How do Substance Use Disorders Start?

People who have a substance use disorder (SUD) may not remember exactly how their disorder started or why, but there are a few safe bets as to how things began. Some individuals begin using substances because they are offered it and want to try it, they went through a traumatic event or they were experiencing debilitating effects from mental health issues. Others might have found themselves in overwhelming environments or around people who were not good for them, whether they knew them personally or not. What is important to note is that no one who has a pervasive SUD ever thought that this is where they would end up. Their intentions weren’t to end up with an addiction, they simply wanted to escape pain or other negative emotions, or they wanted to try something that ended up being taken too far. When you’re younger everyone tells you about the negative aspects of substances and why they are awful, however, no one tells you about the negative aspects of life and how hard it will be as you get older. You start off on this road of life trying to do the best you can do but at some point things go astray, but by getting help and getting back on track, you can put your life together again and make it even better than it was before. That’s reason enough to have hope and faith in yourself.
The Different Types of Substance Uses

When talking about SUDs it is important to discuss more in depth the varying types of reasons that people end up using substances in the first place because everyone’s goal is not the same and addiction doesn’t always start in the same places for everyone. As someone who uses substances or if you know someone who uses them regularly, these scenarios will look familiar to you:

Salubrious usage: using substances as a means of gaining therapeutic benefits.

Usage based on situation: substances used socially to overcome anxiety or during exceptionally stressful times.

Recreational use: taking substances just for fun or to feel good.

Dependent usage:
taking substances because you have come to need them in order to function and make it through daily life.

Bingeing: partaking in larger amounts of substance use over a shorter period of time.

Experimenting: trying a substance based on being inquisitive.

Breaking down the different types of use can help people to recognize where they fall within these categories and find a way to either put a stop to these activities themselves or they can obtain help and get into the recovery community.

Opportunistic Activity

Since the majority of people will say that they use substances to escape from something, whether it is a situation, environment, or emotion, it is good to discuss why substances end up being the thing that they run to. Different substances have different side effects which can work to ease feelings and change one’s physiological state in varying ways so not everyone will gravitate towards the same substances. In some instances, people choose substances over other methods because they feel as though it’s the easier choice. One of the biggest issues concerning substance use that needs to be addressed is their availability. If you look at the cost of seeing a therapist or getting some kind of professional help to work through issues, you’ll notice that it’s quite expensive. Not that the costs of substances don’t add up and quickly, but in a weak moment, it’s easier to afford $20 for a substance than it is to pay out $150 for a therapy session. The fact that healthcare is exorbitant makes people feel as though they can’t take advantage of resources which is really unfortunate. Additionally, there are so many harmful substances that are legal. Some of the most used substances to date you can buy at a store or get from a pharmacy. Having these substances readily available for consumers not only increases the number of people who will be exposed to them, but it increases the likelihood that usage will turn into addiction. Regulation is very important to the future of addiction and recovery. Being able to move forward responsibly will not only help people now, but it will help keep SUDs from being so pervasive in the future.

Call to Action

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.