About Addictions and Substance Abuse
It’s more common than we realize. Addictions, substance abuse, and chemical dependancies are becoming normal for many families. In fact, odds are that your own family is touched by this growing issue.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines the use, abuse, and addiction to illicit substances in very specific terms. It’s important to delineate between these terms to accurately identify and diagnose serious problems. In fact, SAMHSA has changed their language regarding these issues in recent years.
Problems related to substance abuse and addiction are now referred to as Substance Use Disorders from a mental health perspective. Severity of the person’s relationship to substances is graded from mild, to moderate, to severe. That level is determined by how number of diagnostic criteria that patient meets.
Further specification of the patient’s disorder is tied to their substance. For example, someone may suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder or Stimulant Use Disorder, but range from mild/moderate/severe differently in each case.
Once diagnosis has been established within these parameters, treatment recommendations are made accordingly.