Teen Substance Abuse. Real talk. The ongoing uncertainty and stress of this pandemic have led to increased demand for mental health services from psychologists in the United States. However, conditions like anxiety and depression aren’t the only mental health issues people are facing. Studies say misuse of opioids, alcohol and stimulants are also on the rise—and therapists are in a good position to help.
Why is Substance Abuse on the Rise?
There have been many trends to follow in the last two years or so. Lots of these have followed the increases and decreases of COVID-19 in their areas. Sometimes, watching the stock market plummet and rise can have effects.
Some of us have watched our bank accounts really struggle. They change rapidly as jobs have been slow or perhaps even lost. Also the trend that many mental health professionals have watched is the rise in substance abuse cases in our country.
As we have have been faced with stressful and unprecedented times, many have turned to substances such as alcohol, opioids, and other drugs to help them cope. People who have been clean or sober for some time have relapsed into another downward spiral of addiction.
In fact, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol sales are up well over 200%. Many of us joke and send funny memes about alcohol being what gets us through this crazy time, but for a lot of us, this is a sad and hard reality that is destroying our lives.
What is Substance Abuse Defined?
Substance abuse is defined as the point at which substances (drugs and/or alcohol) begin to take over one’s life. For many, this is the point when individuals seek out and increase their intake of substances even when it is causing problems for themselves and their families.
How has COVID affected us with Substance Abuse?
Because of the confusion and indirection of this time of COVID-19, many find themselves at home with easy access to more amounts of alcohol and drugs. Many of us feel lost as our schedules and routines have changed and are searching for purpose and meaning.
Some just find that alcohol is an easy way to cope with the emotional insecurity and pain right now. If you have found yourself turning to drugs or alcohol over the last several months, you are definitely not alone.
But, if the use of these substances is beginning to have an effect on your daily life, your career, or your relationships – it’s time to reach out for help. Waters Edge Counseling offers a few questions to ask yourself if you are wondering if you or someone you know may have a substance abuse issue:
- Are you having financial troubles due to your drinking or using?
- Are you missing work due to your drinking or using?
- Do you drink or use to escape your problems?
- Do you have blackouts? (Blackouts are loss of memory during the time you were drinking or using)
- Do you need a drink at a certain time everyday?
- Do you drink first thing in the morning?
- Is drinking or using affecting your sleep?
What do to if you think you or someone you love is Abusing Substances
If you have answered “Yes” to more than a couple of these questions, then you or someone you love, may have a substance abuse issue that needs help.
This is a hard time. But there are many healthy alternatives to drinking and using other substances that can help you cope with your stress.
Substance abuse goes hand in hand with lots of other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. If these issues can be triggered when drinking or substances gets out of control, please reach out.
Waters Edge Counseling has therapists who are trained to help people overcome their addictions and reach a place of freedom in their lives. Please give us a call at 912-319-5552 or email us at [email protected]. We are here for you.