Alcoholism falls into the category of substance abuse

Alcoholism falls into the category of substance abuse

Alcoholism falls into the category of substance abuse. Substance abuse is the use of mind-altering substances over time that affects the body, mind, relationships, social obligations, and responsibilities of the person using the substances. Alcohol by itself can be a substance abused. Frequently it is not the only guest invited to the party.

You may have heard that alcohol is the gateway drug that opens the abuser up to other substances. It has the ability to let in cocaine, heroin, marijuana, crystal meth, and prescription drugs to name a few. Alcohol can even increase nicotine and caffeine use. Alcohol may seem the minor issue for multiple substance abusers, but it usually is the root of the problem.

Substance abuse starts when the abuser feels the initial high of the substance they try. The feeling doesn't last so they partake again and again. They build a tolerance to one substance and move on to or add another.

Multiple substances also come into play as a form of control. As the abuse of one becomes out of control, another substance is used to try to control its effects. Since alcohol is a depressant it is often used to mask or lessen the effects of a drug that causes too high of a high. As the addictions progress, so do excessive use, loss of control, and danger.

To see if you exhibit symptoms of multiple substance abuse, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you spend most of your day focusing on obtaining the substances you need to function?
  • Do you need more than one substance to get you through a day?
  • Do you use drugs to increase a high and then another to decrease it?
  • Do you abuse substances to avoid an emotional issue, a physical problem, or to escape?

Answering yes to any of these questions means that you have an issue with substance abuse. If you want to take back control of your life, you can. It will be difficult. It will require commitment and professional help. It will require you to make a decision to save your own life. You will need to address what each substance does for you. You will need to address why it is destroying your life.

Alcohol maybe the least of your addictions - or so it may seem. Don't underestimate it. It could be the key to everything and it needs to be dealt with and defeated the same as the others. Success with that can help you succeed in becoming completely sober.

If you know someone who is abusing multiple substances, urge them to seek treatment and be ready for a long road to recovery. It can be done, but it will require support and the drive to succeed.

Alcoholism falls into the category of substance abuse