Addiction is a complex disease, not only in the way that it affects an individuals health, mentality, and habits, but it also bears significant impact on friends and loved ones. Drug abuse is not limited to a user. On a larger scale, substance abuse has influenced nearly all aspects of life including communities, hospitals, schools, workplaces, jails, and more. Understanding the social effects of drugs is an important component in addressing ongoing abuse and treatment needs within communities.
Treatment like harm reduction, prevention tips, and mental health care are growing in demand. Because addiction often causes relationships to become strained, it can leave individuals isolated, further driving them to drug abuse.
If you or someone you love is battling with drug problems, it’s important to seek help. Our Colorado addiction treatment center offers compassionate support and individualized care to address problematic drug use. Contact us directly at 855-281-5588.
Why Do People Use Drugs?
Education in the nature of drug abuse can provide a means to address the cyclical impacts of addiction. An obvious question is, why do people do drugs? Drug use causes and motivations can provide a deeper understanding to help establish better policies and progress that address long-term care, and ultimately, prevention.
Addiction is not a choice. For many who develop substance use disorder, the use of substances often comes as a result of seeking a solution to discomfort. There are many substances such as opioids that work to directly interact with the central nervous system in order to create a euphoric feeling.
Some other factors that influence substance use include:
- Using a substance out of peer pressure or for fear of missing out
- Using a substance to improve cognitive performance
- Using a substance to relieve stress and unwind
- Using a substance to improve mood or to feel better, whether that be physically or mentally
Though the short term use of drugs may seem harmless and trivial, it’s true that for many substances, even short-term exposure can prove to be risky and have a significant lasting impact as they hold the potential to critically alter the body’s dynamics in several ways causing a person to act in ways they normally wouldn’t.
Social Acceptance of Drugs
Though consuming alcohol is seen as a socially acceptable past-time,, there seems to be a varying spectrum of what’s considered social acceptability of substance use. For example, a drink at home to unwind after work is perceived as socially acceptable, whilst binge drinking and public drunkenness are perceived as excessive.
With the different categorizations of behaviors, it is easy to see how the risks of substance use are lost. For example, when does drinking become problematic? When do pain medications evolve into full blown addiction? The risks of potential harm become blurred as we analyze the social effects of drugs.
Social Effects of Drugs
Whilst we know that substance use directly impacts the mind and the body, it’s important to remember that the use of substances not only affects the individual using the substance, it can also have a significantly wider impact that produces negative social consequences.
Short-term social effects of drugs
Addiction is classified as a disease and is one that many hide well. However, many suffering from substance use disorder begin to experience and exhibit a noticeable change in behavior as the disease progresses that may have negative short-term social effects. Some of the short term social effects may include:
- Destructive behavior
- High-risk sexual behavior
- Reckless behavior
Long-Term Effects of Drugs
The effects of the disorder can cause many who may use substances in the event of a social occasion into something more complicated as the use of such substances can cause long-term changes to the brain.
Addiction is classified as a chronic disorder by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Hence, those suffering from substance use disorder are likely to exhibit a significant change in their behavior due to the development of the disorder in which they may have developed a tolerance or become dependent on the substance. As mentioned, these changes in behavior can have drastic effects on the individual suffering from substance use disorder as well as those around them, however, more significantly, it can also have immense long-term social effects.
Some of the long-term social effects include:
- Causing harm to another person
- Causing harm to yourself
- Breakdown of relationships
Signs Of Substance Abuse
Getting the relevant treatment can make all the difference to combating the negative effects of substance use disorder and beginning a journey of recovery. One of the best ways to help yourself or a loved one you may think is suffering from substance use disorder is to look out for the tell-tale signs.
Some of the common visible signs of substance abuse include:
- A lack of concentration
- Being withdrawn
- Increased irritability
- Frequently missing important events
- Lack of self-care and neglect for grooming
- Regular financial issues
- Fluctuating changes in behavior
How To Address Social Effects of Drugs
Continued exposure to substances can create a drastic change in social behavior as a result of its direct reaction to the mind and the body. Many families and friends lose someone each day to the effects of drugs. Unfortunately, it’s easy to explain away negative behavior, however, when the behavior can have short-term effects such as those presented, which can become a catalyst for longer-term effects, it’s important to ensure that the correct care is sought on recognizing the signs.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use as a result of peer pressure or using it as a way to relax in the case of social events, there are a couple of ways to address social cues.
- Addressing the emotional burden behind wanting to use a substance through counseling
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Saying ‘no’ to uncomfortable situations
- Spending more time in the company of people who care about you
- Confiding in a trusted friend
AspenRidge Recovery: Colorado Addiction Treatment
Multiple factors make substance use disorder extremely complex. What is well known are the direct effects that drugs can have on a person’s social life including relationships they have with loved ones, interactions at work, and much more. Identifying signs of substance abuse can help individuals seek treatment sooner.
At AspenRidge Recovery we offer tailored evidence-based treatment programs that work to produce a reliable service to support clients and their families. Through our dedicated treatment programs, we provide the support and provide the tools and techniques to make a successful recovery to sobriety. Contact us today to learn more (855) 281-5588.