There are many drugs that people use or abuse on a daily basis. In some cases, the casual use of drugs such as alcohol doesn’t cause problems. However, some people abuse drugs or alcohol and find themselves unable to control themselves. At Ocean Recovery, we offer substance abuse treatment for those people.
What Is Substance Abuse?
Before people can seek substance abuse treatment, they should know exactly what it means. In general, substance abuse refers to a pattern of using mood-altering substances in a harmful way. The term “substance” refers to alcohol and other drugs, whether they’re illegal or legal.
The “abuse” part of the term refers to using the substance in dangerous ways. For example, people abuse prescription drugs when they take more than their doctor recommends. However, people can use substances and not have a substance use disorder. This condition involves meeting the requirements in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The Importance of Getting Substance Abuse Treatment
Ocean Recovery knows how important it is for people to get help for substance abuse problems. People with an addiction not only make bad life choices but also put their health at risk. In some cases, substance abuse has life-threatening effects.
Research shows that abusing drugs and alcohol causes harm to nearly every organ in the body. Damaging these organs weakens the body’s overall immune system, making people more susceptible to diseases and infections. It can also cause cardiovascular problems such as:
- Abnormal heart rate
- Heart attacks
- Collapsed blood vessels
- Collapsed heart valves
- Poor blood flow
People who abuse substances also typically develop liver damage. In some cases, they end up with liver failure, which is most common in those with alcohol use disorder. Ocean Recovery offers alcohol addiction treatment to help people overcome alcohol problems.
Substance Abuse Changes the Brain
Substance abuse does more than cause problems in the body. It can also wreak havoc on the brain. The initial use of drugs is completely voluntary. However, drugs eventually change people’s brain chemistry, which interferes with their ability to make good decisions.
Nearly all substances affect the reward circuit in the brain. It’s part of the limbic system and rewards the brain for pleasurable activities. Drugs put it into overdrive, causing a flood of dopamine.
Eventually, the reward system burns out. Because of that, people have to take even more of a drug to get the same high. That behavior leads them to take too much, which can cause an overdose.
Ocean Recovery substance abuse treatment programs help people regain control of their lives. Our goal is to restore the ability to make the right decisions and enjoy life again. However, addiction never goes away. Sobriety is something people in recovery will continue to work on for the rest of their lives.