Hard drugs and alcohol. Close up

Addiction is nothing to overlook or believe is a simple problem. It is a progressive disease that, if left untreated, can create numerous complications to health and wellbeing. If you are facing the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol, it may be time to talk to a professional about your options. The first step is a diagnosis of your condition. Substance use disorder requires a formal diagnosis.

At America’s Rehab Campuses, we offer a wide range of tools to support you through the recovery process. You have to take the first step to reach out to us to learn more about treatment options.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

A substance use disorder occurs when a person uses drugs or alcohol on a consistent basis, and this causes some type of significant impairment. This could include disability, failure to meet responsibilities, and health problems, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It is a complex condition in which a person is unable to stop using a substance even though they recognize that it is harmful to them if they continue to use it. This could include substances such as:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Tobacco products

How Is It Diagnosed?

Diagnosing substance use disorder requires a formal evaluation and assessment from a trained professional in the field. A psychiatrist or a psychologist often does this. In other settings, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor will conduct the assessment.

The process also includes a medical doctor’s evaluation. The medical doctor may request blood, urine, and other lab tests to gain insight into what could be happening, including the types of drugs used and the impact they are having on a person’s health and wellbeing. While these medical tests can provide insight into drug use, they do not determine if addiction itself is present.

Sometimes, you may be asked to complete a self-report. This is an opportunity for you to evaluate your own health to determine if you could be struggling with this condition.

Physical examinations

In some situations, doctors will use medical tests as well as a physical examination to determine a person’s health and wellbeing. They may look for evidence of substance use, such as track marks on the arms due to injecting drugs or dark spots that may indicate a needle puncture mark. They may also look at factors such as a person’s overall health, cognitive function, and hygiene, all of which can be impacted by addiction.

Counselor review

During a meeting with a therapist, you will discuss what you do with drugs and how they impact you. This may include discussing how a person is using drugs, how it is impacting their ability to work, and what it is doing for day-to-day life. A therapist may also dive into any concerns about mental health disorders as well.

Criteria for Diagnosis

There are four key areas that are criteria for diagnosing addiction. Those include:

  • Inability to control use: A person may be unable to control how much they need and may be using more than they used to. They may want to stop using, but they fail to be able to stop. A person craves the substance.
  • Social impairment: A person with substance use disorder is struggling to fulfill the major requirements of their life, such as those at home, work, or school. They may be having trouble with relationships and may be reducing social or recreational activities.
  • Risk use: Some people are more likely to engage in high-risk activities, such as driving under the influence, when they have an addiction. They recognize that continued use is dangerous but continue to use.
  • Physical symptoms: This may include evidence of tolerance and withdrawal from use, including the presence of medical conditions brought on by their use.

How to Get Help if You Are Struggling

If you are struggling with addiction and think you meet the criteria for help, do not wait to get help. Reach out to a team of medical professionals who can help provide you with exceptional care right away. Call America’s Rehab Campuses now to learn more about the options available to you to improve your health and overcome addiction.