What is Substance Abuse?

The term substance abuse has become much more widespread and common in the last few years, and is now generally used to refer to any type of mood altering substance that an individual can abuse, and potentially suffer harm from. Many people still think of substance abuse as referring to things such as glue sniffing, which was the type of thing that the term substance abuse was originally used to refer to.

Substance abuse can be used to refer to a wide variety of drugs as well as to alcohol and any other type of mood altering substance. The type of drugs that a rehab will often refer to as potentially addictive can include benzodiazepine, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, the moral, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, methadone, morphine, OxyContin, Valium Vicodin etc.

There are also a significant number of prescription drugs that people can become addicted to, and a rehab will include these as potentially addictive substances that can be dealt with.

A rehab or often use the term substance abuse as a general catchall phrase for anything that a person is addicted to, and we’ll talk about the concept of a drug of choice. The focus of the rehab becomes the individual themselves and the notion that they have an ‘addictive personality’, which means they can effectively addict themselves to anything, and that the focus of their addiction is simply a trigger for underlying emotional or mental health problems.

Substance abuse

Substance abuse is thought by many as a much more complex process than this somewhat simplistic view of addiction and addictive behaviours tends to classify it as. Historically alcoholism was the primary focus of most rehabs and hospitals that tried to deal with alcoholics or people who had a problem with alcohol.

As this type of treatment grew in effectiveness, it became obvious that people also had other addictions, mainly to various narcotics and drugs, but also to a wide range of other substances that could produce some type of high within the individual.

The focus of a rehab, once an assessment and detox is undertaken if needed, will be to help the individual have some understanding of the nature of their addiction, as well as to give them some insight into the underlying emotional drives that have fuelled their drinking or addiction.

The time spent in a rehab is normally fairly limited, often in the region of 30 days or so, and as such the work of a therapeutic nature that is done in a rehab is essentially only the beginning of the process. Many rehabs will recommend 12 step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous as a means of continuing to variety and an effective type of after-care program.