How to Recognize a Substance Use Disorder

Opioid use can lead to physical dependence, tolerance and withdrawal. It can additionally cause obsessive compulsive (drug using) behavior. The abuse of these drugs, lead to the brain being hijacked from higher brain function to lower brain function. Higher brain function is the rational thinking process, whereas the lower brain function is where we end up with dysfunctional, irrational thinking. The drug becomes paramount and primary in our lives rather than rational thinking.

These Signs of substance use disorder are considered to be the following:

  • Opioids are taken over longer periods than intended
  • Unsuccessful efforts to control opioid use
  • A great deal of time is spent with activities to obtain, use and recover from Opioid effects
  • Craving or a strong desire or urge to use opioid
  • Recurrent opioid use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home
  • Continued opioid use despite persistent social or inter-personal problems
  • Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up
  • Recurrent use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  • Continued use despite knowledge of recurrent physical or physiological problems
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal

Seeking Help.

The first step to help is to recognize that you or someone you know has a problem.

This may be accomplished through an intervention with a friend, significant other, family member(s), clergy or a health care professional.

Getting an assessment with a substance use disorder professional to determine the next steps for proper treatment.

Various forms of treatment can include:

  • medical detox
  • inpatient treatment
  • outpatient treatment

Once treatment is completed, the road to recovery can include self-help groups (narcotics anonymous) family and non-traditional support groups. Additional outpatient as needed or necessary.

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