How Is Substance Use Disorder Diagnosed
The first step to diagnosing a drug addiction is recognizing the problem and wanting help. This initial step may start with an intervention from friends or loved ones. Once someone decides to seek help for addiction, the next steps include:
- Complete exam by a healthcare provider.
- Individualized treatment, either inpatient or outpatient.
The Brain Disease Meme Is Not A Remedy For Drug Deaths But Accompanies Their Growth
A series of studies by leading psychologists in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s addressed the belief systems of alcoholics. The studies uniformly found that subjective rather than objectives levels of dependence, belief in the disease theory of alcoholism, and acceptance that any drinking following treatment caused relapse were the best predictors of alcoholic drinking.
All of these beliefs are characteristic of the disease idea of addiction. The deaths of people such as Philip Seymour Hoffman show that the belief in the disease of addiction is at the root of their inability to control their drug use. As I wrote in an article entitled, Philip Seymour Hoffman was taught to be helpless before drugs,
Hoffman is not a good symbol for the efficacy of American treatment. He was famously abstinent after having entered rehab at 22. Then, supposedly abstinent for 23 years, he took some pain medications and went completely haywire, progressing to rampant heroin use. According to this model, a person who is addicted to heroin who simply samples a painkiller is doomed to all-out relapse by this cunning, baffling and powerful disease.
Our way of thinking about addiction, and not drug use, instead of being the remedy for addiction, is the cause of it.
* * * * *
We have simply been unable to come to grips with this reality. And we are suffering increasingly dire consequences as a result.
For more information about The Freedom Model, go to TheFreedomModel.org
What Is Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is the use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications in ways other than recommended or intended. It also includes intentional inhalation of household or industrial chemicals for their mind-altering effects. Tobacco use and problem drinking are sometimes included in the definition of drug abuse. Chemical abuse and substance abuse are terms sometimes used interchangeably with the term drug abuse, or they may be used to refer to a combination of drug abuse and tobacco use or problem drinking.
Many drugs that are abused are also addictive they cause cravings and a continued desire to use them despite negative consequences. Drug abuse can start in childhood and continue in adulthood. Studies of high school students indicate that approximately 42% drink alcohol, 21% use marijuana, and 3% use cocaine. Approximately 12% have used inhalants, and 20% have abused prescription drugs .
People who abuse drugs may take them initially out of curiosity, to escape, to feel good, due to peer pressure, or for a variety of other reasons. Drugs can affect a number of different organs, and complications can result from damage to the brain or to other parts of the body. Other negative consequences often result from the effects drugs have on a persons mind, as well as actions an individual may take while under their influence.
Seek prompt medical care if you think you might have a problem with drugs.
You May Like: How Many People Are Drug Addicts
Risk Factors For Drug
The effects of a drug, and how long they last, depend on a number of factors:
- the type and strength of drugs that you use
- how the drug was made — substances manufactured in home labs may contain bacteria, dangerous chemicals and other unsafe substances, and have an unknown strength. Even one dose may cause an overdose that leads to brain damage or death
- your physical characteristics
- the dose that you take
- how often and for how long you have been using drugs
- how you ingest the drug . Compared with swallowing a drug, inhalation and injection are more likely to lead to overdose and dependence. If you are injecting drugs, sharing injecting equipment will increase your risk of contracting serious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. It will also increase your risk of serious infection
- your mental health, mood and environment can affect the experience you have when taking drugs. If you have a mental health condition, drugs may exacerbate or complicate the symptoms of that condition
- whether you mix drugs, including alcohol. In particular, alcohol use may lead to high risk behaviour which can result in the serious injury or death of yourself or others.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment In Mt Laurel Nj
Epiphany Wellness is prepared to help those with dual diagnoses and provide an individualized experience because you are unique. We are here to listen to your needs and help you define your own recovery. Choose one of our programs as a first step toward recovery.We are here to meet your needs. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, reach out to find out what your options are at Epiphany Wellness.
Also Check: What Properties In Drugs Makes Them Addictive
Truth: Addiction Is Treatable
Several safe, effective, and inexpensive treatments are available for addiction. Treatments vary depending on the type of substance use disorder.
Effective medications are available for alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and nicotine use disorder. Often, psychosocial treatments are combined with medication. Treatment can be beneficial at any point in an addiction and can be tailored to a persons needs.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, McLean is here to help. Call us today at to learn more about treatment options.
Why Do Such Situations Develop
- A person who uses drugs general health
- Materials ingested by the person
- Several medications that a person absorbs
- The average period of ones addiction
As just drug abuse, people who do not visit a psychiatrist can convert their minute mental health problem into severe psychological disorder making broad generalizations about how many particular diseases come to pass is exceptionally challenging. In two different individuals, they can seem completely different.
On reviewing drug abuse, Mental disorders may take place in individuals who consume marijuana. According to Bristol University research in the UK, the effective component in marijuana, THC, will interrupt the chemical networks that link one part of the figure to the other.
As these channels are interrupted or delayed, the input is skipped or lost, which may cause signs that resemble hallucinations or mental disorders in certain patients. Researches related to drug abuse tells, on the other hand, others may have corrective brain stimulation that causes them to have only temporary depression that fades away as the marijuana is removed. Even if these two people are on the same medication, only one can experience effects that linger until the effect of the drug is lessened.
You May Like: What Drugs Are Used To Treat Drug Addiction
Whats The Difference Between A Side Effect And A Withdrawal Symptom
Side effects and withdrawal symptoms tend to be very different. Side effects tend to appear during the time people take a drug, whereas withdrawal symptoms take hold after a period of time following the last dose of a drug, when the body in transitioning to sobriety. For example, an article in Pain Physician suggests that side effects linked to opioids include dizziness, slow breathing, and constipation. Withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids, on the other hand, are often compared to flu symptoms. People feel nauseated, weak, and sweaty.
Get Help For A Dual Diagnosis
Without proper treatment for a dual diagnosis like depression and addiction, the conditions may continue to recur and impact your quality of life. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available treatment options.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
You May Like: How To Get Off An Addiction
Social Media And Drug Use Statistics
- American teens ages 12 to 17 that spend time on social networking sites daily are 5 times likelier to use tobacco, 3 times likelier to use alcohol, and twice as likely to use marijuana.7
- 40 percent of all teens surveyed by the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVI: Teens and Parents, the 16th annual back-to-school survey conducted by CASAColumbia at Columbia University, have seen pictures of kids abusing drugs or alcohol.7
- 50 percent of teens who have seen images of other teens abusing drugs or alcohol on social media first saw such pictures when they were 13 years old or younger, and 90 percent saw them when they were 15 years old or younger.7
- Compared to teens who have never seen pictures of other teens abusing drugs or alcohol on social networking sites, those who did are:
- 3 times likely to use alcohol,
- 4 times likelier to be able to get and use marijuana,
- 3 times likelier to be able to get prescription drugs without a prescription,
- and more than twice as likely to be able to get alcohol in a day or less.7
Harsh Consequences Shame And Punishment Are Simply Not Effective Ways To Heal A Persons Addiction
A person cant undo the effects drugs have had on their body chemistry through sheer willpower. Like other chronic illnesses, such as asthma or type 2 diabetes, ongoing management of addiction is required for long-term recovery. And there are plenty of evidence-based solutions that can help people with substance use disorders get there.
You May Like: How Long Does It Take To Get Over Alcohol Addiction
Why Do Some People Get Addicted But Others Dont
Substance use alone doesnt cause addiction. Addiction is a complex illness that arises in a person based on their unique circumstances. These are the most commonly identified risk factors for addiction:
Biology: Scientific research has shown that 4060% of the likelihood that a person will develop addiction comes from genetics. This includes both a family history of the illness as well as epigenetics, which are “the effects environmental factors have on a person’s gene expression.” Plus, if you have a behavioral health disorder like depression or anxiety, your risk of addiction also increases.
Environment: Exposure to traumatic experiences has been shown to increase a person’s risk of developing a substance use disorder. These experiences could happen at school, at home, or out in the community.
Using drugs for the first time at a youngage can also increase addiction risk. Also, snorting or injecting drugs can increase the risk of becoming addicted to those drugs, due to the extreme way the drug is delivered into the body .
So, why do some people become addicted when others dont? Ultimately, the answer lies in a persons unique brain chemistry and lived experiences. Most people who develop addiction are looking to heal or soothe themselves in some way. Its crucial to understand why that is, and work to address it, as part of a persons treatment plan and journey to recovery.
Lower Highs And Lower Lows
Added to the fact that the addicted person develops a tolerance to the highrequiring more to try to achieve the same level of euphoriais the fact that the person does not develop a tolerance to the emotional low they feel afterward. Rather than return to “normal,” the person reverts to a deeper state of dysphoria.
When becoming addicted, the person increases the amount of drugs, alcohol, or the frequency of the addictive behaviors in an effort to get back to that initial euphoric state. But the person ends up experiencing a deeper and deeper low as the brain’s reward circuitry reacts to the cycle of intoxication and withdrawal.
Don’t Miss: How To Break Addiction To Phone
Understanding The Pleasure Principle
Whether it is a psychoactive drug, sexual experience, or any other form of pleasure, the brain perceives them all in the same way. It stimulates dopamine release from the brains pleasure center.
The difference comes in the speed, intensity, and reliability with which the brain releases dopamine. Typically, drugs of abuse stimulate a high dopamine surge. Thats why they will always be so addictive. The high levels create an alternative route to the brains reward system, which causes dopamine to flood the brainand ultimately intensifies addiction.
The Role Of Neurotransmitters In Addiction
Neurons communicate via dendrites and axons, sending electrical impulses down the axon, converting them to chemical signals at the axon terminal, releasing neurotransmitters across synaptic gaps , and attaching to the receiving neurons receptor site.
The dendrite receives the neurotransmitter and converts it back to electrical signals. This process happens between billions of neurons in the brain. Communication between neurons functions to control behavior, cognition, mood, and movement .
Drugs of abuse, whose chemical structures mimic natural neurotransmitters, interfere with normal neuronal processing, releasing neurotransmitters in excessive amounts, providing greater pleasure than naturally pleasing survival activities and preventing normal chemical reuptake, meaning that an excessive amount of neurotransmitters are left in the synapse, ultimately affecting the behavior of other communicating neurons, which subjectively alters our mood. .
The brains reward system is activated when an individual engages in survival activities, providing euphoric feelings and reinforcing behavior. When activated, information travels from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens and then to the prefrontal cortex .
Also Check: Am I An Addict Ip
No Longer A Function Of Choice
To put it another way, the addicted person finds himself compelleddespite his own intentions to stopto repeat behaviors that are no longer rewarding to try to escape an overwhelming feeling of being ill at ease but find no relief.
According to ASAM, at this point addiction is no longer solely a function of choice. Consequently, the state of addiction is a miserable place to be, for the addict and for those around him.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Drug Abuse Can Often Be The Cause Of Crime
Drug addictions cause problems not only here in the UK but also in many other parts of the world. Countless individuals take drugs themselves but also supply them to others to fund their habit. Sadly, drug addiction has far-reaching implications as it affects more than just the person concerned it also affects their loved ones and the wider community.
Drug abuse is often the cause of many crimes, which puts pressure on the police and the criminal justice system. It also leads to mental and physical health problems, which in turn places a massive strain on the NHS. This is an issue for everyone in the UK as these services are struggling to cope and, at the end of the day, it is the taxpayer footing the bill.
Read Also: Why Do People Get Addicted To Meth
How Does The Brain Work
The brain is often likened to an incredibly complex and intricate computer. Instead of electrical circuits on the silicon chips that control our electronic devices, the brain consists of billions of cells, called neurons, which are organized into circuits and networks. Each neuron acts as a switch controlling the flow of information. If a neuron receives enough signals from other neurons that it is connected to, it fires, sending its own signal on to other neurons in the circuit.
The brain is made up of many parts with interconnected circuits that all work together as a team. Different brain circuits are responsible for coordinating and performing specific functions. Networks of neurons send signals back and forth to each other and among different parts of the brain, the spinal cord, and nerves in the rest of the body .
To send a message, a neuron releases a neurotransmitter into the gap between it and the next cell. The neurotransmitter crosses the synapse and attaches to receptors on the receiving neuron, like a key into a lock. This causes changes in the receiving cell. Other molecules called transporters recycle neurotransmitters , thereby limiting or shutting off the signal between neurons.
User Characteristics Determine Drug Deaths
When a microscopic percentage of users of a substance die, it is not useful to refer to the drug as a killer. Rather, it is characteristics of users that are the primary causes of the deaths.
West Virginia far outstrips all states in the U.S. in drug deaths with 52 deaths per 100,000 annuallyno other state reaches 40 per 100,000. The states public health commissioner, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, conducted an in-depth analysis of every person in his state who had died due to drugs over the preceding year.
Gupta was raised and trained in India, so that he had the advantage that he was not weighed down by American preconceptions. Instead of the idea that drug deaths are an equal opportunity destroyer , Gupta found a certain type of person was vulnerable: If youre a male between the ages of 35 to 54, with less than a high school education, youre single and youve worked in a blue-collar industry, you pretty much are at a very, very high risk of overdosing.
In fact, this group nationwide is suffering a decline in life span due to cirrhosis, other diseases, and suicide, towards which drugs are only one small contributor.
The lives of drug death victims are the problemnot the drugs.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Meaning Of Addiction