Substance abuse isn’t something men should take lightly. It occurs when they use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal and illegal substances too much or in the wrong way.
Substance abuse differs from addiction. Many people with substance abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behaviour. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means men can’t stop using even when their condition causes harm. Both legal and illegal drugs have chemicals that can change how men’s body and mind work. They can give men a pleasurable “high,” ease their stress, or help them avoid problems in their life.
Alcohol, for example, affects everyone differently. But if men drink too much and too often, their chance of an injury or accident goes up. Heavy drinking also can cause liver and other health problems or lead to a more serious alcohol disorder. Men who drink more than four drinks on any day or more than 14 in a week are drinking too much.
Other substances can be Heroin, Cocaine, Marijuana, Tobacco etc.
When men first start taking a substance, they may think they can control how much they use. But over time, men may need more of the drug to get the same feeling or effect. For some people, that can lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that men may have a problem with substance abuse include if they:
- Lack interest in things they used to love including family
- Change their friends a lot
- Stop taking care of themself
- Spend more time alone than they used to
- Eat more or less than normal
- Sleep at odd hours
- Have problems at work or with family
- Switch quickly from feeling good and bad
- Crave or strongly desire to use the substance
Substance abuse affects every part of men’s lives. It can hurt them and the people around them. It can ruin relationships and their financial health. Abusing drugs can also lead to addiction and cause serious health problems and even death.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, please seek help – there is no shame in seeking help.