Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders include alcohol and drug abuse and dependence. It also covers addictive behaviors such as compulsive gambling. Effective treatment usually requires multiple treatment strategies. Individuals with these disorders benefit from a combination of psychotherapy, participation in a 12-step group (such as Alcoholics Anonymous), and medication. If the disorders are severe, the individual may require a brief stay in an inpatient or intensive outpatient recovery program.

Common Symptoms of Substance-Related Disorders

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts or over a longer period than was originally intended
  • Unsuccessful attempts at cutting down or stopping the substance use
  • Spending a great deal of time obtaining the substance or recovering from its effects
  • Cravings for the substance
  • Failure to fulfill major role obligations (e.g. decreased work or school performance)
  • Problems in relationships secondary to the use or abuse of the substances
  • Continued use of the substances despite knowing the dangers and the problems caused by the substance use
  • Requiring an increased dose of the substances to achieve the desired effect (tolerance)
  • Physiological symptoms as a result of discontinuing the substance (withdrawal)