Substance related and addiction disorders
Statistics of Substance Abuse in Pakistan
Substance use disorder (SUD)
Substance misuse is not a personality or character problem; it is a health related problem. Substance use disorder (SUD) refers to a chronic and relapsing brain disease in which an individual continues the use of substance despite its harmful consequences and spends most of the time seeking the substance. When the desired substance is not available, the individual starts having some signs and symptoms of craving and withdrawal that is a clear indication of dependence. Addiction causes metabolic changes in the brain. Genetic factors, environmental factors and life styles are important etiological factors of ADDICTION.
Any chemical substance can produce a physical or psychological reaction. Similarly, psychoactive substances affect our central nervous system (CNS) and alter the perception, mood, cognition, behavior, thinking process and motor functions of the user.
CNS is a part of nervous system that is consists of Brain and Spinal Cord. Our brain is covered with a protective membrane called Blood Brain Barrier. Only specific chemical substances that have small molecules can cross this membrane. Psychoactive substances can easily cross the blood brain barrier and therefore these substances directly affect the brain. These effects might be positive or negative and it depends on the type and use of substance. These substances can also alter the metabolism and chemical processes of the body.
Psychoactive substances include licit and illicit substances and some medicines. Medicines are used to cure diseases but psychoactive substances can lead to dependence and some harmful effects. These substances have short term and long term effects that can damage organs of the body. The use of psycho active substances often results in consequences central to individual, familial and community level.
Commonly used Methods of Substance Abuse
The specific effects of any substance depend on the method and amount of use of the choose substance.