When discussing substance use disorder, substances like alcohol, hallucinogens, and opioids have separate classification descriptions. The use of these substances causes health problems or issues at home, school, or work.
In this guide, we’re diving deeper into this definition, as well as how to tell when it’s time to receive substance use disorder treatment.
Defining Substance Use Disorder
When someone’s use of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two, leads to clinical or functional impairment, that’s a substance use disorder. These impairments could include experiencing a disability, failing to meet significant responsibilities at home, school, or work, or other health problems.
When someone receives a diagnosis for this disorder, a medical professional gathers evidence that meets pharmacological criteria. This evidence also points to impaired control, risky use, and social impairment.
Common Types of Substance Use Disorders
In the United States, common types of substance use disorder include the following:
- Alcohol: When someone uses alcohol excessively, it could lead to an increased risk in health conditions including brain and liver damage, heart disease, and hypertension.
- Cannabis: Those using cannabis in excess could experience issues with difficulty with problem-solving and thinking skills, learning, loss of motor coordination, memory, and perception.
- Hallucinogens: Someone taking hallucinogens might experience distortion of perceptions or reality or hallucinations.
- Opioids: Typically, these medications are available in healthcare settings for pain relief. Misusing opioids could lead to physical dependence, respiratory depression, and overdose deaths.
- Stimulants: Misusing stimulants could cause users to experience increased blood pressure and heart rate, elevated body temperature, heart failure, and seizures.
Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder
As time passes, someone with a substance use disorder might need more or larger doses to experience the same feelings. People react to this disorder in different ways. Here are examples of symptoms to look out for:
- Even if it isn’t in your budget, you spend a considerable amount of money on substances
- Experiencing intense urges to use the substance to the point of blocking out other thoughts
- Failing to meet obligations or responsibilities at work and cutting back on social activities
- Feeling like you must use the substance daily or several times daily
- Taking larger doses of the substance for longer than you planned
- There’s a need to take more of the substance to experience the same feeling
- When you try to stop, you fail or experience withdrawal symptoms or both
Understanding if Family Members Have an Issue with Substances
It’s challenging to distinguish if a teen is experiencing typical angst or moodiness. The same is true if someone is experiencing a significant amount of stress or a health issue. There are several indications that your family member might be suffering from a substance use disorder.
For example, if your teen is missing school or work frequently. They might be showing a sudden disinterest in activities, school, or work. There might also be a drop in their grades or poor work performance.
When family members are suffering from a substance use disorder, they might also display physical health issues. Examples of these issues include gaining weight, lacking energy, no motivation, red eyes, or weight gain. These individuals might also stop caring about their appearance or hygiene.
Changes in behavior might also indicate that there’s an issue. For example, these individuals might take extreme measures to prevent family members from entering their rooms. They might also be secretive about whom they’re spending time with or make drastic changes in their relationships.
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center for Substance Use Disorder Help
If you believe that you, a friend, or a family member is suffering from substance use disorder, reaching out to us now is critical. Our trained professionals can help you determine if substance use disorder treatment is necessary. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to learn more about our services and how we can help.