Substance abuse has become a pandemic in the United States. From seemingly innocent substances to harsh street drugs, there are hefty costs to a country that still struggles to answer the question: What is substance abuse?

Current laws in some states contradict the federal government’s stance on classifying marijuana as an illegal drug. Additionally, not every person who occasionally has an alcoholic beverage becomes an alcoholic. Still, the addictive nature of these substances requires professional attention. Ignoring the problem won’t make it disappear.

A woman wonders what is substance abuseWhat Is Substance Abuse?

In simple terms, substance abuse is exhibiting a harmful pattern of drug or alcohol use to alter your mood. However, some people do drugs without developing a substance use disorder. Abuse occurs when people use outside of a doctor’s recommendation. It can also develop when someone uses more than what their prescription allows.

Why People Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

The reasons people abuse drugs are complex. Certain environments seem to predispose individuals to drugs and/or alcohol abuse. For example, a person who grew up in a household of prevalent substance abuse may turn to the same activity.

Movie and television portrayal might play a role in a person’s decision to use. Glamorized drug and alcohol use hides the negative consequences of substance abuse until reality hits.

Furthermore, people living in impoverished neighborhoods may turn to drugs as a response to depression. The stress of enduring high crime in these environments might lead to addictive behavior as well. However, even affluent neighborhoods experience substance abuse issues.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Substance Abuse

Whether a person lives in the inner city or suburbs, drugs and alcohol physically affect everyone in the same way.

The short-term effects of drugs can include:

• High blood pressure
• Mood changes
• Paranoia
• Respiratory failure
• Heart attack
• Stroke

Long-term substance abuse may lead to psychosis, immune deficiencies, and organ damage. Combating these requires personalized treatment.

Most treatment programs start with detoxification in a medically managed facility. This process clears drugs or alcohol from the body. Above all, going through detox in a safe licensed facility is essential to managing the potentially dangerous effects of ending substance use.

Why You Should Consider Treatment with Soledad House

You’ll need more than detoxification to address the behavioral, psychological, and social consequences stemming from your addiction. A formal assessment and substance addiction treatment plan should soon follow. Soledad House in San Diego, California is a women’s addiction treatment facility working to create significant behavioral changes for lasting recovery.

In addition to addressing addiction problems, our services include:

• Exercise therapy
• Spiritual activities
• Sober living parties
• Skiing/snowboarding
• Nearby camping
• Aftercare program

What is substance abuse? It’s behavior that often leads to addiction. Overall, the disease affects women differently than men. At Soledad House, we provide treatment and support exclusively for women. Our structured environment and dedicated staff will help you begin your journey. Take the next step to recovery and call 866-314-3222 today.