SUBSTANCE MISUSE

Substance misuse is the harmful use

of substances (like drugs and alcohol) for non-medical purposes. The term “substance misuse” often refers to illegal drugs. However, legal substances can also be misused, such as alcohol, prescription medications, caffeine,

nicotine and volatile substances (e.g. petrol, glue, paint).

Addiction is a physical and/or psychological need for a substance, due to regular, continued use. Some substances are highly addictive, others are less addictive. However, the symptoms of addiction are similar no matter which substance is used.

 

TYPICAL SIGNS OF SUBSTANCE MISUSE OR ADDICTION INCLUDE:

• Neglecting responsibilities and activities  
  you used to enjoy (e.g. work, family,
  hobbies, sports, socialising)

• Participating in dangerous or risky
   behaviours (e.g. drink driving,
   unprotected sex, using dirty needles)

• Criminal problems (e.g. disorderly
   behaviour, drink driving, stealing)

• Relationship problems (e.g. arguments
   with partner/family/ friends, losing friends)

• Physical tolerance (e.g. needing more
   substance to experience the same
   effects, symptoms of withdrawal when
   not using)

• Losing control of your substance use (e.g.
   unable to stop using, even if you want to)

• Substance use takes over your life (e.g.
   spending a lot of time using, finding/
   getting drugs and recovering from
   the effects).

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WHY DO PEOPLE MISUSE SUBSTANCES?

People use drugs and alcohol for many reasons. We might use substances to relax, have fun, cope with or escape a problem or dull emotional/physical pain. However, using substances to cope with problems or numb your pain doesn’t make the problems go away and can make them worse. Also, you might come to depend on drugs or alcohol as a way of coping, rather than seeking help and finding more positive strategies and solutions.

 

HOW DOES SUBSTANCE MISUSE AND ADDICTION AFFECT WELLBEING?

Substance misuse and addiction can have short and long-term effects on your:

• Physical health – e.g. nausea, sleep
   problems, weight gain/ loss, infections,
   accidents, chronic disease

• Mental health – e.g. depression, anxiety,
   paranoia, psychosis

• Personal relationships – e.g. arguments,
   relationship breakdowns

• Work and financial situation – e.g. job
   loss, debt, unemployment, criminal
   problems

 

For information visit:

Ad Solutions

T3

BAC O’Connor

 

 

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Cannock Chase Council, PO Box 28, Beecroft Road, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 1BG.
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