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The line between casual drug or alcohol use and addiction can sometimes be difficult to draw. However, when excessive use of substances causes chronic health problems, physical disabilities or a failure to meet the responsibilities of daily life, a substance use disorder may be at the root. At Mercy, we take an empathetic approach to every person’s unique circumstance and situation.
Substance use disorder occurs when a person’s drug or alcohol use goes beyond a doctor’s recommendation or accepted societal norms. It can be diagnosed as mild, moderate or severe.
Addiction refers to substance use disorder at the most severe end of the spectrum. Addictions are usually accompanied by an extreme compulsion to use drugs or alcohol.
Although substance use disorder is fairly common, it’s often treatable with the right tools and mentality. Many people facing this discomforting reality not only recover but also live productive, meaningful lives.
Anyone can become dependent on drugs or alcohol. Some people may even develop an addiction to a drug the first time they try it. Other people may not experience any long-lasting effects. The chance of any person becoming drug or alcohol dependent relies on many different factors.
Several common factors that can influence drug or alcohol dependence include:
Although people of any age, economic status, or gender can become dependent on drugs or alcohol, certain factors can affect the likelihood of developing substance use disorder.
Some common risk factors for substance abuse include a family history of addiction, peer pressure, early use of drugs and alcohol as well as mental health disorders. Substance abuse problems occur more frequently with certain mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and personality disorders.
Alcohol or drug addiction is much easier to spot if you know what common signs and symptoms to watch out for. Addiction symptoms or behaviors can include, among others:
At Mercy, there’s hope and healing for people struggling with a substance use disorder. If you or a loved one suffers from drug or alcohol dependency, consult a Mercy behavioral health professional for further assessment and treatment options.
If you're experiencing substance dependency, it can be overwhelming. Mercy’s behavioral health experts are here to help. Learn about addiction diagnosis & treatment options here.
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose conditions and injuries, including:
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of inpatient & outpatient substance abuse treatment services, including: