Distressed young woman wishing she did not have a substance abuse disorder.A question that may come up about the disease of addiction is, “Is substance abuse disorder the same as addiction?” While they’re similar, they aren’t exactly the same. One of the best ways to think of addiction is like cancer. It’s progressive, and when caught in its earliest stages, it is much more manageable and easier to control. Knowing the difference between the two can also help someone find the right type of treatment. Different levels of care are available for people with different severities of substance abuse issues. It’s beneficial to know which one will give you the best experience possible.

What is a Substance Abuse Disorder?

Substance abuse is considered taking any type of mind-altering substance for reasons other than what it is intended. This can be most notable when it comes to prescription pill abuse. Prescription medications are prescribed for a variety of different reasons from mental illness to different types of pain. Even medications that are sold without a prescription can be abused. People often abuse medications by taking more than what’s prescribed. They may also drink with the prescribed medication or combine it with other medications to get a better high. Some of the most commonly abused medications include:

  • Prescription opiates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Stimulants
  • Dextromethorphan.

A substance abuse disorder happens when a person is abusing any substance like medications, alcohol, cocaine, meth, inhalants or party drugs, and they’re beginning to have issues in their daily life. These issues can start with social problems with friends and family and can evolve into issues with a person’s finances or poor performance at work. In some cases, the substance abuse problem may even result in a DUI or medical issues.

What Separates a Substance Abuse Disorder from Addiction?

An addiction involves a mental obsession and physical craving in which a person has compulsive behaviors involving using substances. The difference is that addiction is far more severe. Someone who is still in the stages of having a disorder with substance abuse may still have a chance of recovering by having an informal intervention, less-intensive treatment or counseling. Those who have an addiction, which usually comes along with a history of chronic relapses, will typically need more intensive care when they are treated for their problem with substances.

Knowing Which Level of Care You Need

For those who have a substance abuse disorder, an outpatient rehab program may be the best option. This is where you can receive the treatment you need while still living at home, maintaining a job or going to school. If your living situation isn’t one of care and support from a spouse or family members, you may want to move into a sober living home while you attend treatment for additional support. Many people who are only at this stage of their substance abuse problem benefit more from doing this type of program rather than going to a residential treatment facility.

Beaches Recovery offers multiple levels of care from residential treatment to a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) to outpatient programs. No matter what the severity of your addiction is, we’ll be here to help you. We also specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, so we’ll be sure to give you the attention you need if you have a mental illness like anxiety, depression or PTSD that’s been fueling your addiction. Our program is JCAHO accredited as well, so you can rest assured that we’re using the best treatment practices to give you the ideal chance of maintaining your sobriety. Give us a call today at 866-605-0532.