Substance use disorder is a serious problem affecting people of all ages. Unfortunately, many people delay seeking treatment for this condition until it has reached an advanced stage. However, early treatment is undoubtedly, the best way to prevent further physical, emotional, and social damage while significantly improving the chances of recovery. In this post, we will discuss the importance of early treatment for substance abuse disorder. We will also explore some of the benefits of seeking help sooner rather than later.
What is Substance Use Disorder (SUD)?
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex that changes the brain’s structure and function, leading to uncontrolled substance use, regardless of harmful consequences. SUD can be mild, moderate, or severe and often progresses through stages of severity if left untreated. Many factors contribute to the development of SUD, including genetics, environment, stress, and trauma. With early and adequate treatment, people with SUD can recover and lead healthy, productive lives.
According to the latest NIDA reports, 20.4 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with SUD in the past year. The most common reasons people start taking drugs include::
- To feel good — the feeling of pleasure, “high,” or “intoxication.”
- To feel better — relieve stress, forget problems, or feel numb (self-medicating).
- To do better — improve performance or thinking.
- Curiosity and peer pressure or experimenting.
People struggling with substance use disorder and addiction often cannot stop using regardless of their efforts. The risk of developing an addiction and how fast the condition progresses varies on several factors, including the individual mental health history, type of drug, and form of use.
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The Early Stages of SUD
The early stages of substance use disorder can be challenging to identify. However, some common warning signs may indicate a problem. For example, people using substances may start to neglect their responsibilities at home, work, or school. They may also start to engage in risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence. Additionally, substance users may isolate themselves from friends and family members. If you notice any of these changes in someone you care about, it may be time to have a conversation about substance use.
Why Is Early Intervention So Crucial for SUD Treatment?
Early intervention is crucial for SUD treatment for a variety of reasons:
- It helps to identify people who are at risk for developing a substance use disorder and get them into treatment before they develop a full-blown addiction. This is important because the earlier someone with a substance use disorder enters treatment, the better their chances are of recovery.
- Early intervention can help to reduce the negative consequences of substance use disorders, such as job loss, financial problems, and legal problems.
- Early intervention can help to reduce the overall costs of treating substance use disorders.
SUD treatment is often more successful when it is started early on before the addiction has had a chance to take hold. By intervening early, we can help to improve the lives of those affected by substance use disorders while giving people a much higher chance of recovery success.
How Can Families and Friends Help Someone Who Is Struggling with SUD?
Families and friends can be essential in helping someone struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD). The most important thing you can do is offer support and encouragement. You can also help by staying informed about the resources and services available in your community. And if your loved one is ready to seek treatment, you can provide practical assistance, such as transportation or childcare.
If you are worried that someone you know is using drugs or alcohol, there are signs to look for. However, it’s important to remember that only a trained professional can make a diagnosis of SUD. With that said, some common indicators of SUD include:
- Change in appearance or personal hygiene
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Slurred speech
- Disorientation or confusion
- Mood swings
- Decreased interest in activities
- Financial problems
- Legal troubles
If you are concerned about a person you love, reach out for help. Many organizations and resources are available to assist individuals with SUD and their loved ones. Treatment providers can offer confidential screenings and assessments to determine whether someone is suffering from SUD. They can also provide information about treatment options and resources. And most importantly, they can offer solutions.
What Are the Consequences of Untreated SUD?
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a harmful condition that keeps people in the revolving door of substance use, despite harmful consequences. People with SUDs intensely focus on using drugs and alcohol to the point where it takes over their lives.
Left untreated, SUD can lead to several serious consequences, including:
- Health problems: People with SUD are at increased risk for developing several health problems, including liver disease, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular disease.
- Psychological problems: People with SUD are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
- Social problems: People with SUD often have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships and may lose their jobs or, in severe cases, become homeless.
- Legal problems: People with SUD may get into legal trouble due to drug use or associated behaviors.
If you or someone you know is struggling with SUD, it’s vital to seek professional help as soon as possible. With treatment, it is possible to manage the symptoms of SUD and live a healthy, productive life.
How Can You Find Quality Addiction Treatment for Yourself or a Loved One?
It can be challenging to find quality addiction treatment, but there are certain things you can look for to ensure you or a loved one receives the best possible care. First and foremost, ensure you are dealing with an organization with multi-board-certified physicians and a proven reputation in the United States; that is the best way to guarantee a high level of care. Additionally, confirm that they offer several different services and protocols that are individualized to patients’ unique health needs and not on pre-set protocols. Also, be sure that the medical facility is accredited by the Joint Commission, which demonstrates you are receiving the gold standard in healthcare.
WAISMANN METHOD® is the best example of an opioid treatment center that offers superior care. Their medically assisted detoxification process takes place in an accredited hospital, ensuring patients receive the highest level of medical care available. After detoxification, patients are transferred to a private, luxurious recovery center where they receive around-the-clock care and support from a team of highly trained professionals. This individualized approach to care has led to an impressive success rate, allowing many people to overcome their addiction and live healthy opioid-free lives.
- Private Recovery Treatment for Substance Abuse Disorder
- Early Treatment Intervention and Management of SUD
- Pre-Addiction Conversation – The Early Stages
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS), Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC), founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence and Domus Retreat®. Clare Waismann is an authority and expert on opioid dependence, opioid use disorder, substance dependence, detoxification treatments, detox recovery, and other topics covered on RapidDetox.com.