According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration over 46 million people reported suffering from some form of substance abuse disorder .
As street drugs have become more dangerous and addictive, providers have found it more and more challenging to treat those affected.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, substance use disorder is a condition in which a person uses a substance despite its harmful consequences. The substance can range from alcohol, tobacco, to illicit drugs such as opioids. They use the drug to the point where the person’s ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired.
We spoke with a doctor who specializes in substance use disorder about what it is and how it affects different people.
The person is finding that they’re needing more and more of that substance to get that same relief or to come close to getting that same relief and things start to fall apart, Relationships, and hobbies, and work and the things that really allow a person to live their best life start to fall apart, and the activity of trying to access, or use, or recover from using, or withdrawing from using that substance really tends to take over somebody’s life and so it becomes more and more difficult for someone to live their best life and be who they really are.”
While entering recovery might seem like the obvious solution to addiction, experts tell us that the process is not as simple as it looks.
“The most important thing in the recovery process is really that person feeling ready and wanting that recovery,”
According to American Addiction Centers, those with a substance use disorder tend to also suffer from PTSD or other psychological comorbidities. Studies show that SUD and PTSD occur together roughly 40% of the time. To make treatment more effective, medical professionals have been advocating for a trauma informed model of care as well as harm reduction methods.
“What we think works best is really a spectrum of offerings, so harm reduction gets the idea that we’re going to meet someone where they are, Maybe they’re still using a substance, and the trauma informed model tells us that they’re using that substance for a reason. Perhaps there’s unresolved trauma, pain, grief, and the substance is an important part of their coping and surviving.”
Experts tell us there is no one cookie cutter method to recovery. When patients are ready, they can find something that works best for them.
“When an individual is ready, and that’s the opportune word, when an individual is ready, we in the field have to be prepared to assist them at that point, When they’re ready they can come to any of these organizations, and we will guide them through the process to get into the program that best serves their needs.”
For more resources on recovery you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national helpline at 1-800-662-4357.