SUBSTANCE ABUSE & HEALTH RISKS

Depending on the actual compound, substance abuse (drug and alcohol) may lead to health problems, social problems, unprotected sex, deaths, motor vehicle accidents, homicides, suicides, physical dependence or psychological addiction.

There is a high rate of suicide in alcoholics and drug abusers. The reasons believed to cause the increased risk of suicide include the long term abuse of alcohol and drugs causing physiological distortion of brain chemistry as well as the social isolation. Another factor is that the acute intoxicating effects of the drugs may make suicide more likely to occur. Suicide is also very common in adolescent alcohol abusers, with 1 in 4 suicides in adolescents being related to alcohol abuse (O’Connor, Rory; Sheehy, Noel (29 Jan 2000).

In the USA approximately 30 percent of suicides are related to alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is also associated with increased risks of committing criminal offenses including child abuse, domestic violence, rapes, burglaries and assaults. Drug abuse, including alcohol and prescription drugs can induce symptomatology which resembles mental illness. This can occur both in the intoxicated state and also during the withdrawal state. In some cases these substance induced psychiatric disorders can persist long after detoxification, such as prolonged psychosis or depression after amphetamine or cocaine abuse. A protracted withdrawal syndrome can also occur with symptoms persisting for months after cessation of use. Benzodiazepines ,“ benzo”,( psychoactive drugs ) are the most notable drug for inducing prolonged withdrawal effects with symptoms sometimes persisting for years after cessation of use. Abuse of hallucinogens can trigger delusional and other psychotic phenomena long after cessation of use and cannabis (Marijuana) may trigger panic attacks during intoxication and with use it may cause a state similar to dysthymia (chronic mood disorder). Severe anxiety and depression are commonly induced by sustained alcohol abuse which in most cases abates with prolonged abstinence. Even moderate alcohol sustained use may increase anxiety and depression levels in some individuals.

Drug abuse makes affects the central nervous system which in turn produces changes in mood, levels of awareness or perceptions and sensations.
If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse contact Pier 21 at the University of Miami for immediate assistance.