Substance use disorder can be regarded as the recurrent usage of opioids and psychoactive drugs of any sort to the point that it leaves a long-lasting biopsychosocial impact on one’s life. Addiction is a rather complex topic, which is why it is necessary to unfold each end of this discourse. As of 2020, around 9.5 million adults struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). Read on to learn more about substance use disorder and how it affects one’s life.
Toll On Psychological & Emotional Wellbeing
The psychological impact of substance use disorder is often misunderstood and underestimated due to the lack of general discourse on it. Long-term usage of psychoactive drugs can even alter one’s brain chemistry. Opioids, stimulants, and heroin are right at the top of this list.
The long-term use of the aforementioned items can cause short-term memory loss and affect an individual’s cognition and behavior, or functioning. Furthermore, prolonged and excessive substance use also heightens the probability of having another mental issue. A great example of this would be depression or an extreme case of anxiety.
The euphoric feeling provided by most of these drugs is often followed by an extreme low that can affect a person’s mental and emotional stability. Those who experience psychosis already or might be on the autism spectrum can suffer greatly due to enhanced sensory perception.
The prevalence of this disorder in the previous generation increases the probability of it in the next generation. People struggling with substance use disorder also tend to experience hallucinations under the influence, which can sometimes lead to increased psychological distress. As if this wasn’t enough, sleep disorders and withdrawal symptoms can also become prevalent due to consistent substance use or attempts to stop.
Personal Relationship Difficulties
When it comes to an individual’s private life and the quality of their relationships with others, substance use disorder can truly change the game for the worse. Possessing a stable state of mind and emotions ensures that we make the right choices.
According to a study, 33% of individuals struggling with substance abuse have a history of intimate partner violence (IPV). The violence in question varies; whether it’s physical or psychological, the stats strongly indicate that substance use disorder increases the probability of IPV among couples.
Even among relationships with no reported cases of abuse, people addicted to recreational drug usage rarely enjoy fulfilling relationships. Substance use can sometimes amplify anger issues and emotional breakdowns, which in turn impacts the course of a person’s relationships. In fact, substance use disorder can practically destroy families, especially if an addict refuses to seek rehabilitation.
Social Marginalization & More
Unfortunately, even with the awareness available at everyone’s disposal, struggling with addiction of any sort can make society extremely hostile towards you. People struggling with substance use in particular tend to struggle the most. The reason behind this is two-fold: an inability to function properly due to repetitive substance usage, and the general stigma against addicts.
As we’ve established earlier, long-term substance usage of any sort can alter one’s physical and mental stability. Someone who’s struggling with health problems from the get-go is less than likely to secure employment at a stable workplace. Even if they seem physically fit, the social stigma against addicts can destroy their professional careers if discovered.
In addition to this, the lack of support can be evident in some cases. One can always count on those that take a less judgemental approach to such matters. Lacking support can also result in homelessness or poverty, which further pushes an individual into choosing continuous substance use to temporarily escape their problems.
Long-Term Physical Effects
There’s a long list of physical health conditions that can stem from long-term substance use. To begin, substance use disorder makes an individual highly susceptible to experiencing rapid weight change. Heroin in particular can result in rapid weight loss, which in turn can make a person appear highly malnourished. Long-term usage of methamphetamines can cause various skin issues and dental concerns, not to mention the added risk of contracting HIV (AIDS) through infected needles.
Among other health risks resulting from an undealt case of substance abuse disorder are cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia, liver or kidney failure, bronchitis, and a weakened immune system. Lastly, long-term substance use can also increase the probability of having seizures out of the blue, or even strokes.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with SUD, the emotional support lended by our loved ones can make matters slightly easier to handle. Additionally, if you’re looking into alternative treatment options there’s no better place to begin than with ketamine infusion therapy.