What Is a Substance Use Disorder?
A substance use disorder occurs when the recurrent use of drugs or alcohol affects an individual’s brain and behavior. SUDs are characterized by significant impairment in one’s life, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet obligations at work, school, and home. SUDs describe the use of illegal drugs and the misuse of legal substances like nicotine, alcohol, or prescription drugs.
The most common types of substance use disorder involve alcohol, opioids, stimulants, hallucinogens, cannabis, and tobacco.
Symptoms of a Substance Use Disorder
This type of addiction can cause different symptoms and changes in behavior, including:
- Inability to reduce or control the use of the substance
- Continued use despite knowing the substance is causing or worsening a physical or psychological condition
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop using the substance
- Eliminating or decreasing social, work-related, or recreational activities
- Needing more of the drug to achieve the same effect over time
- Spending money on the drug even when you can’t afford it
Substance Use Disorder Assessment
A substance use disorder assessment is used to identify individuals who have or are at risk for developing drug or alcohol addiction. The screening examines a person’s habits and behaviors surrounding the use of the substance, personal history, symptoms, and readiness to change.
The assessment allows healthcare providers, addiction specialists, and therapists to evaluate an individual’s needs and create a treatment plan.
During the first stage of the SUD assessment, the person being assessed will be asked if they are currently under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Questions will also address the failure to meet responsibilities, loss of control, and other behaviors that indicate addiction.
The assessment interview may take some time and will involve detailed questions to customize a treatment plan. In addition to the screening process, clients will be asked to provide urine and blood samples for medical testing.
SUD and Mental Health Disorders
A mental health disorder often accompanies a drug addiction, known as a co-occurring disorder. A mental health evaluation is a vital step in the process that is used to understand the mood or mental disorder the individual is suffering from. The substance use disorder assessment will enable specialists to develop an effective individualized treatment plan to help manage your addiction.
Getting Help After Assessment
If you or a loved one have taken a substance use disorder assessment been diagnosed with SUD, it can feel overwhelming. The important thing to remember is that recovery is possible. Even more, the medication assisted addiction treatment available today offers comfort and peace of mind as individuals break the chains of addiction.
Find out more about medication assisted treatment and the vivitrol shot here.