Substance misuse is the harmful use of substances, these substances more times than not include drugs and alcohol. Many people believe that the term ‘substance misuse’ relates to illegal drugs but you may be surprised to know that legal substances can also be misused, such as caffeine, prescription medications, nicotine, volatile substances (e.g. petrol, glue, paint) and alcohol.
Substance misuse and addiction can have short and long-term effects on your:
• Physical health
• Mental health
• Personal relationships
• Work and financial situation
Substance use takes over your life to the detriment of yourself, your family, children and other relationships. This can lead to:
• Neglecting responsibilities and activities you used to enjoy
• Participating in dangerous or risky behaviours
• Criminal problems • Relationship problems
• Physical tolerance
• Losing control of your substance use
Substance misuse can be addictive due to the emotional and psychological, emotional and physical dependence it creates. Due the the good feelings that these chemicals stimulate in your brain that allow you to change the way that you feel and avoid the often painful and boring reality of life. In the beginning this can feel like a solution to your problems, it brings the illusion of feeling good and avoiding feelings of emptiness. However as addiction progresses the consequences of avoiding life and the feelings it brings are often magnified and relationships with yourself and others begin to decline until eventually life becomes consumed by the addiction. Addiction can be extremely difficult and at times impossible to overcome on your own, you may need help in overcoming and recovering from substance misuse. You become addicted to all the feel good feelings that you believe you experience but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This perceived pleasurable form of escapism can have a detrimental effect on your well-being and have an effect those around you.
Your Next Steps
At The Henry Centre we recommend those who are suffering substance misuse to explore Psychodynamic Therapy with our Director Natalie Corbett. Natalie has many years of specialist experience in this field and will take the time to understand your issues, wants and needs to help form an effective programme which works for you. This includes exploring what led you to misuse substances to begin with.