What Is a Substance Use Disorder, and How to Treat One?

what is substance use disorder

Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for people under fifty in the United States. Substance use disorders are plaguing the nation and are more serious than many think.

But what is substance use disorder? Why can't people just stop using drugs?

We're here to talk about it! Read on to learn about substance use disorders and how to treat them.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

A substance use disorder is, in layman's terms, an addiction. It's a condition that makes it very difficult for someone to stop using an addictive substance, such as drugs or alcohol.

Referring to it as a substance use disorder rather than an addiction humanizes the person suffering from it. Substance use disorders are mental health conditions. They require intensive treatment and care.

Many people who have never experienced a substance use disorder think it's easy to just “stop using drugs,” but this isn't the case. Quitting drugs cold turkey without the help of medical or mental health professionals can be dangerous, and it's always challenging.

How Do You Treat Substance Use Disorder?

There are many ways to treat substance use disorders, and different people will respond better to different treatments.

If the substance use disorder is severe, patients may need medical detox. They can do this at a detox center. Some people choose to detox at home, but this can be dangerous.

Detox Facilities and Treatment Centers

If someone chooses to get professional treatment at a facility, they can decide between inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Inpatient treatment facilities allow patients to stay on campus throughout treatment. Residents will go to various types of treatment sessions several times per day. This is a more intensive approach to treatment that can be effective for people who struggle with long-term addictions.

Many inpatient treatment centers also offer alternative forms of treatment, such as exercise and “spiritual health” treatment.

People who don't have the time or money to devote to inpatient treatment can use outpatient programs instead. Instead of living at the treatment facility, they can continue to live at home while visiting the treatment center for routine therapy and medication management.

They can even use telehealth to receive therapy and medication at home. Medication is available via services like https://www.recoverydelivered.com.

Therapy or Medication?

Some people choose medication-assisted treatment, while others rely solely on therapy. There's no one “right” way to do it.

It's best to use a combination of the two if possible, especially if the patient is struggling with other mental health conditions alongside their substance use disorder.

Many people find that a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management yields the best results.

Are You Struggling With Substance Use Disorder?

So, what is substance use disorder? It's a mental health condition that makes it difficult to stop using dangerous substances. It's not a moral failing.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, there's help for you. You can take your life back.

For more helpful articles about health-related topics, browse the rest of the site.

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