Substance Abuse

Whether it begins with prescription medication after an injury or as recreational experimentation, substance dependence can take hold of you before you realize it.

Regardless of why you may have chosen to use a drug, it can result in an addiction. Some might believe that substance abuse is voluntary and can easily be quit if you simply decide to do so. However, addiction can cause significant changes in your brain that keep you using the drug. If you are struggling with substance abuse in New Hampshire, you can get help. The first step is knowing how the drug is affecting you.

Normally, the neurotransmitter dopamine causes you to feel pleasure while doing things that are necessary for survival, such as eating. However, when using a drug, the amount of dopamine in your brain is significantly increased. This results in the euphoria, or the high, you feel. If you continue to use the drug, your brain will eventually start to adjust the amount of dopamine it produces. It will anticipate the flood of dopamine from the drug use, so it will produce less on its own. Thus, it requires more of the drug to match the same dopamine levels required to cause the high. This is known as tolerance. The more tolerant to a drug you are, the more of it you’ll need to feel the desired effect.

When you’re not using the drug, your dopamine levels will still remain lower than normal. This can make things you normally find pleasurable have less of an effect, and it can also lead to cravings for the substance, making it difficult to stop using it.

There are other factors that can change how dependency affects you. Your environment can play a big part in your exposure to drugs, and even your gender and ethnicity can also increase your risk. If you think you might have developed a dependency on a drug, it’s not too late. You can recover and take your life back.

Signs of addiction

You may not be sure if you’ve developed an addiction to the substance you’ve been using. The symptoms may not be obvious at first, and they can creep up on you slowly. Keep an eye out for the following signs if you think you or a loved one may be struggling with dependence:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Losing interest in things you used to love
  • Mood swings
  • Missing appointments
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Anxiousness and irritability
  • Lack of care for personal hygiene
  • Taking one drug to counteract the effects of another
  • Risky behaviors, such as stealing
  • Strained relationships with friends and family

If you’ve realized that you struggle with any of these symptoms, or someone you love is displaying them, they may have a dependency to a substance. For more information on the signs and symptoms of addiction, speak live with an addiction specialist today at (866) 269-8588.

Addictive substances

There are a number of substances out there that can result in substance use disorder. Some may come as a surprise to you.

Prescription Medications: Painkillers, stimulants and depressants that have been prescribed to you by a doctor may seem safe to use whenever you like. However, using these medicines more than directed to can cause you to become dependent on them. They can eventually lead to health issues and a risk of overdose.

Illegal Drugs: Heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines can also lead to dependency. These drugs are often injected or ingested through the nose, and they can be extremely addictive.

Club Drugs: Hallucinogens and psychoactive drugs, such as LSD and MDMA, are often ingested in party environments, such as nightclubs and concerts. Some of these drugs can result in addiction and health issues.

Household products: Some household items can be misused, resulting in a high and the potential for addiction. These products might include markers, glues, cleaning products, aerosols and paints. Inhaling these can be dangerous and can result in withdrawal symptoms.

If you’ve been struggling with abuse of any of these substances, rest assured that you can recover. Depending upon the substance you’ve been using, you may need different treatment options.

Get help for substance abuse in New Hampshire

Addiction can take hold of you slowly, and it may come as a shock to you to discover you’ve become dependent on a substance. A full recovery is within your reach, though. There various New Hampshire addiction treatment options that can help you to gain control over your drug use.

Substance abuse treatment comes in multiple different forms. You may choose to seek out an outpatient addiction treatment program, which requires you to commit to multiple sessions of counseling and therapy every week. Alternatively, if you feel that an outpatient treatment may not be sufficient or your addiction is severe, you can consider an inpatient substance abuse treatment program in New Hampshire or out-of-state. Inpatient addiction treatment helps keep you away from the substance you’re struggling with and gives you all-day access to professionals who can monitor you and keep you accountable.

Either treatment option will likely begin with drug detoxification. During a drug detox program, you’ll be able to let the substance work its way out of your system. You’ll be monitored by staff to keep you safe and comfortable during the process. You may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, anxiety and shakiness. However, you can be prescribed non-addictive drugs that can help to manage your symptoms.

If you need it, a substance abuse aftercare program can also help you once you’ve left the facility. You can learn the skills you need to avoid the substance you’ve struggled with and resist it altogether. You may also receive help in finding and keeping a job and repairing relationships that may have been impacted by your drug use.

If you’re ready to take the next step in overcoming your dependency on a substance, speak live to an addiction specialist today at (866) 269-8588. We can help take the guesswork out of finding the drug or alcohol abuse treatment program that will lead you to a drug-free life.

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