What It Is?


If the term substance abuse disorder (or substance use disorder) seems vague, it really is not. It simply covers a very broad scope, or more accurately, manifests itself quite strongly in a number of drug or alcohol related problems.

Maybe the condition has become so common that the term has been thrown around in casual conversation. Another possibility is that it sounds strangely familiar because so many people are aware of the symptoms, if not the term “substance abuse disorder” itself.

Substance abuse disorder

is when changes in a person’s behavior are attributed to continued use of substances that involve the central nervous system. One would think that the fact that this disorder could be avoided means there are not many cases, but that’s not quite the case.

Actually, substance abuse disorder remains one of the major public health issues in the world nowadays. It is extremely widespread, encompassing sex, race and class – anyone, anywhere could be suffering from it. No country is without problems on drug or alcohol abuse.

While the most specific symptoms differ with each drug, there are many effects that are common among those who have substance abuse disorder.

For one, users often try to cope with the mounting addiction with the same tactics. Tolerance and withdrawal go hand in hand, along with a failure to control their drug use as they usually claim they could. When an addict becomes dependent on his or her drug of choice, most of his or her time is spent either trying to procure a stash or attempting to recover from the effects of taking it. These are very common symptoms of substance abuse disorder, perhaps some of the most common.

Effects of erratic and irrational behaviour

soon lead to dire consequences, including neglecting personal and professional obligations. Substance abuse disorder most often result in poor relationships with family and friends, and sometimes even to legal problems borne out of the will to do anything humanly possible to obtain drugs.

People suffering from substance abuse disorder may also find themselves becoming aggressive and violent when they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can also be a reason for relationships falling apart. Users are expected to be irrational, stubborn but argumentative when diagnosed with the disorder, making them much more difficult to treat.

There are also a few tell-tale physical symptoms one can watch out for substance abuse disorder, such as rapid weight loss or gain, insomnia and poor skin among others.

While substance abuse disorder may be difficult to treat, not to mention incredibly painful for the patient, it is by no means impossible. Counseling is the first step, and often effective in drawing out the problem. Support groups from successful former drug users can be encouraging to those struggling to overcome their addiction. Of course there are also detoxification facilities for the people who prefer the help of professionals and a more systematic cleansing program. Medication is also a possibility one should always consider.

Substance abuse disorder though is best helped through prevention and education.