What is substance abuse disorder? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) uses this term to combine substance abuse and substance dependence into a single category. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), substance abuse disorders occur when the recurrent use of drugs and/or alcohol causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.
Here are seven signs that someone is suffering from a substance use disorder:
Loss of control: If someone is partying so hard with drugs or alcohol that becoming belligerent is common practice, there’s a problem, says the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD).
Lack of interest or decline in performance: Neglect of usual passions, hobbies or responsibilities may be triggered by substance use, suggests the Mayo Clinic.
Anger when confronted by loved ones: If someone confronts a substance user about their problem, they may respond with aggression, the NCADD reports.
Risk taking and continued use despite negative consequences: Those with a substance use disorder may have total disregard for any serious consequences it may have, suggests WebMD.
Secrecy: Those with substance abuse disorder may try to conceal the problem, especially from those they suspect will be the most disappointed, reports NCADD.
Tolerance: Eventually, a person with this disorder will need the substance in greater amounts of they are looking to achieve the same reaction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Withdrawal: When the effects of the substance wear off, the person may experience anxiety, shakiness, sweating, nausea, insomnia or depression, the NCADD notes.
“Being able to discern that a family member or loved one is dealing with a substance use disorder is a key step in getting them they help they need,” says Roger Crystal, MD