Substance abuse is defined as use of drugs or alcohol in a way that negatively affects a personís well being. It is a chronic problem that can cause serious physical, emotional, social, and economic problems. Substance abuse is sometimes a response to the pain a person feels from underlying emotional problems such as stress, fear, or anxiety.
Millions of people have a substance abuse problem, and millions more are affected by the substance abuse of someone close to them. Substance abuse takes different forms depending upon the individual. Some people drink drugs daily, some only on weekends, and others go on extended.
Signs of a substance abuse problem
User is unable to cut down on or stop taking the substance.
Person has a physical craving for the substance.
User cannot remember events that took place while he or she was under the influence of the drug or alcohol.
Use of the substance causes physical or psychological problems or complicates existing ones.
Substance use causes family, job, social, or legal conflicts.
Repeated attempts to stop using the substance fail.
Behavioral changes associated with substance abuse
Inappropriate social interactions.
Inflated sense of oneís own importance.