What Is the Definition of a Substance Abuse Disorder? | Get Help for a Substance Abuse Disorder and Start Your Recovery Today

How do you know when you really have a problem with drugs or alcohol? Because it isn’t always easy to decide whether someone’s substance use is acceptable or problematic, professionals have created a definition of “substance abuse disorder” to help psychiatrists diagnose those whose use of drugs or alcohol is serious enough to need treatment. If you find that your circumstances fit this definition, it’s time to get help from the customized programs at Tampa Drug Treatment Center.

When setting up an intervention, a professional will often go through a series of questions with friends and family members to determine the symptoms displayed by the person of concern and whether they fit the substance abuse disorder definition. The line between a substance abuse disorder and drug or alcohol dependence can be a blurry one, especially for those who have struggled with drugs or alcohol for an extended amount of time. But it’s important to note that regardless of what the technical definition of “substance abuse disorder” is, if someone’s drug or alcohol use is negatively affecting their life, they need assistance as soon as possible.

According to the DSM-V, there are several criteria that a person must fit in order to be diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder. They include things like:

  • Hazardous use of a substance
  • Social problems related to use
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance
  • Tolerance (requiring greater doses of the substance to get the same effects)
  • Physical or psychological problems related to use

In order for the clinical substance abuse disorder definition to apply, a person must fit two or more of the criteria listed in the DSM-V over the course of one year. Most of the time, individuals or their friends and families can pick out these characteristics that provide evidence that there is a real problem. The next step is getting the person into treatment before they destroy or even end their lives, and sometimes, it takes an intervention to make a loved one see just how much damage drugs and alcohol are doing.

If there is any question about whether or not a person is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it’s important to find professional assistance. Once a problem is determined to exist, the best course of action is treatment at an accredited rehab facility. Going through detox and withdrawal alone can be disheartening, but with the help of a high-quality rehabilitation facility, it is possible to turn things around and lay a course for a new, healthier life.

If you are worried that you are struggling with a substance abuse disorder or you have a loved one that has a problem with drugs or alcohol, fill out the form here or give us a call for a free clinical assessment. Our individualized programs offer hope for a successful recovery: From medically assisted detox to group therapy and private counseling, we bring together all of the elements each client needs to start over and regain control of their life.