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When looking for addiction treatment for you or a loved one, the type of therapy pays a large roll in success. 

What is Substance Abuse: A Definition

Many people ask, “What is substance abuse?” Substance abuse differs from addiction or substance dependence because the user is not physically or mentally addicted to the substance.

Substance abuse is a wide-spread phenomena that can impact anyone. The staff members at our rehab center in NJ have over 40 years of experience providing addiction help for clients suffering with substance abuse.

The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 24.6 million people over the age of 12 were illicit drug users or abused a prescription medication within the last month.

The Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the, “DSM-IV”) defines substance abuse as follows:

“Substance abuse is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

  • Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home (like, substance-related absences, poor work performance, suspensions or expulsions from school, or neglect of children or household).
  • Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (like, driving an automobile or operating a machine while impaired). Recurrent substance-related legal problems (like, arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct).
  • Continued substance use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (like, arguments with spouses about intoxication and physical fights).”

The symptoms for “substance abuse” do not meet the criteria for “substance dependence.” According to the DSM-IV, a person can be abusing a substance or dependent on a substance, but not both at the same time.

What is Substance Abuse: When and How Does It Begin?

Recreational use and abuse of substances usually begin in adolescent or teen years. Certain factors may make someone more likely to abuse substances:

  • Chaotic home environment
  • Bad parenting
  • Poor social skills
  • Poor grades
  • Peer pressure

What is Substance Abuse: Recognizing Signs

Early recognition of a substance abuse problem increases the chance of successful rehabilitation treatment. Here are some of the signs:

  • Losing interest in activities such as sports, hobbies, and seeing friends,
  • Declining grades,
  • Aggressiveness and irritability,
  • Forgetfulness,
  • Disappearing money or valuables,
  • Use of room deodorizers and incense,
  • Possession of paraphernalia (like baggies, small boxes, pipes, and rolling paper), or
  • Lying.

What is Substance Abuse: Commonly Abused Substances

Commonly abused substances include:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Hallucinogens
  • Club drugs (ecstasy, GHB, Rohypnol)
  • Inhalants
  • Dissociative drugs (PCP, Ketamine, cough medicine).

What are the Consequences/Dangers of Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse can lead to problems in all areas of life. It is important to get help before the problems get worse. The following are some of the consequences/dangers of substance abuse:

  • Developing addiction
  • Arrests and charges (crimes like drug possession, public intoxication, underage drinking, assault, and DWI/DUI)
  • Motor vehicle accidents while under the influence
  • Overdose, coma, or death
  • Brain damage
  • Sexually transmitted disease due to risky sexual behavior
  • Organ damage and cancer
  • Poor decision making
  • Hurting/losing friends and family
  • Emotional problems (depression, anxiety, paranoia, delusions, black outs, and memory loss)
  • Being a victim of sexual assault while under the influence
  • Withdrawal symptoms may occur if substances are denied or unavailable

Symptoms of withdrawal syndrome can include anxiety, jumpiness, shaking, trembling, sweating, nausea, insomnia, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, and even seizures. If you or someone you love is showing signs of withdrawal, you should consider seeking medical assistance immediately. Contact us here for more information.

What Can You Do?

Please call us today to find out what rehabilitation therapy programs may be available for you or your loved one. Call our New Jersey treatment facilities to talk to an intake coordinator 24 hours a day at 877-385-6358, or contact us here.

One call may be all it takes to make a brighter tomorrow.

Get a Free Assessment Today. (877) 385-6358

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“Such a great program! Have nothing but positive things to say about my experience and would recommend it to anyone who wants to help themselves or a loved one.”

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“AHE has had a profound effect upon my life. I have a great deal of gratitude for all you have done for me.”

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Let your search end here. Call Today. (877) 385-6358

Licensed & Certified
Advanced Health’s New Jersey drug and alcohol rehab is licensed through the New Jersey Department of Human Services Office of Licensing, is a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, and has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal for Quality in Behavioral Healthcare.

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Advanced Health & Education

Advanced Health and Education can help anyone recover from addiction or substance abuse. We offer customized treatment and a balanced application of support and accountability that will help you end your addiction.