Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex condition where a person has uncontrolled use of substances — either drugs or alcohol — despite experiencing harmful consequences and significant impairment, such as health problems and failure to meet daily responsibilities. Chances are good you or someone you love has SUD because the CDC reports that one in seven Americans aged 12 or older deal with SUD. Although SUDs are chronic diseases that can affect anyone, they are treatable. No matter the drug of choice, from alcohol or cannabis to inhalants, opioids, or others, a coordinated care team can help you overcome this addiction. Please keep reading to learn more about substance use disorder, the types of treatment, and who would benefit most.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
Do you or someone you know continue using drugs or alcohol even after experiencing negative consequences? Maybe you or your loved one will say they can stop but never do. Perhaps they miss school, lose jobs, and have toxic relationships with family members because of their habits. Other signs of substance abuse include:
The person feels a strong desire, need, or urge to use drugs or alcohol and will feel anxious or irritable if they can’t use them.
- Loss Of Control
This trait is when an individual will often take more drugs or drink more alcohol than intended or may use said things at a time or place that they had not planned. They may also try to slow down the use or stop drinking or using drugs many times but may fail each time.
- A High Tolerance
The individual needs increasingly more significant amounts of alcohol to get drunk or drugs to get high over time.
- Physical Dependence or Withdrawal Symptoms
If the person does try to stop drugs or alcohol, they experience physical symptoms of withdrawal, making it difficult for them to quit safely without the help of medical professionals.
Who Is at Risk of Developing a Substance Use Disorder?
Anyone can develop a substance use disorder. However, some individuals are more at risk if they grow up in certain environments or suffer from mental health issues. That means risk factors for substance use disorders can be internal or external. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, outlines the main reasons why or how someone would become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- Aggressive behavior in childhood.
- Lack of supervision or involvement from the individual’s parents.
- Drugs are offered at the school the person attended.
- A desire to experiment with drugs or alcohol to see their effects.
- Growing up in a poverty-stricken community.
- Poor social skills, including lack of friends and isolation, or lack of a healthy support system.
Some people are known to be naturally prone to taking risks, but specific environmental triggers can cause those individuals to experiment with drugs and alcohol, then lead to an addiction.
Who Would Benefit Most from Substance Use Disorder Treatments?
Anyone struggling with SUDs will benefit from professional treatment. Whether you had tried to quit before and were unsuccessful or just noticed you may have a problem, mental health facilities are ready to support you in getting sober. However, sometimes the top challenges for those who want and need help include stigma, cost, and a lack of accessibility and knowledge. Luckily, many facilities accept insurance and have medical experts who not only follow privacy rules but have the equipment and experience you need to succeed.
Treatment for Substance Use Disorder
Every individual entering treatment receives a clinical assessment; this step may be free of charge in many cases. This thorough assessment includes the following:
- Medical history
- Current medical problems or needs
- Current medications
- The kinds, amounts, and lengths of time you have used the substance
- Mental health issues or behavioral problems
- Effects of alcohol or drugs use on your life
- Current living situation and environment
- Legal or financial problems
- Cultural issues around the use of drugs or alcohol
- Family and social issues and needs
- Employment history, problems, stability, and needs
- Educational background and needs
- School performance, conditions, and difficulties, if relevant
- Previous treatment experiences or attempts to quit drug or alcohol use, if any
After a thorough assessment and diagnosis, a person can start receiving treatment for substance use disorder. To get sober, a patient will likely undergo several steps, such as detox, residential treatment, and outpatient services. During these programs, trained medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, and others will assist in your recovery.
Programs for SUD
There are several stages to sobriety and different types of treatment programs available.
- Medical detox is often the first step in your recovery. Depending on your addiction, you may undergo a withdrawal process while being monitored by health experts 24/7.
- Inpatient or residential treatment is a short- or long-term option where patients stay at a safe and structured mental health facility where they can receive daily medication and attend various therapy programs.
- Outpatient programs allow patients to live at home and visit a mental health facility for weekly or monthly therapy programs. Intensive outpatient programs may require daily activities for hours, multiple days a week, for several weeks.
Start Substance Use Disorder Treatment
The medical professionals at Raleigh Oaks Behavioral Health are ready to assist you with any SUD treatment you need. Contact them now to verify your insurance or schedule a free assessment. After diagnosis, you will receive an individualized treatment plan specific to your needs to begin living a happy and healthy life beyond drugs and alcohol.