kathy ireland® Recovery Centers

Substance Use Disorders

We offer integrated, holistic, customized treatment programs for the disordered use of substances, including, but not limited to:
Substance use disorders (SUDs) impact millions of people around the country every year. If you or a loved need compassionate, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder, call us today.
Mental health assessment

What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

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:

  1. The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control use of the substance.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the substance, occurs.
  5. Recurrent use of the substance results in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Use of the substance continues despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of its use.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use of the substance.
  8. Use of the substance is recurrent in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  9. Use of the substance is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    • A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication
    • A markedly diminished effect with continued use
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
    • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for that substance
    • The use of the substance to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

A substance use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe:

Mild SUD:

An individual meets 2-3 of the criteria above

Moderate SUD:

An individual meets 4-5 of the criteria above

Severe SUD:

An individual meets 6 or more of the criteria above

If you or a loved meet the criteria for a mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder, please understand this important fact:

Evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder can help you move past the cycles of addiction and achieve long-term, sustainable recovery.

Signs of Substance Use Disorder

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 think your or a loved one may have a substance use disorder, look for the following common signs:

  • Unusual and abrupt changes in mood or behavior
  • Rapid decline in work or school performance
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Uncharacteristic anger
  • Increased irritability
  • Escalating dangerous or risky behaviors
  • Lying about or covering up substance use
  • Binge drinking
  • Slurred speech
  • Cognitive decline
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Changes in sleep patterns: sleeping too little or sleeping too much
  • Wearing long sleeves even in hot weather
  • Unexplained bruising or needle marks
smiling man outside

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.

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The Consequences of Substance Use Disorder

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:

  • Brain:
    • Chronic drug use can cause cognitive decline, memory problems, learning problems, and impulse control problems
  • Heart:
    • Chronic drug use can lead to irregular heartbeat and coronary problems up to and including heart attack and stroke
  • Lungs:
    • Ingesting any substance by smoking or vaping can damage lung tissue, cause scarring to small blood vessels, and increase risk of chronic breathing problems
  • Liver:
    • Prolonged exposure to alcohol, amphetamines, or other drugs of misuse can lead to liver damage and liver failure, including some forms of hepatitis, which, if untreated, can lead to liver cancer or death
  • Kidneys:
    • Chronic exposure to opioids, alcohol, and/or amphetamines can lead to kidney damage or kidney failure, which can result in death
  • Immune, Endocrine, and Digestive Systems:
    • Chronic exposure to opioids can suppress immune function, impair the production of important hormones produced by the endocrine system, and lead to nausea, constipation, and in some cases, narcotic bowel syndrome

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.

Substance Use Disorder: Treatment and Therapy Options

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:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Individual CBT
  • Family CBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Individual DBT
  • Group DBT
  • Family DBT

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

  • Meditation
  • Stress management
  • Yoga

Relapse Prevention

Behavior Modification

12-Step Facilitation (TSF)

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

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.

Women in therapy

Your Lifelong Recovery is Our Goal

Hopeful man
Treatment is the first step toward a new life.

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:

  • Community resources
  • Support group resources
  • Individual therapy referrals
  • Psychiatry referrals
Seeking treatment for a substance use disorder is a critical first step toward long-term recovery. We can help you set and achieve your goals for recovery and life without the use of substances. The evidence-based therapies we use at kathy ireland® Recovery Centers will help you learn, live, grow, and thrive – in recovery, in sobriety, and in life.
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