What is a Substance Abuse Test Used For?
22 June, 2022
Substance abuse occurs when someone consumes too much alcohol, misuses prescription drugs, or takes illegal substances. However, substance abuse is different from addiction. Many people abusing drugs or alcohol can quit or change their habits. On the other hand, addiction is a condition that has difficulty stopping substance use even if it is causing harm. While pinpointing people with substance addiction can be easy, it is harder to determine substance abuse. And because of this, substance abuse tests are created.
A substance abuse test is a procedure for determining whether or not an issue exists regarding substance abuse. Having a person answer a series of questions relating to substance abuse is what you call a substance abuse test. Usually, the response is a simple yes or no. This set of questions is motivated to check if a person is abusing a substance or not. Breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand can also help monitor alcohol use which can help detect alcohol abuse. Before moving on with the test, it is essential to learn more about the commonly abused substances.
Substance Abuse Test: Commonly Abused Substance
Chemicals in legal and illegal drugs can alter how a person’s body and mind operate. They can provide a satisfying “high” or relieve tension. A substance abuse test will focus on checking whether an individual is abusing these commonly abused substances:
- Alcohol – Everyone reacts differently to alcohol. However, drinking excessively and frequently increases the chances of becoming injured or involved in an accident.
- Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine –OTC medicine is considered being abused if the medicine prescribed for another person is consumed. Also, abuse counts if extra doses are taken, and medicine is taken in other ways than directed or taking a drug for a non-medical reason.
- Heroin – is an illegal drug that gives a person a rush of good feelings at first but slows everything down when the effect wears off. Heroin can make a person want to take more of it to feel better.
- Cocaine – this drug speeds up the whole body of a person. Using this may cause a person to talk, move or think very fast. Like heroin, this can make a person want more of it to feel better.
- Marijuana – Many states and countries have legalised medical uses of marijuana. However, it is still illegal in New Zealand.
- Cigarettes and other tobacco products – contain nicotine that gives someone a little rush of pleasure and energy. The effect does not last and makes a person want more.
Substance Abuse Test: Drug Abuse Screening Test
A substance abuse test that focuses on drug use is the Drug Abuse Screen Test (DAST). Drug use screening tests are questionnaires used to determine whether or not a person is abusing drugs. Drug abuse is a pattern of drug usage that can lead to significant issues at work, in relationships, and a person’s health. Taking illegal drugs or misusing legal drugs are both examples of drug abuse. Diagnosing drug misuse is through the use of a drug abuse screening tests. Some tests can also determine whether a person is at a low, moderate, or high risk of drug-related problems.
A person might need to consider taking a substance abuse test if they are experiencing the following:
- There is a pressing need to take the medication daily or frequent basis.
- Keeping their drug usage hidden from others
- Making excuses for not taking the medication
- Continuing to take the drug despite issues with personal relationships, employment, school, or health
- Tolerance in medicine is increasing. To feel the drug’s effects, a person will need more and more of it.
Substance Abuse Test: Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test
Another type of substance abuse test that focuses on alcohol abuse is the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Alcohol abuse tests use questionnaires to determine whether or not a person has an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). An excessive drinking pattern can lead to significant issues at work, in relationships, and a person’s health. AUD can vary from mild to severe. Severe AUD is also known as alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Anyone might need to consider taking a substance abuse test if they are experiencing the following:
- A person drank alcoholic drinks more or for longer than they intended.
- Attempting to reduce or stop but being unable to do so
- Keeping liquor bottles and glasses hidden so that no one else could see proof of drinking
- A strong desire to consume alcohol
- A person is drinking, regardless of the consequences to their relationships, employment, school, or health.
- A person is developing an alcohol tolerance. To feel the effects of alcohol, a person will need more and more.
Now that we know two of the most common substance abuse tests, we should also know how to treat substance abuse. Detecting persons who abuse substances is vital, but it is equally important to help them.
Substance misuse has an impact on many aspects of someone’s life. It has the potential to harm anyone and those around them. Substance abuse can damage relationships as well as financial situations. Drug abuse can lead to addiction, major health issues, and even death. Substance abuse tests can check on the severity of a person’s current abuse. Depending on the severity of abuse, a person can check out these treatment options to follow:
- Counselling from a mental health professional specialising in treating drug or alcohol abuse, whether short-term or long-term
- Support networks. Alcohol and drug misuse support groups come in various styles and formats. Consult a doctor to identify the proper group and method to use.
- Treatment using medication. Certain medications can aid in the restoration of normal brain function and the reduction of cravings. This could help someone avoid relapsing. Medicines can also help anyone cope with unpleasant and sometimes hazardous withdrawal symptoms.
- Residential treatment facilities If a person has a more significant drug or alcohol issue, a counsellor may be able to assist them.
Breathalysers: Help Monitor Alcohol Abuse
A breathalyser is a device that can detect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in the body. This device can detect BAC levels in less than a minute and will then show the results in BAC%. New Zealand has a zero limit if you are under 20. For 20 years or older, the limit will be 0.05% BAC. Anything higher than 0.05% is considered illegal. Breathalysers New Zealand offers genuine BACtrack products that are reliable, accurate, and affordable and have the quality that only BACtrack can offer. In other words, any product that you choose to buy from Breathalysers New Zealand will not disappoint. With substance abuse tests and breathalysers, it will now be easier to detect alcohol abuse.
Substance abuse tests are used to detect substance abuse disorders. However, having such conditions does not mean a person is already addicted to the substance. It is crucial to detect substance abuse early to get the best results from recovery interventions. Substance abuse tests and breathalysers will go hand in hand for detection and reducing the risk of turning substance use into abuse or addiction.