Substance abuse in many parts of the world is quite a prevalent issue. People abuse both prescription and recreational drugs to a point where their body and mind’s functionality is seriously compromised by the drugs or substances.
Drug Use and Drug Abuse
Drugs are substances which alter the chemical composition of the body and mind when ingested into the body. Regular use is the intake of drugs as prescribed by medical practitioners (in the right dosages) for the treatment of diseases and other afflictions.
Abuse, on the other hand, is unregulated and often extreme intake of medications against prescription and for reasons other than that which the medications were issued for. Abuse also applies to excessive intake of anything else that is used excessively for recreational purposes.
Tolerance, dependence and addiction
Substance abuse affects the body’s cells more adversely than regular use would. Prolonged use and abuse of anything mind altering can cause changes in the body’s cellular composition; hence altering their functions temporarily.
The more a substance is used and/or abused, the more the body and the brain get used to their effects. This state in the body and mind is called increased tolerance and the user/abuser is forced to take higher quantities of the substance to achieve the same effects.
Increased tolerance can further develop into physical dependence for the drug which then can develop into addiction. There are several stages of addiction and one can move from mild stages to those that are quite advanced.
Substance addiction is a perpetual compulsion for the drug which can be both psychological and physical. This phase of dependence is characterized by a violent reaction, by the mind and the body, when one withdraws partially or completely. It is thus hard to quit the habit at this stage, but not impossible.
Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in North Carolina. It’s a recreational drug/substance; taken for leisure and has no particular intake instructions. It is also a depressant psychoactive drug; which slows the functioning of the brain and the body. Alcohol produces the following effects:
• Slowing the mind; hence reducing the ability of the mind to think straight or perceive reality as it is
• Numbing pain due to reduced pain perception by the brain from the afflicted body parts as a result of it attaching to the brain and CNS receptacles, blocking or distorting pain signals
• Reducing other senses including hearing, vision and taste
• Slowing breathing, respiration, heart rate and other automatic processes
• Causing loss of balance
• Potentially causing a loss of consciousness at various levels
Alcoholism and Intervention
Alcoholism is alcohol addiction which develops from prolonged use over time. Intervention is important at any stage of abuse, increased tolerance, dependence or addiction, to reverse the effects of the stages as well as prevent each stage from developing progressively further into the next. An interventionist is a person who at any of the stages, helps the person to see there is a problem and to seek help
An interventionist is rather essential for a number of reasons. They will know how to address the individual correctly, and also how to direct the intervention, keeping sight of its intention. Anyone inexperienced that is attempting this can end up with a disaster, as flared emotions can very easily move this meeting in a direction very different from the initial intention.
This is the process of helping the individual to stop using or drinking and getting into a rehab center (the goal of an intervention). Treatment is done through detoxification initially (withdrawing the substance and dealing with any withdrawal symptoms) and therapy (counseling the addicts to address underlying factors).