Substance abuse is the intake of mind altering substances against their prescribed intake instructions and purpose as well as an increased intake of these chemical substances. Drugs are those chemical substances (natural or man made) which are taken into the body and affect the chemical composition of body’s cells. This affects the way those cells function and hence affect the whole body and mind’s functioning.
Alcohol is a depressant drug which slows the functions of the brain and the body. It is also a recreational drug; taken for leisure and not for treating any type of illness; hence has no intake instructions and people can take a much as they wish to.
Abuse is frequent and heavy intake of the alcohol, sometimes together with other substances to amplify its effects. Some of these effects include: reduced breathing and other automatic bodily processes, drunkenness, loss of balance, inability to think or perceive reality as it is, reduced sensations (numbing pain, reducing vision, hearing etc).
Alcohol abuse and addiction in North Dakota
Increased abuse of alcohol, like that of other substances, increases tolerance in the body; hence forcing the person to indulge in more to achieve the same effects. This may in turn develops into physical dependence and addiction. Addiction is a consistent compulsion (psychological and physical) for the substance which is characterized by withdrawal symptoms if the drug is not taken or if use is cut back.
As aforementioned, increased abuse increases tolerance which, like other substances, will may on to form a habit, and eventually an addiction. Addiction is called alcoholism and it has many individual, social and financial impacts.
Intervention in alcoholism
Many intervention strategies have been put in place in North Dakota to prevent and or deal with alcoholism. Interventionists in this field aim at educating the public (especially young people who may be enticed into starting drinking) on the adverse effects of alcohol (on their physical and mental health, the surrounding society etc), helping people who are already in the process of getting addicted to reverse the situation as well as helping those people who are already addicted to get off the drug.
An intervention should be very carefully planned and carried out when confronting a loved one. Consulting with an interventionist and seeking their assistance is highly advised. An intervention can go horribly wrong without correct facilitation.
An interventionist at a treatment center is involved in helping the individual recover. Alcoholism treatment involves detoxification and counseling.
Detoxification is the process of helping the body eliminate all the substance within the body by withdrawing gradually (reducing intake amounts with the intention of stopping it altogether) because abrupt withdrawal might trigger severe withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, delirium and potentially seizures.
Detoxification is not only alcohol withdrawal, but also the treatment of the resulting withdrawal symptoms, often with a medication; which has similar working mechanism as the alcohol – except it is less addictive – to displace the substance’s molecules from the receptacles as it blinds the body and brain of the absence of the drink.
It is deemed that in addition to alcohol, it may also be used to numb the physical and emotional pain that people may be going through. As such, it is important that before, during and after physical detoxification, alcoholics are helped to understand the nature of this dependence and the underlying causes to help them recover fully.
By helping them address underlying factors, the rehab specialist plays a very important role in helping the addict avoid a relapse; by avoiding drinking after they have already gotten rehabilitated. This is an ongoing process, and aftercare following treatment at a rehab is strongly suggested.