If you’re concerned that you or a family member is struggling with a substance use disorder, life probably feels confusing. Sometimes, the person in question seems fine and appears to be taking care of themselves and their life. At other times, they’re careless, disheveled and barely seem like themselves at all. However, with recreational drug and alcohol abuse on the rise, it’s easier than ever for people who are suffering to hide their symptoms or dismiss them as harmless fun.

In this article, you’ll find out about how recreational drug misuse can evolve into a substance use disorder, learn about the signs that someone might need addiction treatment and discover the effects of short- and long-term abuse of substances.

When Does Misusing Drugs Become Substance Abuse?

A troubled man sitting in a corner, showing drug abuse symptomsSubstance abuse can affect people from any walk of life, from any background, at any age. Risk factors for serious problems are genetic and environmental, including family history, an impulsive personality, trauma, lack of parental supervision and early first use of addictive substances. The most commonly abused substances in the United States are alcohol, cannabis and prescription drugs, which are also the easiest substances to get hold of.

Because of how prolific drug use is becoming, the signs of drug abuse are easier to mask. And while some people can use substances without getting addicted, they can tear apart the life of someone at risk of developing addiction. Substance abuse and SUDs refer to drug use that negatively impacts a person’s life. It might take a social, financial, educational or occupational toll, alongside feeling out of control and finding it impossible to resist cravings.

How Does Drug Addiction Develop?

It can take months or even years for someone with a serious drug abuse problem to realize they’ve moved from drug use to addiction. This is partly due to the way psychoactive substances hijack the brain’s reward system, which is ultimately more powerful than willpower or logic alone. During addiction, your brain regards the need for a substance to be as important as water, food or any other biological survival behavior.

The quantities you use and how regularly you use them also play a key role in the onset of addiction. This is because as tolerance builds, you need more and more to get the same effects. And the more you use, the more the brain prioritizes that substance. Many people with serious SUDs experience few of the fun, uplifting effects they once felt when using and instead take substances to feel normal and escape the pain of withdrawal symptoms. Nonetheless, they’ll often tell everyone else they’re having fun and don’t need help.

Get Help for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

A psychotherapist talking to a group of individuals recovering from alcohol and drug addiction

Brookside Treatment is one of the premier addiction treatment facilities in Kentucky. We treat every resident like a member of the family, providing the love, support, guidance and resources necessary to gain control over drug or alcohol addiction.

If you’d like to discuss treatment with an addiction expert, get in touch with us today at 606-342-7089.


General Outpatient Therapy

No matter what stage of addiction you’re at or how long you’ve been using substances, you can overcome addiction. Call Brookside Treatment today to find out more.

CALL NOW 606-342-7089