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Substance Abuse Disorders

What Are Substance Abuse Disorders?

There’s a lot of popular confusion as to what substance abuse disorders are and how they differ from other medical terms used to describe individuals with drug and alcohol problems. People with substance abuse disorders may not be dependent on their substances of choice, but they use them in a socially unacceptable or alarming way or with frequency that suggests abuse.

Substance abusers can be addicted to almost any drug, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Performance-enhancing drugs
  • Drugs that are not physically addictive such as cannabis or LSD

People with substance abuse disorders often seem motivated to continue patterns of abuse, but are not necessarily physical addicts. They may use substances for personal gain (performance enhancers) or may use them to cope with emotions and situations in an abusive way.

In any case, substance abuse can be very dangerous, and it can be difficult for family members and associates of abusers. Substance abuse conditions can make it difficult to socialize normally and can lead to irrational or abusive behavior. People who abuse drugs and alcohol can allow the substance to affect all areas of their lives, and may not be able to keep a job. They may become addicted to drugs on either a physical or psychological level.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or if you know someone who is, finding information about substance abuse disorders and treatment options can be very helpful. Substance abuse disorders are difficult to diagnose and can even be difficult to recognize, but getting help for these conditions is easier with some understanding of the mechanisms that lead to substance abuse disorders and effective methods of treatment.

Types Of Substance Abuse And Disorders

Substance abuse disorders may relate to the intoxication effects of certain drugs and substances. A person with a substance disorder will sometimes obsess, may form habits, and will often change his or her social habits to reflect a pattern of abuse.

There are many different types of substance abuse disorders, and individuals are usually not treated with the same methods. When a substance abuse disorder has an underlying cause (such as an emotional or personality disorder), this must also be treated. Extremely physically addictive drugs often require withdrawal treatment and detoxification.

Substance abuse disorders are not easy to treat, and require a dedicated and specialized therapist. However, if you’re trying to address a substance abuse disorder, you can ask for a therapist’s qualifications or consult an organization like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous that provide assistance in finding licensed specialists for abuse of a particular drug.

Getting Help When Dealing With Drug And Alcohol Abuse

With any type of substance abuse disorders, it’s a good idea to look for a therapist or drug abuse organization’s help as soon as possible. This is especially true when trying to help a family member or loved one. Substance abuse organizations can give you advice, help you to speak with loved ones, and even provide you with group therapy sessions to handle the challenges that loved ones of a substance abuser can face during treatment.

Substance abuse disorders may benefit from group therapy, psychotherapy, or a number of other treatments. Cost is an issue for some patients, but there are many programs designed to help substance abusers seek low-cost or free treatment that is both effective and ongoing. Treating a substance abuse condition can seem like an uphill battle, but look into your options–substance abuse disorders are often treatable, and as they can be deadly and destructive, dealing with these conditions is an absolute must.

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