What is Substance Use and Addiction?
When the weight of stress becomes too much, people sometimes will turn to things such as drugs or alcohol to try and cope with their problems. While substance misuse is simply when someone uses drugs and alcohol to a harmful degree, addiction is an actual mental health issue that results from prolonged drug usage or alcoholism. When a person is suffering from addiction, they typically will use substances compulsively despite any negative consequences. This extreme focus on using substances can eventually result in the addiction taking over the person’s entire life. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional drink, using alcohol and other substances to cope with stress, worry, or depression can lead to negative consequences over time.
How can addiction impact carers?
Substance usage and addiction can be especially problematic for carers. If a carer is experiencing an immense amount of pain and stress due to being in their caring role, turning to drugs or alcohol can cause a multitude of other problems to come up. Carers are already more likely to have various mental and physical health issues simply due to the things they must endure when caring for their loved ones for extended periods of time. By adding in substance use, there is a possibility that more health issues will arise as time goes on. In addition to this, substance usage can also inhibit a carer’s ability to effectively care for others, which can be problematic especially if that carer is a person’s only source of assistance.
How can a person overcome addiction?
While addiction is a very difficult problem to face, there are ways to overcome it! While drug and alcohol treatment facilities, group therapy, and individual counselling can make huge impacts, there are also things you can do yourself to help speed up your recovery. In addition to getting professional help, a person who is battling addiction can find a lot of comfort in simply having support from those around them. Having close friends or family members who are aware of the situation can help support you and hold you accountable as you are on your journey to sobriety. Finding ways to clear your head can also be helpful, as doing things such as exercising, painting, reading, or partaking in any other activity you enjoy. Engaging in these things can help you to focus on more productive pastimes.
Need more support?
If you or the person you care for is struggling with substance use or addiction, Suffolk Carers Matter is here for you. We offer free support, advice, and guidance and even have a free counselling service available should you need it!
CALL us on 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.
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