Substance abuse affects more than just the person who has the addiction. It can also affect their family, friends, and others around them. There are several dangers of substance abuse that can affect genetics and the environment or lead to co-occurring disorders. Children who are exposed at an early age may also start using drugs or alcohol as a result of being around others who use it.
Certain types of drugs do carry a higher level of addictive substances. These substances affect brain function and create brain dependency upon the drug. Let’s take a closer look at the dangers of abuse and why they cause short-term and long-term problems.
Substance Abuse and Genetics
Regardless of popular opinion, addiction doesn’t happen due to a lack of willpower. Genetics can play a role in the chemical reaction between the brain and the substance. This explains why a user can drink on occasion, while another user has to drink every day.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, genetics is a significant determiner in whether or not a person is going to abuse drugs or alcohol. The term “addictive personality” is largely based on genetics. For this reason, one of the dangers of substance abuse is that it can cause a person who may already be at risk to develop an addiction.
Creating a Volatile Environment
One of the dangers of substance abuse is the potential to create a volatile environment at home. When we think of environment, we naturally think of home life. However, a person’s environment may include:
- Extended family
- Friends at school
- Bars, clubs, or similar places
Common problems associated with substance abuse include abuse, neglect, stress at work, peers, and overall attitude toward drinking or taking drugs in the immediate community. How a person is raised and what they are exposed to at various stages of their lie can contribute to an addiction.
Trigger Co-Occurring Disorders
The connection between a mental disorder and addiction is well documented. A person may take prescription medication, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs to self-medicate and ease the symptoms of a mental disorder. Ironically, prolonged use of drugs only makes the mental condition worse.
Common mental disorders associated with addiction include:
Substance abuse can also cause mental disorders to occur if the user abuses a substance for a long period. Co-occurring disorders often require a dual diagnosis. The therapist develops a strategy for treating both the disorder and addiction.
Early Age Use at Home
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, adults in their late teens and early twenties are likely to develop patterns that can take years to unravel. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can affect both physical and psychological development, hindering the user’s ability to function.
Early teens often start using because of problems in the home. They may feel the negative effects of neglect, abuse, or other problems and seek drugs or alcohol as a form of escape. The earlier a person starts to use a substance, the more difficult it becomes to quit once they become an adult.
Learn About the Dangers of Substance Abuse
If you are currently suffering from an addiction or a mental disorder, there is help available. Victory Bay offers comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment for all types of substance abuse. Regardless of the dangers of substance abuse, you can get the help you need to get on the road to recovery. Contact us today at 855.259.1624 to get started with your treatment.