substance use and abuse

dual diagnosisSubstance use and abuse can lead to addiction, which is already hard enough to handle on its own—but what if you are also diagnosed with a mental illness? Coping with both at once can complicate the challenges you may face along the road to rehabilitation and recovery.

A substance abuse problem that is happening at the same time as a mental health issue (such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety) creates a situation called a co-occurring disorder, also known as dual diagnosis.

In such a case, both the mental health problem and the alcohol or drug addiction each have their own particular set of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to function normally in the face of life’s challenges. The situation becomes even more complicated by the fact that the co-occurring read more…


Alcohol Use and Cocaine Use AbuseThe culture of substance use and abuse is rapidly escalating, from mere experimentation to the chronic mixing of combo drugs. One of the most dangerous of these combinations is alcohol use and cocaine use.

Even when ingested on its own, cocaine is already considered a dangerous drug, attributed to the leading cause of most emergency room cases of drug abuse, as reported by the Drug Abuse Warning Network.

Effects of Cocaine Use and Alcohol Use on the Liver

One particular danger of the effect of alcohol and cocaine use together is that they are not separately processed by the liver. Instead, these two substances combine to create a third toxic chemical known as cocaethylene. The continuing use of a combination of alcohol and cocaine results in a considerable amount of the cocaethylene toxin building up in the liver. The combination of the detrimental effects of alcohol on the liver, along with the results of cocaethylene in the system is a contributor to massive liver failure.

Increased Tolerance = Higher Rates of Substance Abuse

Frequent cocaine use will inadvertently lead to tolerance in most chronic users; this is not a good thing. Cocaine, in itself, is already a highly addictive drug. Combining it with alcohol intensifies and prolongs the effects of cocaine, and because of this, the tolerance of a user may also be affected. The tendency would be to seek the same experience. However, for most drug users, read more…