Substance Abuse Syracuse

Substance abuse is a disorder occurring in an individual who needs a chemical or drug in order to operate properly. This vicious cycle can lead to a dependency syndrome in which quitting the substance may lead the user to experience withdrawal. There are not enough studies in the field of addiction to support the exact cause of substance abuse and dependencyNevertheless, taking into account some elements, such the individual’s genes, environmental stressors and the impact of the substance of abuse has helped professionals recognize what may be the cause of this chronic illness.

Substance abuse can cause damaging health problems. The most commonly abused substances are:

Depressants: These highly addictive drugs can cause drowsiness and reduce anxiety. The most common depressants are benzos(Librium, Xanax, Halcion), alcohol, and barbiturates (Seconal,Amytal, Numbutal).

Stimulants: These drugs increase energy, alertness and attention by stimulating the nervous system and brain.They are also potentially addictive. In this group we find drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, and methylphenidate (Ritalin), used to treat ADD.

Hallucinogens:  These drugs can cause the user to experience hallucinations or see things that look be real. The most commonly abused drugs in this groupmay include psilocybin (magic mushrooms), Peyote, phencyclidine (PCP or angel dust), and LSD. These drugs are generally responsible for psychological addiction.

Narcotics and Opiates: This category includesstrong painkillers, which can cause side effects such as feelings of ecstasyand drowsiness. The most common drugs in this category areopium,heroin, codeine,and narcotic pain killers such as Oxycodone, Fentanyl and Morphine.


Substance dependence may also cause physical and behavioral symptoms. The most common symptoms linkedtosubstance abuse are:

  • Behavioral symptoms:
  • Poor concentration
  • Personality disorders
  • Lack of performance at work and school
  • Irritability
  • Missing prescribed medications
  • Lack of motivation
  • Paranoia
  • Car accidents or accidents caused by addictive behavior
  • Physical Symptoms:
  • Poor personal hygiene and  physical wellbeing
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Perspiring and vomiting
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor physiological functioning
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Dilated pupils

Swollen face, paleness , and facial redness

Genes and Substance Abuse

In order to develop more effective treatment, evolving research in the field of addiction involves the study of substance abuse as an inherited trait. Treatment can vary from individual to individual based on the patient’s genetic profile. According to research by The American Psychological Association, a dopamine receptor called D2 can one day be used to foresee whether somebody will become addicted to drugs such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Individuals who lack D2 receptors have a higher risk of becoming addicted than those who have moreD2 receptors.

Environmental stressors

Environmental factors also play an important role in the study and prevention of substance abuse. Some scientists suggest that the causes of addiction are in part genetic and environmental.  Research published at “Drug and Alcohol Dependence,” shows that drug abuse may increase in people whose parents also abused drugs. Also, children raised in this type of addictive environment have more chances of becoming dependent on drugs when they grow up. Drug availability and peer pressure are also key factors that trigger addictive behavior.


Addiction can be treated. The recovery process can truly begin when the addict admits his or her need for treatment. All patients have different emotional and physical needs;hence treatment should be designed based on those needs.

Learn about the many programs offered at Alcohol Treatment Centers Syracuse. Call us today at (315) 291-5022.

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