Rehab 4 Addiction
The Addiction Service

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body. It also causes serious damage to families, relationships, schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. The most common symptoms of addiction are severe loss of control, continued use despite serious consequences, preoccupation with using, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal. Addiction can be effectively prevented, treated and managed by healthcare professionals in combination with family or peer support.

WHAT IS SUBSTANCE ABUSE?

Substance abuse can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. "Substances" can include alcohol and other drugs (illegal or not) as well as some substances that are not drugs at all.

"Abuse" can result because you are using a substance in a way that is not intended or recommended, or because you are using more than prescribed.

To be clear, someone can use substances and not be addicted or even have a substance use disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM 5).

What Is Harmful Use?

Health officials consider substance use as crossing the line into substance abuse if that repeated use causes significant impairment, such as:

  • Health issues

  • Disabilities

  • Failure to meet responsibilities

  • Impaired control

  • Risky Use

  • Social Issues

In other words, if you drink enough to get hangovers; use enough drugs that you miss work or school; smoke enough marijuana that you have lost friends; or drink or use more than you intended to use, your substance use is probably at the abuse level.

However, the broad range of substance abuse in today's society is not that simple.

The Dangers of Illegal Drugs

Generally, when most people talk about substance abuse, they are referring to the use of illegal drugs. Most professionals in the field of drug abuse prevention argue that any use of illegal drugs is by definition abuse.

Illegal drugs do more than alter your mood. They can cloud your judgment, distort your perceptions, and alter your reaction times, all of which can put you in danger of accident and injury. These drugs got to be illegal in the first place because they are potentially addictive or can cause severe negative health effects. Any use of illegal substances is considered dangerous and, therefore, abusive.

Recreational Use: Is it Abuse?

Others argue that casual, recreational use of some drugs is not harmful and is merely use, not abuse. The most vocal of the proponents of recreational drug use are those who smoke marijuana. They argue that marijuana is not addictive and has many beneficial qualities, unlike the "harder" drugs.

However, the broad range of substance abuse in today's society is not that simple.

But recent research has shown that even marijuana may have more harmful physical, mental, and psychomotor effects than first believed. Each year, new scientific studies find more ways that long-term marijuana use is harmful to your health.

In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that marijuana users can become psychologically dependent, and therefore addicted. NIDA estimates that one in every seven users of marijuana becomes dependent.

In the United Kingdom, the most commonly abused illegal drugs, in order, are:

Other Abused Substances: Some Are Not Drugs at All

Alcohol, prescription, and over-the-counter medications, inhalants and solvents, and even coffee and cigarettes can all be used to harmful excess. In fact, many children have their first encounter with substance abuse by using inhalants, simply because they are found in many common household products and, therefore, readily available.

In today's culture, we now have "designer drugs" and synthetic drugs, such as fake cocaine (bath salts) and synthetic marijuana, which may not yet be illegal, but can certainly be abused and can possibly be more dangerous.

There are also substances that can be abused that have no mood-altering or intoxication properties, such as anabolic steroids. The use of anabolic steroids to enhance performance or develop muscles and strength is abusive because of the negative side effects of their use, which can range from merely annoying to life-threatening in some cases. If it can cause you harm, even in the long term, it is substance abuse.

Theoretically, almost any substance can be abused.

Yes, Alcohol Is a Drug

Alcohol is, of course, legal for adults over the age of 21 in the United Kingdom, and there is nothing "wrong" with having a couple of drinks with friends or to unwind on occasion. But, it doesn't take much alcohol to reach a harmful level of drinking, and that is when alcohol use can turn into alcohol abuse.

Drinking five or more drinks for men (four for women) in any one sitting is considered binge drinking, which can be harmful to your physical and mental health in many different ways. If you even occasionally engage in binge drinking, your alcohol use is by definition alcohol abuse.

Nicotine Is the Most Abused Drug

Nicotine is the single most abused substance in the world. Although smoking has declined in recent years, it is estimated that 40 million Americans are still addicted to nicotine in spite of its well-publicized harmful effects.

Again, just because it is legal, doesn't mean it can't be abused. The fact that the negative health effects of nicotine take a long time to manifest probably plays a role in the widespread abuse of tobacco.

Caffeine Is the Most Used Drug

Whereas nicotine is the most abused drug, caffeine is the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world. And yes, too much caffeine can be harmful to your health. It has been linked to significantly increased risks of cancer, heart disease, and reproduction abnormalities including delayed conception and lower birth weight.

Studies have also found a link between caffeine use and several psychiatric syndromes, including caffeine-induced sleep disorder and caffeine-induced anxiety disorder. Patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, primary insomnia, and gastroesophageal reflux are usually advised to reduce or eliminate regular caffeine use.

Is It Causing You Harm?

For many legal substances, the line between use and abuse is not clear. Is having a couple of drinks every day after work to unwind use or abuse? Is drinking two pots of coffee in the morning, to get your day started, use or abuse? Is smoking a pack of cigarettes a day substance abuse?

Generally, in these situations, only the individual himself can determine where use ends and abuse begins. The question to ask yourself is, "Is this causing me harm?"

Society Pays a Price for Substance Abuse

When it comes to illegal substances, society has determined that their use is harmful and has placed legal prohibitions on their use. This is to both protect individuals' wellbeing and shield society from the costs involved with related healthcare resources, lost productivity, the spread of diseases, crime, and homelessness (although the impact of criminalizing this use has been open to considerable controversy).

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRUG OR ALCOHOL ABUSE AND ADDICTION?

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There is a range in the severity of substance problems: from mild to moderate to severe. Drug or alcohol abuse is a mild substance problem, defined by having two or three symptoms of addiction. People who abuse drugs or alcohol can experience serious consequences such as accidents, overdoses, crime, school problems, violence and suicide. Many people experience alcohol or drug abuse problems, but are able to stop using or change their pattern of use without progressing to addiction. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRUG OR TOBACCO?

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An association between tobacco and other drug use has been well established. The nature of this association remains unclear. The two main theories, which are not mutually exclusive, are the phenotypic causation (gateway) model and the correlated liabilities model. The causation model argues that smoking is a primary influence on future drug use, while the correlated liabilities model argues that smoking and other drug use are predicated on genetic or environmental factors.

Causation model

A 1994 report from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, found a correlation between the use of cigarettes and alcohol and the subsequent use of cannabis. The report asserted a link between alcohol and cannabis use and the subsequent use of illicit drugs like cocaine It found that when younger children used, the more often they use them, the more likely they were to use cocaine, heroinhallucinogens and other illicit drugs. The report concludes that the data is already robust enough to make a strong case to step up efforts to prevent childhood use of cigarettes and to take firm steps to reduce children’s access to these "gateway drugs".

National Institute on Drug Abuse researchers have found that craving nicotine also increases craving for illicit drugs among drug abusers who smoke tobacco, and this suggests that smokers in drug rehabilitation programs may be less successful than nonsmokers in staying off drugs.

In mice, nicotine increased the probability of later consumption of cocaine. the experiments permitted concrete conclusions on the underlying molecular biological alteration in the brain. The biological changes in mice correspond to the 

epidemiological observations in humans that nicotine consumption is coupled to an increased probability of later use of cocaine.

Correlative model

Smoking may have a genetic predisposing factor; one 1990 study posited that 52% of the variance in smoking behaviour is attributable to heritable factors. The concept received support from a large-scale genetic analysis of 2016 that showed a genetic basis for the connection of the prevalence of cigarette smoking and cannabis use during the life of a person.

Who are Rehab4Adiction?

Rehab 4 Addiction works closely with rehabilitation centres and outpatient clinics throughout the UK and the admissions team match a patients' addiction, with an appropriately placed rehabilitation centre.

Our services include: 

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They provide and run a number of specialised services to support people into recovery. These include:

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Group Sessions

Medical 

Prescribing

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Needle Exchange Programme

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Structured Day Programme

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Education, training and employment

For further information please check out the website, https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/

or https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/who-we-are/

or contact them in person either by ringing 01472 806890

or visiting them at 55 Church St, Grimsby DN32 7DD

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