Alcohol Abuse and Drug Addiction

Eswaran Subramaniam
Alcohol Abuse and Drug Addiction - Presentation
Many substances are accepted by the society when used in moderation without significant harm to the individual or society. The usage becomes a problem only when there is persistent inappropriate use despite social, work, and/or legal consequences and despite a potential danger to self or others. Even in the presence of such a situation, the user rarely seeks help directly for his problems. He often denies that he has a serious problem and tends to dismiss it as trivial and avoids facing the issues. He may often have to be forcibly brought by his caring/distraught family members, or the social system.

The signs & symptoms include:
• Resorting to drug use as a maladaptive coping mechanism; heavy, regular, stereotyped consumption of drug;
• Presence of clinically manifest impairment/distress over a significant period of time (in personal life, at work, family, society, economically, spiritually etc.);
• Using a large amount at high frequency; ability to tolerate higher amounts;
• Intense cravings and compulsive use with a sense of helplessness; episodes of getting drunk/ intoxicated; relief drinking to prevent withdrawal discomfort; getting into legal problems;
• Several unsuccessful attempts to cut down on his own; severe withdrawal symptoms may be present on attempting to discontinue; reinstatement of drug use even after achieving abstinence;
• Inordinate time & effort spent in procuring & using the substance often secretively; using the substance assuming a prime salient feature in his life;
• Important activities given up; clear deterioration in performance in several roles;
• Continue despite clear physical/ psychological harm being imminent.

Hence the family and the physician will have to use considerable efforts tactfully, in making the substance user aware of the dangerousness of his use and the immediate need to address the problem.

Alcohol Abuse and Drug Addiction Alcohol Abuse and Drug Addiction 02/29/2016
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