The Relationship Between Disabilities and Substance Abuse

Insight

Everyone knows that substance abuse is a horrible occurrence, whether or not you have had personal or second-hand experience. Every year, thousands lose their lives to the mistakes and oversights that they and those around them committed. Oftentimes, there are underlying relationships that can spur or sustain addictive behaviors. Here is how the relationship between disabilities and substance abuse becomes so entangled.

Medical Use

In some cases, someone may become addicted to a substance after becoming addicted to another substance. Most of these situations occur in medical circumstances after a patient has been prescribed painkillers. While highly effective at stopping all pain, these painkillers do have the side effect of being addictive. In situations, many patients with physical disabilities might find it hard to stop taking pain pills after overcoming their physical pain.

Mental Disability

Studies have shown that those with mental disabilities such as ADHD and depression, as well as other occurring disorders, are far more likely to become addicted to a substance. In some cases, the addict may feel that these substances help them focus or maintain a calm state. Others may simply make the patient forget the mental anguish that they are constantly in. In other cases, drug addiction may be hand in hand with a medical disability. Whatever the case is, there is no doubt that these mental disorders play heavily into addictive behaviors.

Addiction as a Cause of Disability

It’s common for addiction to become the cause of a disability in those who have exhibited addictive behaviors for extended periods. Long-term alcohol use can lead to conditions such as blindness, liver cancer, and hepatitis. Long-term use of inhalants can cause major nerve damage. Long-term opioid addiction can lead to sleep disorders, cognitive decline, respiratory depression, and a myriad of other negative side effects.

When understanding addictive behavior, it is essential to know about the relationship between disabilities and substance abuse. This aspect of addiction can tell you a lot about the person you are trying to treat and their experiences with addiction. If you or someone you know needs co-occurring disorders treatment, contact Chapman Rehab for all the information you need! We have a variety of outpatient treatment programs designed to treat a multitude of addictive behaviors.

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