Tips For Recovery Support From Substance Abuse

According to the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), over 130 people die everyday due to the opioid crisis. This epidemic is just one example of the threat that illicit substances pose to society.

What many people do not know is that the opioid crisis is not something that only affects known drug addicts. Many victims of the opioid epidemic were prescribed a drug containing opioids and developed a dependency, which can lead to misuse of prescriptions meant to help them.

The opioid crisis has taught modern society that substance abuse and addiction can affect anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, or any other identity-marker.

Here is what you need to know about substance abuse.

What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse and addiction, though often related, are not synonymous with one another.

Typically, when professionals refer to “substances”, they are discussing intoxicants, i.e. alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, hallucinogens, etc.

Abuse of these substances occurs when, according to the World Health Organization, there is “a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.”

Substance abuse can often lead to addiction, but a person does not have to be clinically addicted to a substance before it is considered abuse. Any improper use of an illicit substance, even if prescribed by a doctor, is considered substance abuse.

Signs of Substance Abuse

Generally, substance abuse is laid out on a continuum to assess its severity.

A true diagnosis must come from a licensed clinician, but this chart can be a helpful tool to roughly assess whether or not someone’s use of a substance is becoming abuse. Individuals often turn to substances to self-medicate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

If your use of a substance exceeds what is beneficial, or if you have any concerns about your use, seek medical help immediately.

What Can I Do?

Ultimately, if you fear that you may be experiencing substance abuse, get professional help immediately. There are a number of hotlines you can call to start taking the next steps toward health and healing. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

In light of the recent crisis, it is important to be aware of what kinds of substances you’re taking into your body.

When taking prescriptions, ask your doctor about whether or not what you’re taking could have addictive side effects. Always be sure to take medications as directed by your physician and don’t be afraid to ask if you’re unsure about a drug.

Be attentive to your own use of substances. It is never wise to start using illegal intoxicants, but you should also moderate your use of legal substances like caffeine and alcohol.

If you drink alcohol and ever find yourself in “need”, or have difficulty turning down a drink, get help early. It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to substance abuse. It could save you and your loved ones a lifetime of pain.

Mind-altering substances are a tricky business and have certainly made a lasting impact on the United States in the last few years. As this country continues to battle this unprecedented epidemic, it is vital to stay informed to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Aside from the physical hardships that substance abuse can result in, it can also be a source of overwhelming shame. Recovery takes time and support. In addition to seeking help from a licensed counselor, if you want to know more about God’s restorative love for you, TheHopeLine’s Hope Coaches are available to help. We would love the opportunity to pray for you.

To learn more about issues like addiction, emotional trauma, and shame, browse our library of podcasts, ebooks, and blogs. Find answers to questions like these:

  • Do I Have An Addiction?
  • How Can I Heal From Addiction?
  • What Do I Do If My Family Member Has An Addiction?

Most Recent Blogs on Substance Abuse

Highs and Lows of Addiction

dawson-blog-featured-image

Here's my dilemma - I don't want this to be just one more blog that warns you about the harmful outcomes of addictions. I don't want to be that overlooked poster that tells you to "Just say No." I'm afraid that many times the warning messages to avoid certain addictive behaviors,..Read more

The First Steps to Addiction Recovery

dawson-blog-featured-image

Break Free From Addiction If you live with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, to pornography, to cutting and self-harm, I know you must be scared and hurting. But there is hope. There is help. And you can start on the path to addiction recovery. Recovering from addiction will not be an..Read more

Suicidal Thoughts: I Can’t Live (Like This) Anymore

dawson-blog-featured-image

Scott's Story I just turned 16. About a year ago, I almost took my own life. This is my story. Started Smoking Marijuana at 8 Years Old I started smoking marijuana when I was 8. My grandpa used it for medical reasons, so I saw him smoking it all the time. If he..Read more

6 Ways to Have Fun Without Drinking

dawson-blog-featured-image

If you struggle with substance abuse, or simply find that you’re more dependent on alcohol than you want to be, it can be a frustrating journey to growth and recovery. It seems like every social media post and every ad for food and drink features drinking at its center, surrounded..Read more

View More >

Podcasts about Substance Abuse :

Videos on Substance Abuse:

eBooks on Substance Abuse :

Ask Dawson:

Stories on Substance Abuse :

Don’t Lose Hope In Tough Times. There Is More.

dawson-blog-featured-image

Chatting with your HopeCoaches seriously brought me through some of the darkest seasons in my life. Don’t lose hope in tough times. I have used TheHopeLine several times. It was a really powerful tool that actually helped me vent out stuff that had piled up for years, and now, I..Read more

Life as a Mother of an Addict and Felon

dawson-blog-featured-image

I am the mother of a 34-year-old son who is an addict and a felon. He has been in more rehabs and diversion programs than I can count. He has lived on the streets, been an absconder, and is presently incarcerated for the 9th time. Life as a Mother of..Read more

Schalk’s Story: The Buildup of Emotional Strain

dawson-blog-featured-image

I Only Ever Loved One Woman The heartbreak broke me completely and so badly that I went and did drugs, something I was against completely. Before she left me and after she left me, I died inside and I tried to take my life a few times after we broke..Read more

TheHopeLine Helped Me Change My Life

dawson-blog-featured-image

“A HopeCoach Helped Me Change” I talked to a HopeCoach a few years ago and I just wanted to thank you so much! The HopeCoach helped me change my life. It was about 3 years ago and I just wanted to give an update. I was a drug user and had lost..Read more

View More >

Resources for Substance Abuse :

Spiritual Perspective :

Verses of Hope

Free eBooks

ebook-resources

Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

A guide to understanding the basics of Christianity and a meaningful relationship with God.  Do You Feel Like Life is Meaningless? Are you wondering what your purpose is? Do you have questions about what Christians believe or what it means to be a Christian? At TheHopeLine we believe real and lasting HOPE can only come […]

View More >

Additional Resources

View More >