Substance abuse is a harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes, including prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit drugs, alchohol, and tobacco.
Repeated use of these substances can alter the way the brain functions. Neurotransmitters that can be affected by drugs, alcohol, or tobacco are dopamine, GABA, glutamate, acetylcholine,norepinephrine, and serotonin. Each of these neurotransmitters plays an important role in sending and receiving vital signals to the brain.
In addition to disrupting neurotransmitter function in the brain, even small amounts of substance use can lead to temporary health conditions such as hangovers and dehydration, or interrupted sleep patterns.
A health care professional can tell you if you are deficient in B vitamins, particularly thiamine, a nutrient often low in persons with alcohol abuse issues. Alternative therapies for substance abuse may include increased antioxidants such as zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins E and C to help neutralize free radicals. Herbs that support liver health have been a part of traditional detoxification, and folk remedies for substance abuse has included herbs such as milk thistle, kudzo, and St. John's Wort.
Repeated use of these substances can alter the way the brain functions. Neurotransmitters that can be affected by drugs, alcohol, or tobacco are dopamine, GABA, glutamate, acetylcholine, more >