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What is Substance Use Disorder?

What is substance use disorder? It is a disease that alters your behavior and brain function through prolonged substance use. In short, it’s an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The disorder is characterized by the continued use of a substance despite the consequences.  In most cases, you may continue using drugs or alcohol regardless of the emotional, mental, physical, or relational consequences. You also reach a point where you feel like you cannot function without the substance. This stage of addiction is known as dependency.

How Substance Use Disorder Starts

You may be asking, What is substance use disorder, and how does it start? Addiction begins with experimental use of recreational drugs. An individual may be at a party or other social event. Someone may have given them something at school. Regardless of how it happens, the initial experience creates a desire for more of the drug.  Slowly, the person increases their use. Over a long period, it turns into an addiction, and then dependency and then a disorder. The user may feel as though they cannot live without the drug. The disorder changes their mindset, affects their health, and typically causes them to go into isolation. They may also feel anxious or depressed all the time. A substance use disorder can develop over several months or years. A teenager may carry the addiction with them into adulthood.

What is Substance Use Disorder?

What is substance use disorder? It is a condition that is characterized by symptoms such as: 

  • Frequent use of the drug – daily or several times a day
  • Struggling with urges throughout the day
  • Increasing substance use to continue feeling high
  • Quitting multiple times only to relapse
  • Drastic changes in behavior, mood, sleep, or appetite
  • Putting health, family, and finances at risk to continue the addiction

A teen may try to hide the drug or cover up the addiction. They may lie or steal so that they can continue using the drug. In some cases, a teenager may break the law or end up in jail due to a substance-related incident.

Intervention for Substance Use Disorder

What is substance use disorder? It is a condition that requires an intervention. Most people are not ready to deal with an addiction in the family. As a result, it can bring a tremendous emotional and physical toll on different members of the household. Intervention for substance use disorder may begin with a phone call to a local sub treatment center. A treatment specialist can meet with parents to discuss intervention and treatment options for their child.  Treatment typically includes detox, rehab, and an aftercare program. A program can help a teen get on the road to recovery with long-term success. Without proper treatment, an adolescent may fall back into addiction and relapse several times. 

Contact Us for Addiction Treatment Today.

What is substance use disorder? Contact Destinations for Teens today to find out more. We offer comprehensive treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Call us at 877.466.0620 to schedule a consultation and get your teen started with a therapy program.