Substance abuse

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Substance abuse, or drug abuse is about using a drug in ways that harm the health of its consumer. Very often, substance abuse involves taking drugs that are illegal, or using a drug that is legal for something other than its intended purpose. The term also covers the case of someone taking too much of a drug on purpose; very often this is called overdose. Psychoactive drugs are often abused.

The people who perform substance abuse are often addicted. The drugs most often associated with this term include alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (particularly alprazolam, temazepam, diazepam and clonazepam), cocaine, methaqualone, and opioids. Since many of these substances are illegal, very often the consumers also have a problem with the law.[1]

In many cases, the personality of people change, when they are under the influence of a drug. Sometimes, crimes are committed under the influence of drugs. In many cases, people behave in antisocial ways. It has been observed that people who abuse drugs over a longer time often change their personality as well.[2]

Substance abuse is the second most common risk factor for suicide after major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.[3] Both chronic substance misuse as well as acute substance abuse are associated with suicide.[4] When combined with personal grief, the risk of suicide is greatly increased.[5] More than 50% of suicides have some relation to alcohol or drug use and up to 25% of suicides are committed by drug addicts and alcoholics, among adolescents, it is as high as 70%.

Substance abused Effects related to suicide
Alcohol Alcohol misuse is associated with a number of mental health disorders, and alcoholics have a very high suicide rate. Suicide from alcoholism is more common in older adults.[6] It has been found that drinking 6 drinks or more per day results in a sixfold increased risk of suicide.[7][8] High rates of major depressive disorder occur in heavy drinkers and heavy drinking itself can cause major depressive disorder in a lot of alcoholics.[9]
Benzodiazepines Chronic use or abuse of prescribed benzodiazepines like Xanax, is associated with depression as well as increased suicide risk.[10] Depressed adolescents who were taking benzodiazepines were found to have a greatly increased risk of self harm or suicide.[11]
Cigarette smoking There have been many studies showing a link between smoking, thinking about suicide and suicide attempts.[12][13] In studies conducted among 50,000 nurses,and 300,000 male U.S. Army soldiers, those smoking between 1 to 24 cigarettes per day had twice the suicide risk; 25 cigarettes or more, 4 times the suicide risk, as compared with those who had never smoked.[14][15]
Cocaine Misuse of drugs such as cocaine often has a link with suicide. The time when the effects of a drug wear off is called "crash" or withdrawal phase. During this phase, many people feel bad. Suicide is most likely to occur during this phase in chronic cocaine-dependent users. Using more than one drug is more often linked with suicide in younger adults.
Crystal meth Crystal meth use has a strong link with depression and suicide as well as a range of other adverse effects on physical and mental health.[16]
Heroin Deaths among heroin users attributed to suicide range from 3% to 35%. Overall, heroin users are 14 times more likely than their non-using peers to die from suicide.[17]

References[change | change source]

  1. (2002). Mosby's Medical, Nursing, & Allied Health Dictionary. Sixth Edition. Drug abuse definition, p. 552. Nursing diagnoses, p. 2109. ISBN 0-323-01430-5.
  2. Ksir, Oakley Ray; Charles (2002). Drugs, society, and human behavior (9th ed. ed.). Boston [u.a.]: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0072319631.
  3. D., PhD Frank, Jerome; Levin, Jerome D; S., PhD Piccirilli, Richard; Perrotto, Richard S; Culkin, Joseph (28 Sep 2001). Introduction to chemical dependency counseling. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. pp. 150–152. ISBN 978-0-7657-0289-0.
  4. Giner L, Carballo JJ, Guija JA, et al. (2007). "Psychological autopsy studies: the role of alcohol use in adolescent and young adult suicides". Int J Adolesc Med Health 19 (1): 99–113. PMID 17458329.
  5. Fadem, Barbara (1 Dec 2003). Behavioral science in medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams Wilkins. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-7817-3669-5.
  6. Chignon JM, Cortes MJ, Martin P, Chabannes JP (July 1998). "[Attempted suicide and alcohol dependence: results of an epidemiologic survey]" (in French). Encephale 24 (4): 347–54. PMID 9809240.
  7. O'Donohue, William T.; R. Byrd, Michelle; Cummings, Nicholas A.; Henderson, Deborah P. (2005). Behavioral integrative care: treatments that work in the primary care setting. New York: Brunner-Routledge. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-415-94946-0.
  8. Ayd, Frank J (31 May 2000). Lexicon of psychiatry, neurology, and the neurosciences. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Williams Wilkins. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-7817-2468-5.
  9. Fergusson DM, Boden JM, Horwood LJ (March 2009). "Tests of causal links between alcohol abuse or dependence and major depression". Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 66 (3): 260–6. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.543. PMID 19255375.
  10. Taiminen TJ (January 1993). "Effect of psychopharmacotherapy on suicide risk in psychiatric inpatients". Acta Psychiatr Scand 87 (1): 45–7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.1993.tb03328.x. PMID 8093823.
  11. Brent DA, Emslie GJ, Clarke GN et al. (April 2009). "Predictors of spontaneous and systematically assessed suicidal adverse events in the treatment of SSRI-resistant depression in adolescents (TORDIA) study". Am J Psychiatry 166 (4): 418–26. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.08070976. PMID 19223438.
  12. Iwasaki M, Akechi T, Uchitomi Y, Tsugane S (April 2005). "Cigarette Smoking and Completed Suicide among Middle-aged Men: A Population-based Cohort Study in Japan". Annals of Epidemiology 15 (4): 286–92. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2004.08.011. PMID 15780776.
  13. Miller M, Hemenway D, Rimm E (May 2000). "Cigarettes and suicide: a prospective study of 50,000 men". American journal of public health 90 (5): 768–73. doi:10.2105/AJPH.90.5.768. PMC 1446219. PMID 10800427.
  14. Hemenway D, Solnick SJ, Colditz GA (February 1993). "Smoking and suicide among nurses". American journal of public health 83 (2): 249–51. doi:10.2105/AJPH.83.2.249. PMC 1694571. PMID 8427332.
  15. Miller M, Hemenway D, Bell NS, Yore MM, Amoroso PJ (June 2000). "Cigarette smoking and suicide: a prospective study of 300,000 male active-duty Army soldiers". American Journal of Epidemiology 151 (11): 1060–3. PMID 10873129.
  16. Darke, S.; Kaye, S.; McKetin, R.; Duflou, J. (May 2008). "Major physical and psychological harms of methamphetamine use". Drug Alcohol Rev 27 (3): 253–62. doi:10.1080/09595230801923702. PMID 18368606.
  17. Darke S, Ross J (November 2002). "Suicide among heroin users: rates, risk factors and methods". Addiction 97 (11): 1383–94. doi:10.1046/j.1360-0443.2002.00214.x. PMID 12410779.