The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Volume Five (DSM-5) describe SUD as a chronic brain disorder that causes a person a person to use substances repeatedly, despite the harm they cause.
Here’s the official definition:
“A substance use disorder occurs when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. Diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.”
To meet the minimum clinical threshold for diagnosis of substance use disorder, an individual must show at least two of the following eleven symptom criteria in a twelve-month period:
A substance use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe:
An individual meets 2-3 of the criteria above
An individual meets 4-5 of the criteria above
An individual meets 6 or more of the criteria above
Evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder can help you move past the cycles of addiction and achieve long-term, sustainable recovery.
The criteria we share above are what mental health and addiction treatment professionals look for when assessing an individual for the presence of a substance use disorder. However, there are signs and symptoms of substance use disorder that anyone can identify.
If you or a loved one show the signs of substance use disorder listed above, we encourage you to arrange a full biopsychosocial evaluation with a mental health and/or addiction treatment professional. Only a licensed and qualified professional can diagnose a substance use disorder and refer you for the kind evidence-based treatment that can help you get on track.
Here’s another important fact to understand:
The sooner a person diagnosed with SUD gets appropriate, evidence-based treatment for SUD, the better the treatment outcome. If you think you need help, then the sooner you act, the greater your chance of treatment success.
Long-term exposure to substances of misuse can lead to significant emotional, psychological, and physical consequences. Emotional and psychological consequences of addiction can include mood swings, decreased self-esteem, and substance-related symptoms of that mirror the symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, and some elements of psychosis. If you have an untreated SUD, these consequences can lead to significant disruption in your daily life and primary relationships.
What you may not know is that long-term substance use can also lead to serious physical complications and pathologies. Decades of evidence indicate chronic substance use can damage your major organs and critical physiological systems, including your:
The evidence is unmistakable: long-term drug use has serious consequences for your emotional, psychological, and physical health. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment and support for substance use disorder: in most cases, you can stop or reverse the damage caused by addiction and restore your mind and body to a state of health and balance.
The experienced clinicians at kathy ireland® Recovery Centers offer compassionate support and a wide range of evidence-based, outcome-oriented treatment options. Most treatment plans include a combination of individual psychotherapy, individual, group, and family counseling, medication (if needed), community and peer support, and complementary and/or experiential threapies, including:
When you commit to treatment, your expert treatment team designs a plan tailored to meet your individual biological, physiological, and social needs. Your integrated plan will contain the combination of therapeutic techniques that leverage your strengths, account for your challenge areas, and give you the tools you need to start your recovery journey.
The skills you learn in your time with us will last a lifetime – but the end of your kathy ireland® Recovery Centers treatment program is really a beginning. It’s the beginning of your new life – the life you choose to live on your terms, in the way you decide, free from the disruptive cycles of emotion and behavior associated with a substance use disorder.
To help you live that new life, we stick with you once you leave us. We support your continuing recovery with aftercare and alumni services you need to move forward in your recovery journey. Upon discharge, your case manager and clinical team will help you create a comprehensive aftercare plan that includes: