It is especially important for a substance abuse counselor to be aware of the types of substance abuse. The types of substance abuse are as varied as the types of substances. Let us take a deeper look at some of the umbrella categories for substances with a high abuse potential. We will discuss each type and the reasoning for choosing each as your “D.O.C.”
Types of Substance Abuse – Which and Why
Perhaps the most abused substance with the largest detrimental effect is alcohol. Alcohol abuse happens so often because it is so readily available and easily obtainable. College kids think its the thing to do, and adults use it as a social lubricant. Accidents and violence galore surround alcohol. Many people don’t even consider it a drug or risky substance, but it is one of the most risky. “Uppers,” or stimulants are popular amongst academics and professionals who hope to find some super neuro-fuel to increase their productivity and performance. These are highly addictive, psychologically and physically, and pose a huge financial risk as the person feels they must have it. Psychedelics are not addictive in themselves so much as they are the drug of choice for those hoping to find a big escape. Many people find themselves entangled in this web due to wanting to explore consciousness or spirituality as well. Good intentions can still end in bad results. Other psychoactives are mood magnifiers, and people simply want to just “enhance” life. However, these are gateway drugs and inevitably lead to harder substances and abuse. Prescription drugs are also easy to abuse when misused for purposes other than intended or in quantities not suggested. When given a prescription, there is easy access and high risk for abuse. Within this type there are “downers” and anesthetics, for those who hope to manage anxiety and pain but take it too far. Many types of substance abuse exist. It is up to the substance abuse counselor to not only educate him or herself on these types, but to get to the point where they can recognize it visually as well.
Types of Substance Abuse – Overview and Summary
People hope to effect consciouness and their nervous system with the various types of substance abuse. Uppers stimulate the central nervous system, and downers slow it down. Sedatives space out consciousness, Psychedelics alter it completely. Gateway substances and legal substances found in grocery stores are equally bad and can lead to these other detrimental substances. With psychedelics, those with underlying, dormant, or latent mental health issues are at high risk for acute psychotic episodes and extreme anxiety. There is so much risk with all of the types of substance abuse and as a substance abuse counselor you will determine whether the mental illness caused the substance abuse, or vice versa. Both must be reduced to break the chain and cycle of abuse.