Substance Use Disorder Treatment

A substance use disorder can include a variety of unhealthy behaviors including addiction, excessive substance usage, and dangerous or reckless substance-induced behavior.

 

Due to the incessant nature of addiction, people often lose control of their substance abuse. As a result, problems at home, work, or school are almost always a sign that substances have become a problem for someone. 

 

To lessen the negative impacts of drugs and alcohol, it is important to seek substance use disorder treatment in a quality rehab facility to regain control of your life.

Poly Substance Use Disorder

For more information about recovering from substance use disorders, please visit our page The Economic Cost of Substance Abuse.

What is a Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a medical condition in which the use of one or more substances leads to significant impairment or distress. The effects of substance use disorder manifest in mental, physical, and behavioral symptoms that cause serious, and often deadly problems in one’s life. If an individual abuses multiple substances quite consistently, they may have a poly-substance use disorder.

Substance Use Disorder Symptoms

Substance use disorders affect physical and mental health, as well as an individual’s behavior(s). 

Substance use disorder symptoms and signs include:

Physical Signs

  • Sudden or rapid weight loss
  • Insomnia, laziness, inability to sleep
  • Loss of appetite or change in eating habits
  • Trembling/shaking hands
  • Strange body odor
  • Extreme hyperactivity
  • More talkative than usual
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Needle marks and/or abscesses
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Excessive scratching
  • Poor hygiene
  • Lack of physical fitness

Emotional Signs

  • Irritability
  • Overly defensive
  • Poor stress management
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Minimizing negative consequences
  • Blaming others
  • Confusion
  • Loss of reality
  • Excessive anger
  • Rapid shifts in mood
  • Emotionally fragile
  • Easily agitated
  • Closed-Off
  • Emotional reactions that don’t fit the situation

Behavioral Signs

  • Poor work/school performance
  • Sudden changes in attitude
  • Oversensitivity to normal events
  • Forgetfulness
  • Paranoia
  • Secretive or suspicious behavior
  • Changes in friends
  • Legal problems
  • Isolating
  • Financial problems
  • Changes in reliability
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Chooses to be absent from family functions
  • Avoids long events or trips
  • Attracted to different social scenes or circles

If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or others, you may suffer from a substance use disorder or polysubstance use disorder and require comprehensive treatment. It is important to recognize the development of physical dependence on substances in order to begin to recover.

DSM 5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorder

For the most part, people know that there is a distinctive pattern of use for those addicted to most substances. However, there are different criteria for diagnosing specific substance use disorders (i.e. opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder, methamphetamine use disorder, etc.). Substance use disorders can be at varying levels of severity, for different lengths of time. For that reason, it is not likely for one person to present the same as another with someone with one use disorder to score similarly against the criteria for another substance use disorder.

The DSM-VI guidelines for diagnosing substance use disorder require that an individual have significant impairment or distress from their drug use.
They must also have experienced two of the symptoms below in a given year:​

Substance Use Disorder Criteria

  1. Using more of a substance than planned, or using a substance for a longer interval than desired
  2. Inability to cut down despite desire to do so
  3. Spending a substantial amount of the day obtaining, using, or recovering from substance use
  4. Cravings or intense urges to use
  5. Repeated usage causes or contributes to an inability to meet important social, or professional obligations
  6. Persistent usage in spite of causing frequent problems at work, school, or home
  7. Giving up or cutting back on important social, professional, or leisure activities because of substance use
  8. Using in physically hazardous situations, or usage causing physical or mental harm
  9. Persistent use despite the user’s awareness that the substance is causing or at least worsening a physical or mental problem
  10. Tolerance: needing to use increasing amounts of a substance to obtain its desired effects
  11. Withdrawal: a characteristic group of physical effects or symptoms that emerge as the amount of substance in the body decreases

*If you have experienced two or more of the above symptoms, you may have a substance use disorder and should contact us immediately.

Substance Use Disorder Levels of Severity

Mild
Moderate
Severe

Level of Substance Use Disorder Severity: 

The more symptoms that apply, the more severe the substance use disorder is.

2 or more symptoms = mild substance use disorder
5-7 symptoms = moderate substance use disorder
8+ symptoms = severe substance use disorder

Substance Use Disorder vs Addiction

The terms substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction are often used interchangeably. In fact, many people exclusively use the term substance use disorder. This is mainly due to the stigma surrounding the word “addiction”.

The medical term “substance use disorder” describes the entire spectrum of substance abuse, from regular misuse to dependence. With that said, the term describes any compulsive pattern of drug or alcohol abuse. Depending on the level of severity involved with a person’s substance abuse can range from mild, to moderate, and severe.

Addiction, however, is typically reserved for a person with a severe substance use disorder who has lost all control of their drug or alcohol abuse.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program

Due to differences in criteria for each substance use disorder, if you meet the criteria for multiple substance use disorders, you have a polysubstance use disorder. As a result, you will require a treatment plan that is more individualized.

A detox program that can be tailored to fit the needs and address the withdrawal symptoms associated with multiple substance use disorders will require a skilled and knowledgeable medical and clinical team.

Substance use disorders affect everyone across the board. There are documented cases of men, women, young, old, rich, and poor–all being affected by substance use disorder. Genetics has also been found to play a role in addiction, however, environmental factors play a large role as well. 

While family history, medical history, and a history of substance abuse can all increase your likelihood of developing a SUD, there is not one single cause of addiction. Addiction is a combination of environmental and genetic influences.

Frequently Asked Questions about
Substance Use Disorder

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), substance use disorder is “evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria”.

Yes, doing drugs or drinking alcohol consistently can have permanent consequences. Some permanent effects of alcoholism or drug use can include: 

  • Cognitive damage
  • A disrupted internal reward system
  • Delayed motor skills
  • Impacts on appearance

The intensity and volume of permanent damage are influenced by an individual’s usage history and family medical history.

All substances, whether they be drugs or alcohol, have their own set of properties and symptoms of withdrawal. If you discontinue using one substance but continue using another, you can experience withdrawal symptoms from the substance that you are no longer using. In some cases, discontinuing one substance while maintaining the use of another can actually prevent your withdrawal symptoms from coming through as intensely as they would without any substance use or proper medical detoxification.

Any comprehensive rehabilitation programs for addiction should have specialized tracks that are targeted to treat individuals struggling with certain substance use disorders. These tracks are meant to be more specific in their relation to the individual receiving treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions about
Polysubstance Use Disorder

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), polysubstance abuse is “the use of more than one drug.”

Whether you take two substances intentionally or unintentionally, you can develop a polysubstance use disorder when you take two or more drugs together or within a short time period.

The key to finding the proper treatment for polysubstance use disorders is searching for rehab centers that prioritize the creation of an individualized treatment program. An individualized program will allow you to collaborate with your personal care team to create a treatment plan that is perfectly aligned with your rehabilitation needs and goals.

However, finding the proper treatment for polysubstance use disorders is searching for rehab centers that prioritize the creation of an individualized treatment program. An individualized program will allow you to design a treatment plan that is perfectly aligned with your rehabilitation needs and goals.

Polysubstance use by definition is more than one fully developed substance use disorder. As a result, the time it takes to develop a polysubstance use disorder is different for everyone. For example, it may take one person ten years of using benzodiazepines before misusing them and one week of opioid abuse before a person develops a polysubstance use disorder. Alternatively, it could take another individual one month to develop a polysubstance use disorder.

  • Opiates and methamphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines and alcohol
  • Opioids and benzodiazepines

Polysubstance use by definition is more than one fully developed substance use disorder. As a result, the time it takes to develop a polysubstance use disorder is different for everyone. For example, it may take one person ten years of using benzodiazepines before misusing them and one week of opioid abuse before a person develops a polysubstance use disorder. Alternatively, it could take another individual one month to develop a polysubstance use disorder.

Looking for a Rehab for Substance Use Disorder?

We can help you get started right away. We work with most private insurance policies and we also have affordable private pay rates if you do not have insurance. Give us a call and we will figure out the best treatment plan for you or your loved one. Because we care.

Therapy

Change your life with one call.
You can do it, We can help.