Abusing drugs or alcohol, may in fact feel normal in today’s world. Excessive consumption of both happen left, right and hospital, where the once frowned upon the choice of substance abuse are now normalised across the globe.

While this may feel normal or a standard action for some, it is, however, a dangerous choice to enable, down to the increased risk of developing addictive tendencies, down to the hazardous characteristics of drugs and alcohol, and down to the physical and psychological concerns linked to substance abuse.

For most, substance abuse will begin at the initial use stage, where a drug may be tried for the first time to encounter new experiences, straight across the board to alleviating mental health issues and low moments.

However, once that drug has been tried, has been experienced, and has had the potential to influence its full effects, here’s where mere consumption can turn into substance abuse, and if enabled can turn into an addiction.

Down to the rapid development of this habit, it’s important to have awareness around the risks of substance abuse. If you’re wondering ‘what does substance abuse look like?’, including physical and psychological symptoms, here’s how.

In addition, to understand the potential severity of substance abuse, here’s the type of necessary rehabilitation services, in place to promote drug and alcohol withdrawal.

For support with overcoming substance abuse, with changing your norm, and with breaking the cycle of enablement, contact our team at Nova Recovery.


What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse is where drug and alcohol consumption exceed safety guidelines and a normal consistency of use. It falls in between initial use and addiction, where drugs and alcohol begin to take over. However, luckily, as psychological associations are sparse at this point, substance abuse can be easier to overcome.

With this in mind, knowing the signs and symptoms of substance abuse is recommended, whether you’re excessively consuming drugs or alcohol, or believe someone you care about may be.

By doing so, you’ll understand if any form of dependence is developing, whether that’s a standalone physical attachment, a psychological association, or an addiction diagnosis.

The sooner that, substance abuse can be stopped, the risk of developing an addiction will also follow suit, drastically reducing. With this in mind, if you’re wondering ‘what does substance abuse look like?’, here’s how.


What does substance abuse look like on physical and psychological levels?

Signs and symptoms of substance abuse can deviate significantly. After all, factors such as personal responses, genetics, environments, the drug in mind, and the addictive characteristics of drugs can all impact the severity and presence of physical and psychological symptoms.

However, there is a common range, which is linked to excessive drug and alcohol abuse, which can direct a potential diagnosis of substance abuse. With this in mind, it is important to understand the symptoms, signs and warnings of substance abuse, in case you’re unknowingly encountering it, with potential risks of addiction.


Physical signs of substance abuse

Physical symptoms are commonly easy to spot when considering substance abuse. Envision that of a hangover, however on a consistent basis. Red bloodshot eyes, flu-like symptoms, weight loss or gain, significant lethargy and low energy, and hangover driven symptoms are usually linked to drug and alcohol abuse.

While these signs can also reflect further health problems, while visible through substance abuse, they are commonly a clear indication of what substance abuse looks like as a diagnosis.

Of course, substance abuse is stereotyped, where any given symptom can in fact link. Yet commonly those who abuse drugs and alcohol will place less focus on their physical health and appearance, by diverting their attention to the effects of drugs and alcohol.


Psychological signs of substance abuse

While substance abuse influences limited psychological associations, there are clear psychological warning signs to look out for.

If you’re abusing drugs or alcohol, and are feeling low in mood, are justifying irrational behaviours, are struggling with sleep, and are overall adjusting your norm, there’s a risk that your consumption is leaning towards substance abuse.

Alongside noticeable changes, factors such as a loss of interest in your pre-consumption life, the increased desire to remain private and alone, and symptoms of mental health issues are all linked to substance abuse.

Although psychological associations are limited at this phase of dependence, if consumption is enabled, there’s a significant risk of intensified side effects, also resulting in an addiction diagnosis.

Ultimately, by considering physical and psychological signs, if your health, your outlook, your personality or your behaviours have changed, and you’re consuming drugs and alcohol consistently, there’s a strong chance that your norm, of consumption, has progressed to substance abuse.

This is the time to source professional guidance to complete substance abuse treatment.


Overcoming substance abuse here at Nova Recovery

While substance abuse may be perceived as less harmless, in comparison to addiction, if untreated, it can materialise into an addiction, along with expected negative consequences. Down to this, no matter the context or degree of your relationship with drugs and alcohol, sourcing professional support is encouraged.

At Nova Recovery, we are here for you through the tests of substance abuse, by offering a range of rehabilitation programmes. Our programmes focus on offering substance abuse treatment, with a large focus on detoxification, on replacement techniques and on developing coping strategies.

It is important to remember that for some, substance abuse can be difficult to overcome. It will all depend on the drug which has been consumed, along with side effects and response rates to treatment.

Yet, no matter how challenging it may be, if you understand what substance abuse looks like, and personally experience those signs and symptoms, it’s important that you act. By delaying action, your risk of developing a physical and psychological addiction will heighten, making substance abuse a thing of the past.

If you’re still wondering ‘what does substance abuse look like?’ when considering internal and external adaptations, impacts on quality of life, and potential recovery rates, contact our team.  We are here for you, no matter how severe your norm of substance abuse may be.

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