Having a few drinks at a party or a glass of wine with dinner isn’t a concern for most people. However, moderate consumption of alcohol or other drugs can grow into a serious problem. For them, an occasional drink occurs more often and leads to a substance use disorder.

Defined as mild, moderate or severe, substance use disorders occur when the frequent use of drugs or alcohol causes people to become clinically and functionally impaired. The damage is so significant that it creates other problems at home or work, or with their health.

Whether drugs or alcohol, professionals diagnose this condition using a set of behaviors related to use. These behaviors are usually risky use, social impairment, inability to control use, and tolerance and withdrawal.

Causes of Substance Use Disorder

man with hands over face has substance use disorderExact causes of substance use disorder can stem from several factors such as:

  • Genetics
  • Anxiety
  • Peer pressure
  • Emotional distress
  • Environmental stress

Many individuals who develop a problem with substance use may also suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress or other mental health issues.

Commonly Used Substances

Many people abuse prescription drugs. For example, doctors often prescribe opiates for pain, but these come with residual effects that may lead to abuse and addiction.

Intense feelings of happiness, elation, and excitement are too hard to let go. If an individual cannot obtain more prescriptions, he or she may buy such narcotic painkillers illegally.

Individuals often abuse stimulant, as well. Amphetamines and cocaine arouse the brain and nervous system. To feel the same effects as the first time an individual uses, he or she will need higher amounts of these stimulants. Psychological addiction can arise from LSD and phencyclidine (PCP). Hallucinating is one serious side effect of from these drugs.

Alcohol, Xanax, Valium, and barbiturates are examples of depressants that reduce anxiety and causes drowsiness. Use of anyone of these substances can also lead to addiction and the need for treatment to overcome the tangled effects.

Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

Every person experiences substance use disorder differently. Treatment plans reflect those differences when to fit individual needs. Nevertheless, treatment typically includes a comprehensive approach that includes the following programs.


For many individuals, initial treatment involves going through detoxification at a licensed facility. This gives an individual a safe place for managing physical symptoms of withdrawal after he or she stops using.

Behavioral Therapy and Support Counseling

Treatment plans for drug and alcohol use should address both the causes and effects of addiction. Behavioral therapy and counseling are important for every person who wants to overcome this disorder to live a healthy and sober life.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on how an individual’s thoughts and feelings influences his or her actions. It helps when an individual can address behavior changes, motivation and family relationships.

There are many behavioral therapies and counseling options that rehab professionals may determine are appropriate. Medical professionals base plans on the type of addiction and co-occurring issues that also need treatment.

Support Groups

Support groups such as 12 step recovery programs provide opportunities for individuals to connect with others in recovery. These supportive environments allow people to encourage each other to achieve long-term recovery.

Getting Help if You’re Struggling with a Substance Use Disorder

Crestview Recovery Center in Portland, Oregon, can effectively diagnose substance use disorder and help individuals get started on the road to recovery. If you’re suffering from substance abuse, we have experienced counselors ready to help you find the right path.

We provide a small, intimate healing environment with facilities for rehab that include:

Substance abuse shouldn’t control your life. Call us today at 866.262.0531 to overcome addiction in a safe, supportive environment.