What is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. “Substances” can include alcohol and other drugs (illegal or not) as well as some substances that are not drugs at all. “Abuse” can result because you are using a substance in a way that is not intended or recommended, or because you are using more than prescribed. Someone can use substances and not be addicted or even have a substance use disorder. Substance abuse counseling with South Coast Family Services can help determine your specific needs.
Health officials consider substance use as crossing the line into substance abuse if that repeated use causes significant impairment, such as:
- Health issues
- Failure to meet responsibilities
- Impaired control
- Risky use
- Social issues
- Withdrawal symptoms
In other words, if you drink enough to get hangovers; use enough drugs that you miss work or school; smoke enough marijuana that you have lost friends; or drink or use more than you intended to use, your substance use could be “abuse.”
The specific causes of substance abuse are unclear, though they seem to be a combination of hereditary, environmental and social factors. Working with a therapist can help determine the cause and make a plan for recovery. Family counseling can be beneficial here as well, since substance abuse impacts the whole family, not just the person using. Recovery outcomes (the chances that someone will stop using long term) increase when the family is involved and supportive of treatment, as opposed to the individual entering treatment alone.
Our team specializes in alcohol dependency and abuse counseling. If your drinking is affecting your life, we can help. Even if your drinking doesn’t seem to be affecting your life but you feel that it is out of control, we’d love to talk with you. Our proactive counseling service can change your life.
Substance Abuse Counseling
We’re not just alcohol counselors. Substance abuse of any kind often presents a very specific pattern in our lives. Our therapy and guidance can help you better understand where you may need to make adjustments in your life.