If you spend time around very many young adults, you are likely to see at least one or more of them vaping. E-cigarettes and vape pens have become popular nicotine delivery systems, and even older adults have started using them in an effort to cut down on the toxins that they encounter while smoking.
Although it is true that vaping can reduce your exposure to toxins, it still fills your body with unnatural chemicals. There is also the risk that vaping could lead to bigger problems, and knowing if you are more likely to abuse substances if you vape helps you to understand why it is best to address this habit before it gets worse. Vaping is often marketed with a slant towards younger people.
Vape juice is available in flavors that are attractive to teens and college students who might turn their nose up at the taste of traditional cigarette smoke but be interested enough to try a vape that tastes like fruit or candy. However, the nicotine in these substances is just as addictive as what you get in a cigarette. There is also the possibility that using a vape could open up doors to developing a more serious addiction.
How Does Vaping Increase the Risk of Substance Abuse?
Nicotine is what many people consider a gateway drug, which is a substance that is habit-forming and can lead to the use of stronger substances. Some vape systems can also be used with marijuana, and this is another drug that is associated with a risk for using harder drugs. There are several ways that vaping could increase your risk of abusing other substances. First, it is important to note that nicotine can enhance the effects of other drugs.
Since nicotine is a stimulant, it might increase the effects of other drugs that fall into this category such as meth or cocaine. Vaping is also many people’s first experience with using substances to alter their mindset. A person who uses their vape to wake up or stay alert for tasks might be more likely to try other substances when nicotine isn’t working. Essentially, this turns vaping into a stair step that makes it easier to consider the option of using other drugs. There is also something to be said about genetics. The same type of personalities that would try vaping may also be more likely to try using other drugs, and their genetic makeup could make developing an addiction a higher possibility.
What Other Factors Influence Addiction?
There are other factors that influence addiction that may or may not go along with vaping. Since people who vape are more likely to experiment with other substances, it is possible that using a vape could put you in contact with a crowd of people who view using cocaine and other substances as normal. It is also possible that you vape as a way to deal with other mental health conditions. Vaping because you are bored, angry or tired is a sign that you might be relying upon that nicotine hit to give your mental energy a boost.
This is a huge warning sign that you could be more susceptible to abusing other substances once your vape doesn’t feel like it is doing enough. The habit that you form while vaping further makes it easier to fall into addictive patterns. This is because your body and mind become used to relying upon a chemical to feel normal. Essentially, constantly needing to vape can transition into other behaviors such as drinking alcohol or using other drugs frequently.
How Do You Know If You Need Addiction Treatment?
Once you decide to try using other substances, you might start to wonder how to know when things have gone too far.
Make sure to watch for these signs that you are dealing with an addiction.
- relying upon a substance to feel normal
- needing increasingly higher amounts of a substance
- developing withdrawal symptoms
- having friends or family members express concern
Substance abuse assessments are tools that professional counselors use to help determine if you might have an addiction. Taking an assessment typically requires answering a few questions about your lifestyle, and it is important to be honest. If it is found that you have an addiction, then treatment can help get you back on the right track. Are you concerned that vaping is turning into a bigger substance abuse problem? If so, then give us a call at 302-842-2390. We can help you learn how to overcome addiction with the right type of treatment program.