Substance use disorders affect all different types of people. It doesn’t matter what age, ethnicity, sex, or socioeconomic class you belong to, no one is safe from developing a life-hijacking to addiction. The most common abused substances in America include

What is a Substance Use Disorder?

substance use disorder first step centerAs defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), “substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.”

While no man ever sets out to become dependent on drugs or alcohol, addiction is a complex disease that often begins subtly and unknowingly to the person using the substance. What might begin as a few drinks to loosen up at a party can eventually lead to binge drinking or nightly drinking.

Most Common Substance Use Disorders

Alcohol Use Disorder

Excessive alcohol use can lead to the onset of serious health conditions. Its legality can sometimes distort the potential harm it can cause a person. The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2014 that approximately 88,000 people died a year from drinking alcohol.

According to SAMHSA, to be diagnosed with an AUD, individuals must meet certain diagnostic criteria, including:

  • problems controlling intake of alcohol
  • continued use of alcohol despite problems resulting from drinking
  • development of a tolerance
  • drinking that leads to risky situations
  • development of withdrawal symptoms

The severity of an AUD is based on the number of criteria met.

Stimulant Use Disorder

The most commonly abused stimulants are amphetamines, methamphetamines, and cocaine. Stimulants spike energy levels, increase heart rate and respiration, and create the overall feeling of alertness. Stimulants can be synthetic, such as meth, or naturally derived, such as cocaine.
2014 Statistics reported by SAMHSA include:

  • an estimated 913,000 people ages 12 and older reported having a cocaine use disorder
  • an estimated 476,000 people had a stimulant use disorder as a result of using stimulants not including meth
  • almost 569,000 people in the United States ages 12 and up reported using meth in the past month

Addiction to stimulants is a serious, life-threatening problem. Without the proper treatment, a person can suffer consequences such as having a stroke, heart attack, or respiratory failure. Getting treatment immediately is crucial in order to begin recovery. While stimulant abuse does not carry with it the severe withdrawal symptoms of opioid or alcohol addiction, it does take a toll on the body. Quitting stimulants can cause an increase in appetite, severe fatigue, mood swings, depression, and other mental health disorders.

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

While not as prevalent as other substance use disorders, hallucinogen abuse affects nearly 246,000 Americans. Hallucinogens come in different forms, some of them are chemically created, such as LSD, while others can be found in the natural world, such as peyote or magic mushrooms.

Hallucinogens are psychologically, rather than physiologically, addictive. A person may fall in love with the escape from usual reality that hallucinogens provide. People can feel like they can operate on a higher creative level while under the influence of hallucinogens.

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use is currently a national epidemic with nearly 115 people dying per day from an opioid overdose, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. An opioid is a synthetic version of an opiate, a chemical derived from opium. Opioids are highly addictive and cause aggressive withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal if not appropriately treated.

Dual Diagnosis

Oftentimes a substance use disorder can develop as a co-occurring illness with another psychiatric disorder, which is known as comorbidity. In order to best treat a person suffering from drug and/or alcohol dependency, identifying and treating both disorders is critical.

It doesn’t matter which came first, the mental health disorder or addiction, they both need to be addressed simultaneously as a part of the whole.

Some common dual diagnoses include:

  • Marijuana abuse and schizophrenia
  • PTSD and opioid addiction
  • Depression and heroin addiction
  • Alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder
  • Anxiety and cocaine addiction

First Step Center believes in providing opioid addiction treatment program grounded in dignity and grace. Don’t wait another minute, your life or someone you love is in danger. Call our mens drug rehab program now at 866.832.6398.