Substance use disorder (SUD) refers to a condition characterized by an individual's harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. It is a chronic, relapsing disorder that can lead to significant impairment in various areas of life, including physical health, mental health, relationships, and overall functioning.
It's essential to recognize that experiencing substance use disorder is not a personal failure or a reflection of your character. Substance use disorder is a complex and multifaceted health condition influenced by genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Understanding that this challenge is not your fault can be a crucial step toward seeking help and embracing a compassionate, non-judgmental approach to your journey of recovery. Seeking professional support is a proactive choice that emphasizes healing and the development of effective coping strategies, highlighting the importance of self-compassion on the path to recovery.
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is characterized by a range of signs, including loss of control over substance use, intense cravings, physical symptoms like tolerance and withdrawal, neglect of responsibilities, social isolation, continued use despite negative consequences, loss of interest in previous activities, unsuccessful attempts to quit, secrecy, and legal or financial issues. The severity of these symptoms varies, and a professional assessment is essential for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. SUD is a complex health condition influenced by genetic, environmental, and psychological factors, and seeking help is a crucial step toward recovery.
Pharmacological Criteria: The development of tolerance (needing more of the substance to achieve the same effect) and withdrawal symptoms when not using.
Determining when to seek mental health therapy for substance use disorder depends on various factors, including the severity of your symptoms, the impact on your daily life, and your readiness for change. However, it's generally advisable to consider seeking therapy if you experience:
Seeking mental health therapy for substance use disorder can be beneficial at any stage. The therapists can provide support, help you explore the underlying issues contributing to your substance use, and assist in developing coping strategies and a treatment plan. Different therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and contingency management, are commonly used in the treatment of substance use disorders.
It's important to consult with a mental health professional to discuss your specific situation and determine the most appropriate course of action. One of our Whole Wellness clinicians can help determine the most appropriate course of action based on your unique situation. If your substance use is severe or involves physical dependence, your therapist may suggest you seek medical intervention and detoxification under the guidance of healthcare professionals.