Why do some people battle addiction while others are simply considered, “substance abusers?” What is the difference? What is the criteria for inpatient substance abuse treatment? The answers to these questions vary from one individual or facility to the next.
To be precise, according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, substance abuse is considered to be prevalent when a person’s use becomes a self-defeating pattern and impairment or distress must is evident in at least one of the following aspects within a 12-month period:
- Recurrent use that begins to affect one’s ability to function in the same manner they once did in order to fulfill obligations at school, work or home
- Substance abuse has become physically hazardous (Driving Under the Influence)
- Legal issues as a result of substance use
- Continued/increased use despite all of the problems it is causing for one’s personal life and well-being
An addict, is an addict, is an addict. Professionals claim the addictive mind, although variable, functions similarly among the scope of substance users. Diagnostic criteria for the “addicted” consists of the individual developing a tolerance for the drug that leads them to consuming more in order to attain similar effects of their first high. However, this feeling is never quite achieved and the individual may or may not recognize the futility of their overuse. A person battling this disease who tries to cease drug use may experience a wide range of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, both physical and mental. The addicted individual spends most of their time and efforts either working to obtain or use the substance and may resort to theft or other illegal acts in order to fund their habit. Drug use may become so severe that the person does not have the capacity to maintain a steady job, a healthy social life or any form of stability whatsoever. The person may be aware of the danger their addiction has on both their physical and mental health but continues to use the substance anyway.
Both substance abuse and consistent use are serious issues, however some people require a higher level of care than others. There are various options when it comes to seeking treatment for substance abuse problems. Some of the most common levels of care when treating substance abusers are:
- Outpatient/Intensive Outpatient
- Partial Hospitalization (Ex: Attend Day Treatment Groups)
- Inpatient (Detox, Acute Care, Residential)
Outpatient treatment may be beneficial in more mild cases, while inpatient care is needed for those who require intensive and immediate intervention as their life is in peril. Outpatient care may include individualized treatment plans that provide daily structure, coping skills, detox and other services to patients. Oftentimes those who choose or are placed in inpatient psychiatric care are also battling severe mental illness. The combination of their heavy drug use and mental state evidence the necessity of 24-hour care under professional supervision.
Those suffering beyond their own ability to care for themselves should seriously consider inpatient treatment to address their issues, detox under a physician’s watch, attend groups and learn how to live again without using substances. Several success stories offer hope for those who feel their substance use has become a dominant force in their lives as they aspire to tell a similar story somewhere down the road. Whether someone is abusing substances, using drugs for recreation or struggling with full-blown addiction, these vulnerable individuals need to be given the motivation to fight for their lives. When the scale tips in favor of the will to live the recovery prognosis becomes all the more promising.