Substance Use Disorder and Relapse


Substance Use Disorder is when a person continues or increases their use of a substance even though they have bad consequences. Their relationships, health, job, finances, and legal issues often suffer due to their substance use. It is a disease that causes changes in a user's brain. They often need a long recovery process to heal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a good explanation of Addiction As A Disease. It talks about how a person's choices affect their disease.

When a person grows up in a family that has substance use problems, their risk of getting a substance use disorder goes up. Both genes and environment play a role. However, any person can be at risk for a substance use disorder. Recognizing the signs of a problem are key in helping someone find treatment early.

The idea that a substance user has to hit rock bottom before they can get better is a myth. Treatment for substance use problems can be more effective if found early.

Some people may be able to cut back or quit on their own. Many people need treatment to successfully recover. The article "Helping an Adult Family Member or Friend with a Drug or Alcohol Problem" is an excellent guide. It gives details on recognizing, addressing, and effectively supporting someone with a substance use disorder.

One option for the treatment of substance use disorder that is available in Shasta County is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). The program combines medication and counseling therapy. SAMHSA offers more information in their article, Medication and Counseling Treatment. Find providers of MAT in Shasta County here.

Your loved one may have a relapse or give in to an urge or trigger. Relapse does not mean they have failed. Find out more about relapse from the article What's the Difference Between a Slip or Lapse and a Relapse?. Recovery is a difficult, on-going process that is different for each person. Someone with a substance use disorder needs a great deal of support without guilt, shame, or enabling.

2023 Perinatal Substance Exposures Summit recordings and slides


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