Top 10: Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

A substance use disorder (formally known as addiction) can often times be hard to properly diagnose or identify if you are not a trained mental health professional.

There are various angles and aspects to explore when identifying a substance use disorder but it is important to understand, first, what may put a person at higher risk of developing a substance use disorder, how someone may develop a SUD physiologically, and what criteria one must meet in order to qualify for a mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder.

Family history of addiction, abuse, neglect, and trauma are all known pre-cursors to addiction and may increase a person's vulnerability/susceptibility to developing a substance use disorder.

Other area's to look at could be if the person suffers from mental illnesses, had early exposure to substances, and/or how the person is administering the substances. All of these can lead down the dark path that, as many of you know, can be extremely difficult to recover from.

Our goal in this week’s Facebook Live with Dr. Leddi Fraser, Dr. Jeffrey Huttman, and Blake Cohen  was to describe our "Top 10" signs that someone may be suffering from a substance use disorder. This information is not so that the listener can diagnose someone but so they can educate themselves on some of the signs and symptoms associated with a substance use disorder. Much of the information provided are criterion that are provided by the DSM-V that we elaborate on in order to help the listener further understand each point.

Some of the highlights this week were:

  • Increased Usage (#1)

  • This criterion discusses the situation in which drugs of choice are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended.

  • Increased Time Spent Surround Usage (#3)

  • Here we discussed a situation in which a great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the drug of choice, use the drug of choice, or recover from its effects.

  • Failure to Fulfill Life Obligations(#5)

  • Recurrent drug of choice use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of drug use.

  • Tolerance and Withdrawal (#9 & #10)

  • Tolerance is defined as a need for markedly increased amounts of drug of choices to achieve intoxication or desired effect.

  • Withdrawal is defined as needing the same (or closely related) substance to be taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Watch the Full Video here and Check our Facebook Page Every Wednesday for a New “Top 10” Live Feed where we discuss all things Addiction, Treatment, Laws, and Family.

*If you or a loved one are struggling with Addiction, Alcoholism, or any Co-occurring disorders: 

Please Call at 866-771-7091 to Speak to an Admissions Representative Today.