Addiction A-Z

Substance abuse disorders

Substance abuse disorders is a broad classification for issues people face when ingesting both legal and illegal substances. Since almost any type of substance can be taken in a way that is not healthy or natural, alcohol and drugs are not the only things that can result in substance abuse disorders. In addition to illegal drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol, people also ingest chemical fumes and, even, food in unhealthy ways. These can all be considered substance abuse disorders. Further, the level of abuse can vary dramatically from person to person with occasional over-indulging on one hand to full-blown addiction on the other. However, because the most common types of substance abuse disorders revolve around alcohol and drugs (both legal and illegal), addiction to these particular substances are the disorders typically referred to under the substance abuse heading. Substance abuse that goes untreated can turn into substance dependence, a more serious problem that leads to full-blown addiction and the need for intensive addiction treatment. If treated promptly, a substance abuse disorder does not necessarily need to become the more serious substance dependence. The treatment can be as simple as participating in alcohol or drug education classes, learning more about how alcohol affects the body or removing oneself from the circumstances that result in substance ingestion. Some substance abusers may find that participation in a 12-step program, where the horrors of full-blown dependence are readily acknowledged, keep them from progressing to the next level.

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