The Impact and Consequences of Substance Abuse

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The Impact and Consequences of Substance Abuse Substance abuse, or the overuse (or misuse) of medications, alcohol, and illegal drugs, can have a serious impact on a person. However, it is not just the person who is addicted or abusing substances who struggles. Families, communities, and societies are all impacted by the substance abuse that has become so rampant today. In order to understand the concepts behind this, and what counselors do in an effort to help substance abusers and their families and communities, it is important to understand addiction and what it really means for the person who is addicted. Addiction has a biological component, and a true addiction is generally the central force around which a person's life is organized. It affects every aspect of that person's life and ability to function, and also the lives of the people with whom that person comes into regular contact (US Department of Health, 1994). Barth (1991) discovered that there was a serious familial component when it came to babies born to mothers who had abused substances during their pregnancy. These substances included things such as alcohol, PCP, cocaine, and heroine. He stated that smoking, poor medical care while pregnant, and stress could also increase the chances for complications in these children, which may indicate that the dangers to children born to substance abusing mothers were greater than what was assumed in the past. Those factors also shed light on the children who are
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