Alcohol and Substance Addiction

 

ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ADDICTION

 

You Need To Learn about Alcohol ...

Alcohol is a common and widely used legal substance. It has also been used throughout human history. People sometimes saw alcohol as nourishment and sometimes as a means of entertainment. Alcohol has a great place in religious ceremonies in ancient times.

However, another known fact is that alcohol can cause a lot of harm and addiction to the body. For this reason, it is very important to be informed about the effects of alcohol. How alcohol affects our body and its effects will guide us to avoid the alcohol-related problems we will encounter in our daily life.

Because alcohol is a legal substance, it is also a commercial tool. Commercial firms can use different ways to sell their goods. The most common of these is the tendency to reduce the negative effects of alcohol. For example, it has been argued that beer will not be addictive for many years in Turkey and should not be considered in the alcoholic beverages class. For this reason, unbiased information about alcohol is of great importance.

Alcohol is sometimes seen as an image tool, thus efforts are made to increase sales. Cold-blooded, masculine, adventurous ... Commercial companies ensure that many images like these are identified with their own products.

We also identify alcohol with our various lives. For example, according to some, alcohol-free entertainment is not possible. According to some, it is necessary to relax with alcohol. Some believe they can forget about their troubles with alcohol.

It is very important to view alcohol objectively and scientifically. Alcohol is in our lives. But let our life not be alcohol...

 

Physical and Psychological Effects of Alcohol

The physical and mental effects of alcohol vary from person to person. Physical or mental effects occur immediately, even if some people drink very little alcohol. In others, these effects take a long time to appear. For this reason, it is not known who and when these effects will occur.

 

Physical effects

• Stomach ulcer and gastritis

• Liver enlargement, fat and cirrhosis

• Arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure

• Eating disorder

• Immune system disorder

• Weakening of the muscles

• Damage to nerve cells

• Paralysis

 

Psychological effects

• Insomnia

• Depression

• Sexual dysfunctions

• Dementia

• Addiction

 

 

Drink and Drive

Alcohol reduces the oxygen ratio in the blood. The brain that cannot get enough oxygen starts to lose its functions. As a result of decreased fear and increased self-confidence due to the effect of alcohol, the driver tends to take risks and the possibility of having an accident increases. This can change under the influence of alcohol, even if a person abides by the rules in their normal life. As a result of the decrease in the person's brain functions such as balance, vision and hearing, muscle control and attention decreases. If a person or an animal or a vehicle suddenly appears in front of him, the reaction time of the driver extends. This increases the chance of having an accident.

 

What is Addiction?

Addiction is when people lose control over the substance they use and are unable to live a life without it. Once the addiction develops, it does not get better and comes with it for the rest of a person's life. Addiction develops gradually, insidiously. The people usually do not realize that they are addicted. People can be addicted to many things. These include smoking, alcohol, drugs, the Internet, other people.

To call it an addiction, it is enough to have a few of the following symptoms.

• Increase in the amount of substance used.

• The emergence of withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, insomnia, tremors when the amount of substance is reduced or stopped.

• Continuing to use drugs despite of it’s creating a mental, social, legal or physical problem.

• Loss of person's control over the substance and using substances more than they intended.

• Spending most of the time with the substance.

• The substance prevents it from fulfilling personal and social responsibilities (such as work, school, family).

 

How to Become Addicted?

Anyone can be addicted. Substance use causes changes in the biological structure of the person over time, and it is not possible for the user to avoid it, even with the occasional use. Substance use is not related to willpower. People start with the thought of "I can control it", and then they become addicted. They also set out with the wrong belief that "My will is strong". Although the people claim that they are keeping the substance under control and never exceeding the dose, a process they are not aware of is actually going on. Therefore, it is wrong to establish a causal relationship between individual characteristics and substance use.

People usually start using substances occasionally. In the following periods, they have to increase the amount they use each time to achieve the effect they had before. This also means an increase in the demand for substances, which is the road leading to addiction. Long-term use, even if intermittent, necessarily leads to changes in the psychological and chemical structure of the individual.

 

Substance Abuse

Substance addiction is the use of substances that negatively affect the functions of the body, and therefore the inability to stop using these substances even though they are harmed. The addicts experience withdrawal symptoms when they take a break from substance use. It increases the frequency and dose of substance use over time. Only 3 of the following are seen in a 12-month period, and it can be called addiction

• Increasing the amount of substance used despite the problems.

• Waste of efforts of quitting.

• Too much time spent providing, using or stopping using the substance.

• Reducing or dropping social, professional and personal activities.

• Using more substances than intended.

 

The Addicts’ ...

• Self-confidence decreases, control weakens.

• Principles and values begin to disappear.

• Ideals and hopes for their future are destroyed.

• The substances weaken the immune system of the addict.

• The risk of contracting many deadly diseases such as AIDS, syphilis, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, cancer, gangrene increases.

 

Effects of Substance Abuse

Drugs damage the brain and its working system. For this reason, addiction can be described as a brain disease. A difficult-to-treat disease is the most appropriate definition to describe addiction.

 

• Loss of coordination and control

• Fear and anger

• Memory loss

• Pale skin and wrinkles

• Rash and acne

• Skin aging

• Shortness of breath

• Lung diseases

• Bad breath and throat cancer

• Tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss

• Heart attack and coma

 

 

The addicts…

• To get the substance, they first run out of their current money.

• They start stealing valuable belongings and money of those around him.

• They are involved in crimes life theft, extortion, pickpocketing and so on.

• They lose their health and ultimately their lives.

 

How Do I Protect Myself?

Avoid Risky Environments!

• You may not go into risky environments.

• You can spend time with your friends who have positive habits in risky environments.

• When an offer is made to try the addictive substance, you can clearly say "No!" and leave the environment.

 

SAYING "NO!"

• If what is desired contradicts your priorities and what you want to do, or something that could harm you or others, you should firmly say "No!”

• As you learn to say “No!” which is one of the important life skills, the sense of control and self-confidence increases in the person. The person who cannot say “No” will not be able to resist the trial offer, which is the first step of addiction.

 

 

How Do I Get Treatment?

People who use drugs can be treated. After giving up these substances, the people should never use them again. Using the substance only once can cause them to relapse and experience devastating consequences.

The most important factors in the success of the treatment are:

• The person wants to be treated.

• Feeling ready to give up the substance.

 

For more information and support, you can reach our CIAD counselors team (bada@sabanciuniv.edu).

 

References

www.yeniden.org.tr

https://yesilay.org.tr/tr/bagimlilik/alkol-bagimliligi

https://yesilay.org.tr/tr/bagimlilik/madde-bagimliligi