe them for a short period. Narcotic use and dependence result in signs and symptoms such as reduced sense of pain, agitation, slurred speech, constricted pupils, depression, constipation, coordination problems, and problems with attention and memory.
Helping someone struggling with substance abuse is a worthy cause. However, staging an intervention may be challenging since addicts often deny that their drug use is problematic and delay seeking treatment. You should carefully plan before staging an intervention in consultation with a professional.
If you or your loved one needs help with substance abuse, visit your specialist at David Salvage, M.D., FAPM, for treatment.