DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUBSTANCE-RELATED BEHAVIOUR
The effects, risks, and dangers of psychoactive substances (also known as psychotropics) vary with the substance and the way that it is used. People’s reasons for using these substances also vary, depending on their personal history, health, family background, and social setting.
Psychoactive substances can provide immediate sensations of pleasure or relief. For example, people may:
Each of these types of behaviours involves different risks. These risks depend on what substance is used, how much, how often, and by which method of use. The risks also depend on the vulnerabilities of the particular user and on various social, psychological, and cultural factors.
Whether the substance is licit or illicit, three types of substance-use behaviours are distinguished: use, abuse, and dependence
WHAT IS SUBSTANCE USE?
Use means using one or many psychoactive substances without giving rise to health or
behavioural problems that might harm users
themselves or anyone else.
WHAT IS SUBSTANCE ABUSE?
Substance abuse means using psychoactive
substances in a way that may cause physical,
psychological, economic, legal, or social harm
to users themselves or to people directly or
indirectly associated with them.
In the vast majority of cases, occasional use does not result in escalation
DEPENDENCE: WHEN DOES IT START?
Suddenly or gradually, depending on the
substance, substance dependence occurs
when someone can no longer stop using a
particular substance without experiencing
physical or psychological distress.
Psychological dependence, also called psychic
dependence, means that if someone suddenly
starts taking less of a drug, or stops taking it
completely, he experience psychological symptoms
characterized by an emotional and mental
preoccupation with the effects of the drug and a
craving to take it again.
Some substances create a physical dependence,
in which the body has adapted to the
continuous presence of the drug. When the
concentration of the drug falls below a certain
level, the body demands more of it by displaying
various physical symptoms known withdrawal
symptoms or simply withdrawal.
POLYSUBSTANCE USE: MULTIPLE SUBSTANCES, MULTIPLE DANGERS
When someone takes several different substances, the problems can get more complicated.
When someone takes one psychoactive substance, they may end up taking others along with it. For example:
Such behaviour is called polysubstance use. Its dangers are often misunderstood. Combining multiple substances can amplify their harmful effects, sometimes posing serious health risks.
There is a close correlation between use of cigarettes and use of other psychoactive substances. In particular, use of alcohol, sedatives, heroin, and amphetamines is associated with increased cigarette smoking.
Several studies have also shown a relationship between the degree of dependence on alcohol and dependence on tobacco. Alcoholics tend to smoke more and to experience less success when they try to quit.
|Drug deprivation causes uneasiness, anxiety and sometimes even depression Withdrawal occurs when someone suddenly or even progressively stops taking a drug Polysubstance use can lead to polyaddiction|