Mental Health Education Series: What is a Substance Use Disorder?

I thought it might be helpful to do a mental health series where I highlight different mental health conditions and the types of therapy and treatment that are most effective. Whenever we are treating any condition, whether it is mental or physical, knowledge is always power. I thought I would highlight substance use disorders first.

What is a substance use disorder?

  • A substance use disorder is a pattern of substance use that results in impairment in one’s ability to function and full-fill obligations at work, school, or home.

  • There are 11 criteria used to determine the severity of the substance use disorder that include the following areas: inability to control use, social impairment, risky use, and physical components that include tolerance and withdrawal

  • There are 3 classifications of a substance use disorder, mild, moderate, and severe depending on how many of the 11 criteria are met

  • Moderate and severe classifications of a substance use disorder diagnosis means an addiction is present

  • Different treatment interventions will be recommended depending on the classification, and especially if medical detoxification is necessary

I hope this is helpful in learning more about what a substance use disorder is and how it is diagnosed. I’ll be posting more about the different treatment interventions/options and what they mean soon. Reach out any time to schedule a phone consultation!