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Substance Abuse and You. Essential Skills to Success. Authors : Jonathan Mong & Marianne Schwarz ; VFMP UBC Medicine 2015 Presenters : . Outline. Who we are Topics: 1. Commonly used drugs + what they do to the body 2. Reasons for use and risk factors for abuse

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substance abuse and you

Substance Abuse and You

Essential Skills to Success

Authors: Jonathan Mong& Marianne Schwarz; VFMP UBC Medicine 2015


  • Who we are
  • Topics:
    • 1. Commonly used drugs + what they do to the body
    • 2. Reasons for use and risk factors for abuse
    • 3. Consequences of abuse
    • 4. Recovery: mental tapes, coping strategies, stages of recovery, etc.
addiction physiological and mental
Addiction – physiological and mental
  • Different from “dependence”
  • Physical and psychological need for something
  • Accompanied by self-destructive behaviours
  • Physical and psychological symptoms that appear when off of a substance
  • Can have common symptoms for many substances
sleeping pills
Sleeping pills
  • Some people use these to stay or fall asleep
  • Common drug:Ativan, Imovane
  • Work by blocking electrical signals from going to your brain
sleeping pills1
Sleeping Pills
  • The Good
    • Helps to sleep
    • Relaxant
  • The Bad
    • Addiction
    • Nausea, headaches
    • Memory impairment
  • The Ugly
    • Comatose
    • Death
  • The Good
    • Reduce pain (e.g. headache, muscle aches)
  • The Bad
    • Overdose causing vomiting, which can lead to…
  • The ugly
    • Overdose (causing liver failure, kidney failure, death)
anabolic steroids
Anabolic Steroids
  • Similar actions to testosterone
  • Often taken to try to build muscle mass
  • Can affect cells everywhere and not just in your muscles
anabolic steroids1
Anabolic Steroids
  • The Good
    • Bulk up
    • Appear “manly”
  • The Bad
    • Acne
    • Bruising
    • Cancer
    • Depression
    • Aggression
    • Testicular shrinking
    • Stunted growth
  • The Ugly
    • ...
  • Taken for a variety of reasons: to relax, reduce pain, etc.
  • Increases amount of substance in your brain that makes you feel good
  • “Opening a door”
  • The ‘Good’
    • Pain control
    • Relaxant
  • The Bad
    • Loss of motivation
    • Decreased awareness
  • The Ugly
    • Increased risk of schizophrenia
    • Legal complications
  • Prevents substance in brain from being broken down normally
  • “Can’t clean up the mess”
  • The Good
    • Gives you energy
    • Gives you a “high”
  • The Bad
    • Heart troubles
      • Infections, enlarged heart, irregular rhythm
    • Seizures
  • The Ugly
    • Sudden heart attack
    • Stroke
  • Jack is 28 year-old
  • Confused wandering Downtown Eastside
  • “Jerky” movements
  • Fever and chills
  • “Muscles hurt all over.”
  • Feels ants crawling under his skin
  • Agitated
questions ideas
  • What did you notice is happening to Jack?
  • Any ideas to explain this?
patterns of use
Patterns of Use
  • Non User
    • People who do not use the substance
  • Initial User
    • People who try the substance for the first few times
  • Irregular User
    • People who use the substance in social settings
  • Regular User
    • People who use the substance in many settings
    • This is non-harmful regular or planned use
  • Problem User
    • People who show addictive behaviour towards the substance
  • Dependent User
    • People who are fully addicted to the substance
    • Physical and mental withdrawal symptoms can present
    • People driven to acquire and use substance
  • Mental or physical pain
  • To fit in socially
  • To treat the symptoms of an illness
  • To prevent withdrawal
  • Escape from reality
risk factors
Risk Factors
  • Genetics
  • Personal characteristics
  • Health or mental illness
  • Gender
  • Early drug use
  • Lack of healthy relationships
risk factors1
Risk Factors
  • Family
  • Physical abuse
  • Culture
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Availability of substances
  • Peer group
case part 2
Case, part 2
  • Calms down
  • Car accident 1 year ago
  • No major trauma, but had trouble sleeping after
  • Prescribed a sleeping pill by his doctor
  • Jack says he became “dependent on it”
  • After prescription, he ran out and he started drinking heavily
ideas questions
  • Any new ideas about what is happening with Jack?
  • What substances could he potentially be abusing?
social consequences
Social Consequences

Can have minimal impact or affect:

  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Job and finances
  • Housing
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Jack remembers his father using alcohol extensively when work was hard
  • Father was abusive towards Jack and his mother
  • Left the house, has not seen his father since
  • Felt more popular when drinking
ideas questions1
  • What do you think are Jack’s motivations for using alcohol and sleeping pills?
  • What are his risk factors for substance abuse?
recovery stages of change
Recovery – Stages of Change
  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance
  • Relapse
recovery assessing your thoughts
Recovery – Assessing your thoughts
  • Mental tapes are old recordings of voices that play in our head from time to time
  • These tapes can be distracting to the process of recovery, e.g.
    • “I’m worthless because I’m not able to kick my drug habit.”
    • “I’ll never be able to live a real life because I drink too much alcohol and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
    • “If I don’t use alcohol then nobody will like me.”
    • “When I got high last time I had the best time of my life. The same thing will happen when I get high again tonight.”
recovery halt principles
Recovery – HALT Principles
  • Relapse is more likely to happen if you are:
    • Hungry
    • Angry
    • Lonely
    • Tired
  • If you feel like you’re being overwhelmed by any of these, it’s important to “check in with yourself.”
  • 1 year later
  • Sees same doctor
  • Has tried to stop drinking several times but has always started up again
  • Wants to “kick the habit”
  • Staying in a friend’s basement
  • Currently unemployedbut optimistic
back to jack
Back to Jack…
  • Jack sounds like he wants to stop his substance abuse. Do you think he is prepared to start the process of recovery?
  • Your doctor
  • Community clinics
  • Needle exchange programs
  • Dial 211- Alcohol and Drug Line - Refers to a full range of counselling and treatment services across BC. BC
  • Dial 811 - HealthLink BC
  • Online resources
    • Mood gym
thank you
Thank you!
  • Questions?