Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness – Understanding the Effects of Illicit Substances
30 October, 2023
Illicit substance misuse is a significant issue that affects countless lives worldwide. Improper use of drugs and alcohol has many short and long-term effects. Physically, it causes slower breathing, dehydration, high blood pressure, and increased risks for kidney and liver diseases. Furthermore, it may trigger mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. It also causes strained relationships at home, school, and work. Thus, building drug and alcohol abuse awareness is crucial to the betterment of the community.
Many people are unaware of the adverse effects brought by these substances. This is why community leaders must implement risk management strategies to prevent substance use disorder. This involves increased education and policies to control drug and alcohol use. Moreover, they must provide support to people with substance use disorder. This article will present the effects of illicit substance misuse on the body and mental health and its dangers to the family and the workplace.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness – Effects of Illicit Substance Misuse on the Body
Drug and alcohol abuse awareness is vital to preventing people from suffering from substance use disorders. Misuse of liquor, prescription, and illegal drugs harms various organs and systems. Prohibited drugs in Australia include amphetamines, cannabis, ecstasy, and heroin. However, illicit drug use covers the misuse of prescription drugs.
There are short-term and long-term effects of abusing drugs. These are some of the short-term effects. Heroin and other opioids may cause dry mouth, itching, and slowed breathing and heart rate. Meanwhile, cocaine may cause headaches, abdominal pain, heart attacks, and seizures. Additionally, ecstasy may cause overheating and dehydration. Lastly, amphetamines may cause high blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, and nosebleeds.
For long-term consequences, cocaine and heroin may cause pneumonia, collapsed veins, liver or kidney diseases, and infection in the heart. Meanwhile, injecting amphetamines may cause hepatitis B and C, vein damage, or infections due to shared needles. Lastly, cannabis, when smoked, increases the risks of lung diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and many forms of cancer.
Early Signs of Substance Misuse
Several signs may indicate substance use disorders. Here are some of them:
- The appearance of bloodshot eyes, larger or smaller pupils than usual, and weight gain or loss.
- Increase engagement in reckless behaviours such as drink driving and violence.
- Changes in personality and behaviour, such as increased irritability and lack of motivation.
- Inability to fulfil responsibilities at school, work, or home.
- Increased tolerance and a need to consume more drugs or alcohol
- Appearance of withdrawal symptoms after reducing or ceasing consumption
- Inability to control the amount of consumption regardless of the negative consequences
- Continued consumption of medication after the prescribed period
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness – How Illegal Substance Misuse Affects Mental Health
Drug and alcohol abuse awareness is crucial in understanding the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on mental health. It exposes many individuals to severe health conditions, which include mental illness. It triggers the onset of depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Furthermore, substance abuse often exacerbates existing mental health issues. Raising awareness among students, workers, and the community prevents such outcomes. Additionally, it encourages support for the recovery of those with substance use disorders.
Short-term mental effects of illicit substance misuse include drowsiness, concentration issues, memory problems, and restlessness. Meanwhile, long-term effects include depression, anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. These conditions lower the quality of life and may become debilitating over time.
Seeking care from health professionals and getting support from friends and family is part of the rehabilitation process. Medical professionals may also use different forms of screening. It includes blood, hair, urine, saliva, and breath tests. This helps them assess the risk levels and consumption patterns of an individual. This data may be used for forming prevention strategies for the betterment of the community.
Support System for Recovery
Treatment options for substance abuse involve detoxification and behavioural therapy. Detoxification is often a lengthy process for those with severe substance abuse disorder. Support systems are crucial in preventing relapse. It also helps in motivating individuals to continue rehabilitation.
Support systems consist of friends, family members, and therapists. Primary care providers may also place individuals in support groups. This strengthens the support system by allowing individuals to talk to others on the same journey to recovery. They also enable the person to share their experiences and seek advice. Providing a safe environment is crucial for successful recovery.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness – Dangers of Substance Abuse to Family and Workplace
Drug and alcohol abuse awareness is essential because it sheds light on the harmful consequences of addictive substances. This affects not only the individual but also their loved ones and colleagues. In the family, substance abuse may lead to strained relationships, a lack of family bonding, and a breakdown of trust. In addition, it may cause emotional and financial distress for all family members.
At school, students who participate in underage drinking may lead to academic failure. Youth substance misuse causes the inability to concentrate and retain information. This results in decreased performance and lower grades. Thus, parents must set good examples and keep watch over their children. This is especially true if a family history of substance use disorder exists.
In workplaces, companies must provide a safe working environment. Thus, many companies have drug and alcohol policies that employees must follow. This is especially true in high-risk industries such as construction, aviation, and mining. Employers may conduct regular screenings and enforce disciplinary action based on a non-negative result.
Risk Management Strategies
Risk management strategies are vital to maintaining a safe and healthy community. Some strategies involve implementing policies and penalties to prevent substance misuse. Moreover, educating individuals regarding the repercussions of abusing substances may lessen their risk of developing addictions.
Additionally, there must be support and resources for those struggling with substance use disorder. Officials may see fewer accidents and other adverse effects by providing people access to treatment for their illnesses. This will encourage people to seek help and help in early intervention. Ultimately, these strategies should promote a culture of safety and well-being to enhance overall productivity and morale within the community.
Drug and alcohol abuse awareness is crucial to primary prevention of substance use disorders. Educating people regarding its physical and mental effects may help them avoid the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse. These adverse effects include increased risk for cancers and kidney and liver diseases. Additionally, it may cause anxiety and worsen existing mental illnesses. Furthermore, its effects are not limited to the individual. It affects their friends, family, and colleagues. It also increases accidents that impact the community.
Recovery from substance use disorder is not an easy process. Support systems are necessary to prevent relapse and make successful recoveries. This involves support from loved ones, counselling, and support groups to encourage and motivate the individual. Furthermore, testing helps identify those with these problems. Some people may benefit from owning personal breathalysers to monitor and limit their liquor intake. There are reliable and accurate BACtrack breathalysers available in Breathalysers Australia.