What Are The Top Influencers Of Substance Abuse And The Effects?

Drug and alcohol abuse affects millions of people the world over. From family and friends to work associates, the issue stems throughout our culture, relationships and livelihood. In this entry we will discuss some of the facts associated with substance abuse.

Substance Abuse And Young People

Though drug and alcohol abuse affects each and every age demographic, young people are at the heart of the issue. The younger an individual is when they begin to dabble with a substance, the greater chance that they will become addicted. This problem is paramount, due to the structure of the adolescent brain which is not fully developed pertaining to judgment and decision-making – heightening the vulnerability of damage later in life.

Effects Of Brain Chemistry From Drug Abuse

Once a substance is ingested, whether it is orally, injected or smoked, brain chemistry is altered in a way that the likelihood of a user becoming addicted or dependent skyrockets. These changes ultimately result in a higher tolerance, increased need for the drug, and a higher risk of addiction later in life.

Biological Predisposition To Addiction

Some individuals are born with a predisposition to addiction. This heightened risk of abuse, alongside a person’s environment, accounts for 50% of a user’s addiction vulnerability. Simply put, if a child is born to addict parents, it is essential that they be provided an environment free of addiction if they are to experience a chance at an addiction-free life.

Influence On Drug Use

Peers play a crucial role in regard to substance abuse vulnerability… parents even more so. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, adolescents cite their parents as a greater influence when compared to peers in the area of whether or not to experiment with drugs or alcohol.

Addiction Treatment And Recovery

Recovery is not a “one size fits all” situation. Many addicts utilize 12-step programs, while others seek aid through holistic means. Some individuals can manage recovery with a combination of therapy and medication, while others require in-patient care.

As with most ailments, addiction may not respond to the initial treatment attempt. Even in a case where the individual is driven to succeed, it may take numerous attempts before they are able to effectively combat their addiction.

Substance Abuse Prevention

Most experts agree that prevention efforts involving family members, schools, media and the community at large are most effective in regard to substance abuse prevention. When individuals (children, teens, adults) recognize the dangers of substance abuse, statistics show an immediate reduction in use. As such, continued education is vital to the success of substance abuse prevention.

Need Addiction Treatment Help?

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Risks Factors For Teenage Drug Abuse

Unfortunately, teenage drug abuse is becoming more and more common throughout the United States. An array of factors play into the risks of teenage addiction – some of which can be controlled, and others which cannot. Major life changes, such as entering high school, moving to a new community or a graduation can all contribute to teenager’s tendency to experiment.

Home Environment and Family Lifestyle

Family dynamics can play a huge role on an adolescent’s behavior. Teens from households lacking proper boundaries and supervision are much more likely to dabble with drugs and alcohol than households with parental involvement. Adolescents left to their own devices for the majority of the day are afforded more time to partake in risky behaviors. A strong family bond is perhaps the best line of defense in teenage drug abuse prevention.

Personality Traits

Studies show that adolescents who are self-controlled and calm are less likely to dabble in drug and alcohol use than those with an aggressive personality. Teens who are afforded the ability to express their emotions and who feel that these emotions are heard are less likely to seek comfort through substance abuse. Adolescents showing a lack of interest in home and academics may also be at risk.

Environment and Community

Community plays a big role in drug abuse risk factors in teenagers. Kids who are raised in poor communities are more likely to dabble with alcohol and drug use. Research shows that close-knit communities actually work to decrease teenage substance abuse numbers – perhaps due to positive mentoring and bonding experiences throughout childhood. Mentors and role models offer support to teens facing stressful situations and transitions throughout adolescence.

Rules & School

School types are yet another risk factor in terms of teenage drug use. Educational facilities with a strict “no drug” policy see a decrease in student substance abuse numbers. Schools lacking proper regulation and supervision place teens at a much higher risk. These institutions are generally located in communities with fewer outreach programs and a lower socio-economic status.

Social & Peer Groups

Perhaps the highest risk factor for teenage substance abuse is the peer group that a teen associates with. Students who participate in school activities and sports are far less likely to engage in drug or alcohol use. Those who lack interest in school activities may belong to social groups that partake in drug use or other illicit behaviors. When an adolescent associates with a group that is known for trouble, the teen will likely begin exhibiting the same types of behaviors. Students with a focus on academics are also much less likely to experiment with substance abuse than those without.

Need Help?

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Understanding Addiction & Bipolar Disorder

Characterized by severe mood swings, bipolar disorder can oftentimes require specialized medication and care for treatment. Unfortunately, some patients believe that the medications are not suited to their needs or simply choose not to take them. These individuals sometimes rely on self-medication through drug and alcohol use, which can result in addiction. Understanding the reasoning behind substance abuse, the moods and the treatments offered can provide insight into both the addiction and disorder as a whole.

Depression and Mania

In order to understand the correlation between bipolar and addiction, we must first educate ourselves in regard to the moods. Depression is the mood where patients show an extreme disinterest in life, a discontinuation of typically exciting and fun activities and a heightened interested in suicide. In some cases the depression can be triggered once a patient is informed of their actions during a manic episode. The same patients can also suffer from mania, which includes heightened energy levels alongside the desire to participate in high-energy activities – exercise, frivolous spending and hyper-sexuality to name a few. Manic individuals will also immerse themselves within a variety of projects with the intent of completing each one, despite a lack of dedication and unrealistic deadlines.

Substance Abuse

When a bipolar patient dabbles in substance abuse, it is considered dual diagnosis. Substance abuse in bipolar individuals may occur during both the depression and manic phases. Some suffering from the disorder refuse to take prescription medication due to a fear of side effects and instead choose to self-medicate through alcohol or drug use. Others cater to the belief that the medications simply aren’t doing enough to alter their state of mind. For depressed patients, stimulants are often the drug of choice due to the energy and positive emotional effects. Patients in a manic state often resort to alcohol due to its depressive qualities. Unfortunately, self-medication will ultimately lead to addiction, providing patients with yet another condition to combat.


Addiction treatment is the first step in addressing dual diagnosis. Many patients often require a mood stabilizer in order to keep the depression and mania at bay. However, most of the mood stabilizers used in mental health recovery do not interact well with illicit drugs or alcohol. Once the addiction can be managed through detox and counseling, doctors can begin administering treatment for bipolar disorder.

Researching dual diagnosis treatment centers? Contact Above It All Treatment Center today! With a team of seasoned addiction and mental health experts available to address each patient’s individual needs, you can count on Above It All for the personalized care and attention you’ve been searching for. Call today for more information and find out what Above It All can do for you!

Get The Straight Dope On Drug Addiction: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

Drug addiction has come to the foreground of public attention recently. Celebrities are more comfortable revealing their struggles with substance abuse, and the recent death of actor Cory Monteith from a combination of heroin and alcohol has underlined the importance of understanding that this issue is not something to be taken lightly. To shed some light on substance abuse, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Can Someone Get Addicted to Drugs Even if they Only Use Occasionally?

Addiction is not a one-time event. It’s a process that takes time to develop. No one starts using drugs intending to become an addict. Everyone thinks they will be the exception to the rule and somehow be smarter or luckier than the people who end up addicted to a drug. It doesn’t work that way.

Are Some People More Likely to Become Addicted to Drugs than Others?

There are certain risk factors that make it more likely that someone will become addicted to drugs. They do not guarantee that a person will become an addict, though.

  1. Family history of drug use
  2. Age of first-time use
  3. History of abuse, neglect or trauma in childhood
  4. Type of drug used

Why Do Addicts Continue to Use Drugs?

Many people who become addicted to drugs think that they can stop using any time they want, at least at first. Some people try to stop using on their own, but in most cases are not successful at achieving long-term sobriety. Over time, the drug use causes changes in a person’s brain that causes the person to have a lack of control over his or her impulse to use, despite the consequences. This is one of the telltale signs of addiction.

Can Someone Only Become Addicted to Street Drugs?

Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem. Even though a medication has been prescribed by a doctor, it doesn’t mean that the person taking it is protected from developing an addiction. If someone is taking more than the prescribed amount or taking the medication longer than would normally be expected, these are signs that the person may have developed a substance abuse issue.

Find a Drug Addiction Treatment Center

Are you concerned about yourself or a loved one’s drug use? Caring, effective treatment for addiction is available at our Lake Arrowhead rehab and detox center. We offer a holistic approach to treatment that addresses the needs of the whole person (mind, body, and spirit). Call us at 888-997-3006 to start the journey to healing today.

Self-Destructive Patterns of Alcoholism

“He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself. And then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees. He is the fellow who goes to bed so intoxicated he ought to sleep the clock around. Yet early next morning he searches madly for the bottle he misplaced the night before.” – Pg.21 – There Is A Solution from the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous

If any of this rings true for you then you might need alcohol addiction help. There are many services available ranging anywhere from drug addiction detox to AA, and 30 day rehab programs. This excerpt from there is a solution is a perfect description of the alcoholic’s life when they are wrapped up in the bondage of this disease as well as the destruction that is a result of it. We become extremely introverted, our world becomes very small, and we are left spiritually bankrupt. These alcoholic characteristics and patterns end up robbing us of everything good in our lives and we are left with no choice but to keep drinking, and give up or get sober. If we are lucky enough to get sober then we have the opportunity to turn it all around, start over, and get back to our true selves. We are finally able to be the loving, honest, responsible, happy, joyous, and free beings that we were meant to be.