Understanding Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Substance-related and non-substance addictive disorders share a common thread – both revolve around addictive behaviors that can disrupt an individual’s normal life functions. While occasional substance use doesn’t qualify as a disorder, repeated usage that alters the brain structure does. It’s vital to address these issues to ensure holistic well-being.

Types of Substance-Related Disorders

Substance-related disorders encompass the repercussions of consuming drugs, alcohol, or certain medications. These repercussions span from health consequences to impaired social interactions.

Commonly Abused Substances Include:

  • Alcohol
  • Heroin
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hallucinogens (LSD)
  • Inhalants
  • Tobacco
  • Cannabis (Marijuana)

Understanding Non-Substance-Related or Addictive Disorders

Contrary to substance-related disorders, addictive disorders aren’t necessarily linked to substance consumption. They still, however, have similar impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health.

Non-Substance Triggers Include:

  • Gambling
  • Internet Gaming

Root Causes of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Substance abuse and addictive disorders aren’t the outcome of a singular cause but emerge from multiple factors.

  • Genetic Factors: Differences in genes and brain chemistry play a pivotal role in how an individual reacts to substances.
  • Psychodynamic Causes: Exposure to addictive behaviors or substances during formative years can shape adult behaviors.
  • Stress: Using substances as a coping mechanism for ongoing stress can snowball into substance abuse disorders.
  • Mental Illness: Self-medicating mental health disorders can lead to a crippling dependency.

Recognizing the Signs

Addictive behaviors manifest in a multitude of ways, both physically and behaviorally. Recognizing them is the first step to seeking help.

Signs and Symptoms Include:

  • Inability to control substance intake
  • Preoccupation with the next dose
  • Social withdrawal and neglected responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky behaviors for substance acquisition
  • Noticeable withdrawal symptoms
  • Physical signs like dilated pupils and slurred speech
  • Deception and truancy

Treatment Avenues

Overcoming addiction requires a multifaceted approach tailored to individual needs.

  • Detoxification: A medically supervised detoxification process ensures the safe removal of harmful substances from the body.
  • Therapy: Contemporary treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) have shown promising results.
  • Staying Sober: With relapse being a looming threat, continued support and coping mechanisms are essential. Engaging with supportive communities, attending recovery programs, and continuous learning can be instrumental.

Recovery, though challenging, is achievable. Remember, progress is the key to long-term sobriety.

Call Sun County Wellness Today!

Embarking on your recovery journey? Sun County Wellness is here to support every step of the way. Contact us today to embrace a healthier tomorrow.


Substance-related disorders arise from the consumption of drugs or alcohol, while non-substance addictive disorders involve behavioral addictions like gambling.

They can stem from genetics, early exposure to addictive behaviors, chronic stress, or mental health issues.

Symptoms include an uncontrollable urge to consume substances, withdrawal from social activities, physical symptoms, and deceptive behaviors.

Treatments range from medically supervised detoxification to various therapy modalities and supportive communities for staying sober.

Absolutely. With the right support and treatment, many individuals have successfully overcome their addictions. Progress is key to maintaining sobriety.