What is Substance abuse
he disease of addiction can occur after ingesting drugs or alcohol or engaging in activities that stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. It is exemplified by continued compulsive behavior that compromises a person’s health, career and relationships.
The brain of an addict physically changes when he or she continues the behavior driving their addiction, especially when the addiction involves drugs or alcohol. However, any stimulating behavior can cause changes that lead to addiction.
Talking therapies, such as CBT, help you to see how your thoughts and feelings affect your behaviour.
Treatment with medicines
If you're dependent on heroin or another opioid, you may be offered a substitute drug, such as methadone.
This means you can get on with your treatment without having to worry about withdrawing or buying street drugs.
This is for people who want to stop taking opioids like heroin completely. It helps you to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
Some people find support groups like Narcotics Anonymous helpful. Your keyworker can tell you where your nearest group is.
Find out More:
NHS Live Well
Advice, tips and tools to help with health and wellbeing.
Information about a range of addictive behaviours and treatments.
Sources of support
Supports people with drug, alcohol or mental health problems, and their friends and family.
Information and support for friends and family of people with drug or alcohol problems.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
User-led organisation that provides information and advocacy for people accessing treatment for drug and alcohol problems.
Support groups for anyone wanting to stop gambling.
National Association for Children of Alcoholics
National Problem Gambling Clinic
Treats problem gamblers living in England and Wales aged 16 and over.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
NHS information and advice to help stop smoking.
Provides health and social care services for people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems.
Find out More:
Signs & Symptoms
Changes in personality and behavior like a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation
Bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
Shakes, tremors, or slurred speech
Change in their daily routines
Lack of concern for personal hygiene
Unusual need for money; financial problems
Changes in friends and activities
While these emotional factors may contribute to a gambling addiction, the following may be more visible signs of a gambling problem in either yourself or someone that you care about:
A preoccupation with gambling and loss of interest in other aspects of life, such as ignoring family responsibilities and focusing only on the results of gambling
Loss of control and being unable to manage impulsive urges to gamble even when the odds are against you
Increasing the amount of money used to gamble in order to pay for lost bets or to experience the thrill
A negative impact upon relationships with those closest to you. Losing a partner as a result of a gambling addiction is very common due to the strains and burdens that problem gambling places on a relationship
Problems within the workplace which could include an increased workload, absence from work or general lack of concentration which makes it difficult to complete tasks sufficiently
Concealing the amount of money and time spent betting from family members. The secrecy that is often involved in problem gambling leads to a lack of trust and often further problems at home
Denial that you have a problem with gambling is a great concern as the first step to recovery is accepting that you have a problem
Self - Help
Try a book or online course
Learn to relax
Avoid smoking and drinking
Support groups can give you advice on how to manage your anxiety.
They're also a good way to meet other people with similar experiences.
Examples of support groups you may find useful include:
Support groups can often arrange face-to-face meetings, where you can talk about your difficulties and problems with other people.
Many support groups also provide support and guidance over the phone or in writing.
Ask your GP about local support groups for anxiety in your area, or search online for mental health information and support services near you.
Emergency Action plan:
If you suspect that someone has taken an overdose or has been poisoned, don't try to treat them yourself. Get medical help immediately.
If they don't appear to be seriously ill, call NHS 111 for advice.
If they're showing signs of being seriously ill, such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, drowsiness or seizures (fits), call 999 to request an ambulance or take the person to your local A&E department.
In serious cases, it may be necessary for the person to stay in hospital for treatment. Most people admitted to hospital because of poisoning will survive.
Read more about what to do if you think someone has been poisoned.
Types of poisons
Poisons can be swallowed, absorbed through the skin, injected, inhaled or splashed into the eyes.
Other potential poisons include:
household products, such as bleach
cosmetic items, such as nail polish
some types of plants and fungi
certain types of household chemicals and pesticides
poorly prepared or cooked food, and food that's gone mouldy or been contaminated with bacteria from raw meat (food poisoning)
alcohol, if an excessive amount is consumed over a short period of time (alcohol poisoning)
recreational drugs or substances
medicines prescribed for pets
Snakes and insects, such as wasps and bees, aren't poisonous, but their bites or stings can contain venom (toxin).
Read more about the causes of poisoning.