When Is It Time to Seek Treatment?

While intoxicating substances can be consumed in some instances without long-term negative consequences, millions of adults and adolescents in the country struggle with substance misuse and addiction. So, how does one know when substance abuse starts and when one should seek treatment?

This article will explain what a substance use disorder is, signs of substance use disorders, and how to get help if you or a love done are struggling with addiction.

What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

A substance use disorder — the clinical term for addiction — is a pattern of problematic and compulsive use of substances despite negative consequences to a person’s physical health, mental health, personal relationships, and other life arenas. Addiction is a chronic — but treatable — disorder.

Substance Use Disorder Criteria

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) has updated its list of criteria that professionals use to diagnose an addiction. As of the publication of this edition, there are 11 criteria to help clinicians diagnose addiction and develop treatment plans.

The 11 Signs of Addiction in the DSM-5 are:

  1. Use the substance for longer, or in larger amounts, than originally intended.
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop, but being unable to.
  3. Spending a lot of time acquiring, using, and/or recovering from the substance.
  4. Cravings and urges to use substances.
  5. Being unable to meet work, education, family, and/or social responsibilities due to substance use.
  6. Continuing to use substances, even when personal relationships are negatively affected or lost.
  7. Giving up, or avoiding, specific activities that were once considered fun due to substance use.
  8. Using substances in dangerous situations, such as while driving a car.
  9. Continuing to use the substance, despite physical or mental health issues caused or worsened by their use.
  10. Needing more of the drug to achieve the original high (tolerance).
  11. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not intoxicated (dependence).

When Is It Time to Get Help for Substance Use?

There is a myth that many people of heard that a person struggling with addiction must hit “rock bottom” before they truly need help. The concept of “rock bottom” is very dangerous, as financial struggles, serious health consequences, homelessness, loss of important personal relationships, and worsening mental health problems make treating addiction more difficult.

Addiction takes a heavy toll on a person’s relationships and quality of life. If you recognize some of the signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to reach out for help.

Addiction Treatment in Southern California

If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of addiction and you’re ready to get on the road to recovery and start treatment, there is effective help available. At our inpatient rehab in Orange County, CA our team of addiction treatment specialists use evidence-based addiction-focused healthcare to help people find meaningful recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol.

To learn more about our different levels of addiction treatment, contact our helpful and compassionate admissions navigators at . They are on hand to answer your questions about our rehab, including what to expect in inpatient treatment, different ways to pay for treatment, and how to use your insurance to cover the cost of rehab.

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