Alcohol or Substance Use Disorder(s)

Substance use disorder(s) occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant clinical and functional impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home. These are addictive disorders.

The person uses more of the substance than intended and this compulsive behavior is indicative of both a physical and psychological dependence. Physical dependence involves changes in bodily functions whereby the user will experience withdrawal if they stop using. Symptoms are often negative and can be severe. People with psychological dependence are using to relieve psychological distress. Over time they may build up a tolerance and push their usage to dangerous limits.

According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.

There are a variety of treatment programs available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis depending upon the type of substance abuse. Detoxification, if needed, and long-term follow-up care are important features of a successful treatment plan.