Types of Substance Use Disorders

Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

Types of Substance Use Disorders

Table of Contents

Have you ever thought about the wide range of behaviors people show regarding substances? That’s where the concept of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) comes into play. Substance use disorder is a condition where the recurrent use of substances like drugs or alcohol leads to significant impairment or distress.

Various major types of SUDs exist within this category, encompassing alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, opioids, and more. These types are defined based on specific frequency, severity, and impact criteria. Scientifically, types of substance use disorders are characterized by their effects on behavior, cognitive function, and physiological responses.

What are the types of Substance Use Disorders?

You’ve taken the first step in understanding the world of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). These disorders can affect anyone, and it’s important to recognize them for what they are: challenges many individuals face on their journey. Let’s examine the different types of SUDs, exploring each one with compassion and shedding light on how support plays a crucial role in the path to recovery.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) happens when drinking alcohol starts causing significant problems in a person’s life. It’s not just about enjoying a drink – it’s when alcohol takes over and things get out of hand. People might lose control over how much they drink, affecting their health, work, and relationships. AUD can come from a mix of genes, surroundings, and stress.

Luckily, there’s help available for AUD. Talking to a doctor, joining support groups, and attending group therapy can guide individuals toward healthier ways to cope and manage their relationship with alcohol.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis Use Disorder pops up when using too much cannabis (weed) becomes a problem. What might start as fun can become something that messes with a person’s daily life. It can lead to issues at school, work, or home. Sometimes, it happens because of stress, curiosity, or just being around it a lot.

If someone is dealing with Cannabis Use Disorder, they’re not alone. Professionals can help them find ways to cut back or quit, and therapy can give them tools to deal with life’s challenges without relying on cannabis.

Stimulant Use Disorder

Stimulant Use Disorder comes from using things like cocaine or methamphetamine too much. They might seem exciting initially, but they can quickly become a big problem. These substances can mess up a person’s brain and body, making them want more and more. People might start using them to feel good, but it can mess up their life in a big way.

For those struggling with Stimulant Use Disorder, seeking help is a strong step. Professionals can help them quit safely and provide therapy to address the reasons behind substance use and healthy strategies to rebuild their lives.

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid Use Disorder occurs when the use of opioids, such as painkillers or heroin, leads to problems in life. These substances can quickly take control, making it challenging to quit. They can harm health, relationships, and more.

Individuals dealing with Opioid Use Disorder can seek assistance. Professionals offer safe strategies to quit opioids, and therapy equips them with healthier ways to rebuild their lives without relying on these substances.

Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder

Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder emerges when the misuse of calming medications disrupts daily life. These substances, used for anxiety or sleep, can escalate into a problem.

Those facing this disorder can reach out to professionals. They can help individuals safely reduce or cease substance use, and therapy provides coping techniques for anxiety or sleep issues.

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

Hallucinogen Use Disorder arises from the consumption of drugs, altering perception and emotions. Although used to escape reality, these substances can adversely affect life. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) defines maladaptive drug use patterns as involving tolerance and withdrawal, which can develop rapidly due to some effects of some hallucinogens.

Individuals grappling with this disorder are not alone. Professionals aid in quitting these drugs, and therapy equips them with healthier strategies to manage life’s challenges.

Inhalant Use Disorder

Inhalant Use Disorder manifests when individuals misuse solvents, glue, or aerosols to achieve a high. These substances pose dangers to both the body and mind.

For those tackling this disorder, help is accessible. Professionals guide individuals to stop inhalant misuse safely, and therapy imparts skills to handle stress and challenges constructively.

Tobacco Use Disorder

Tobacco Use Disorder stems from tobacco products, like cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Initially a habit, it swiftly transforms into a problem affecting health and daily life. With continued tobacco use, individuals may become dependent on nicotine and experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. These symptoms can include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and intense cravings.

For individuals battling with this disorder, assistance is available. Professionals help people safely stop using tobacco, and therapy provides strategies to manage cravings and enhance overall well-being.

Other or Unknown Substance Use Disorders

Other or unknown Substance Use Disorders encompass situations where individuals struggle with substances outside conventional categories. These substances might be less common or even unidentified.

Irrespective of the substance, if it contributes to issues, help is at hand. Professionals offer guidance and therapy to address the underlying causes of substance use and to explore healthier approaches to managing life’s challenges.

Remember, hope and assistance are available for all types of substance use disorders. Professionals like doctors and therapists can equip you with the necessary tools to improve your well-being. Participation in support groups and therapy sessions helps individuals understand their challenges and discover ways to navigate tricky situations without resorting to substances. Additionally, the support of friends and family is a vital component of the journey toward recovery.

What are the types of substance-induced disorders?

When it comes to mental health, substance-induced disorders stand as a distinctive category. These disorders materialize directly from consuming substances, such as drugs or alcohol. They can release a range of psychological and emotional challenges.

Within this landscape, several significant types of substance-induced disorders emerge, each casting its unique impact on an individual’s well-being. From mood swings to altered perceptions, these disorders bring to light the complex relationship between substances and mental illness.

Substance Intoxication

Substance Intoxication happens when you use too much of a substance, like alcohol or drugs, and it messes with your thinking, behavior, or mood. You might act out of character or even feel overly happy or sad. If someone’s struggling with this, they might need support to calm down, rest, and let the effects wear off.

For someone dealing with substance intoxication, a safe and quiet space and supportive friends or family can help them endure the effects until they feel better.

Substance Withdrawal

Substance Withdrawal

Substance Withdrawal comes into play when you’ve been using a substance for a while, and then you suddenly stop. Your body can react in strange ways – you might feel sick, anxious, or even shaky. If you’re going through this, you might need care, rest, and sometimes even medical help to manage the discomfort.

Substance withdrawal often requires patience, rest, staying hydrated, and sometimes seeking medical guidance to ensure a safe transition. If it’s not treated in time, it can lead to the development of various withdrawal syndromes.

Substance-Induced Delirium

Substance-Induced Delirium happens when using substances messes with your ability to think clearly and stay focused. It can make you confused, agitated and even see things that aren’t there. If you or someone you know experiences this, you must seek medical help to restore things.

In the case of substance-induced delirium, seeking medical attention is crucial to help the person regain clarity of thought and address the underlying causes.

Substance-Induced Major or Mild Neurocognitive Disorder

Substance-Induced Major or Mild Neurocognitive Disorder is when problematic substance use starts messing with your brain’s thinking abilities, memory, and focus. You might feel forgetful or need help understanding things. If this hits home, a healthcare professional can help you find ways to cope and improve your cognitive function.

Recovery from substance-induced neurocognitive disorders involves working with healthcare experts to manage symptoms and develop strategies to enhance cognitive abilities.

Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder is when using certain substances causes you to lose touch with reality. You might see, hear, or believe things that aren’t real. If you or someone you care about experiences this, reaching out to professionals who can guide you toward getting back on track is crucial.

Seeking help from mental health professionals is essential for someone facing substance-induced psychotic disorder, as they can provide treatment and support to manage the altered perceptions.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder appears when using substances messes with your emotions, leading to sudden mood swings. You might feel extremely happy or down. If you’re going through this, talking to a mental health expert can provide you with strategies to stabilize your moods.

Getting support from mental health professionals can assist in managing mood swings and finding healthy ways to cope without relying on substances.

Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder comes into play when using substances makes you overly anxious, restless, or worried. It’s like your mind is on high alert. Seeking guidance from mental health professionals can help you learn how to manage these anxious feelings without relying on substances.

Support from mental health professionals can help individuals navigate substance-induced anxiety and develop coping mechanisms to ease anxiety without substance use.

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder happens when using substances messes with your sleep. You might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. If this affects you, talking to a healthcare expert can help you figure out how to get back to better sleep patterns.

Recovery from substance-induced sleep disorders involves working with healthcare experts to establish healthy sleep habits and address underlying issues.

Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction occurs when substances like drugs or alcohol impact your sexual function. It can affect your desire, performance, or satisfaction. If this hits close to home, consulting a healthcare provider can help you find ways to address these issues.

Addressing substance-induced sexual dysfunction involves discussing concerns with a healthcare professional and exploring strategies to improve sexual well-being.

Other Substance-Induced Disorders

Other Substance-Induced Disorders cover situations where substances lead to problems that don’t fit into the usual categories. It might involve unusual behavior or symptoms that don’t match any specific disorder.

Recovery from these distinctive substance-induced issues involves seeking guidance from healthcare and mental health experts, including resources provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), who can evaluate the situation and offer customized strategies for improvement.

Remember, if you or someone you know is facing any of these substance-induced disorders, there’s help available. Professionals, whether doctors, therapists, or counselors, can offer guidance and support to help navigate the challenges and find a path toward recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out – recovery is within reach.

Treating Substance Use Disorders

Recovery from substance use disorders is achievable, and various treatment options are available to support individuals on their journey to wellness. These treatments are designed to address addiction’s physical and psychological aspects, providing a comprehensive approach to healing. Here’s a glimpse of the treatment options:

  • Detoxification: Safely managing withdrawal symptoms under medical supervision.
  • Therapies: Engaging in counseling sessions and behavioral therapies to understand triggers and develop coping strategies.
  • Medications: Certain medications can help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms depending on the substance.
  • Support Groups: Participating in groups where individuals share their experiences, providing a sense of belonging and encouragement.
  • Holistic Approaches: Incorporating activities like mindfulness, yoga, and art therapy to promote overall well-being.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs: Participating in structured sessions that offer more intensive therapy and support while allowing individuals to live at home.

Amid these options, it’s important to note that the best treatment approach varies for each person. Recovery is a personalized journey, and seeking professional guidance can help you or your loved ones take the first steps toward a healthier and happier life.

Getting the Assistance You Need

Getting the Assistance You Need

Support is crucial for recovery, providing encouragement and guidance throughout the journey. Regarding Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), seeking professional help can make all the difference.

At NuView Treatment Center, we recognize the difficulties faced by individuals and their families while confronting SUDs. Our center is dedicated to offering a spectrum of treatment options and services crafted to deliver holistic care and unwavering support:

  • Individualized Treatment Plans: Specialized approaches considering each person’s unique needs and circumstances.
  • Evidence-Based Therapies: Engaging in proven therapies that address the underlying causes of addiction.
  • Holistic Healing: Incorporating activities like yoga, meditation, and art therapy to promote overall well-being.
  • Supportive Environment: Providing a safe and understanding space where individuals can feel supported on their journey.

NuView Treatment Center stands out as a place where individuals can find support specialized to their needs. If you or someone you know is seeking addiction treatment options that align with your needs, don’t hesitate to call us at (323) 307-7997 or email us at info@nuviewtreatment.com. Our team is here to provide guidance and help you take the steps towards a healthier and happier life. Remember, recovery is possible, and the first step starts with reaching out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Keep an eye out for red flags like a noticeable decline in physical health, a marked disregard for personal responsibilities, social isolation from loved ones, and a growing obsession with obtaining and using substances at the expense of other aspects of life.

Treatments for substance abuse are complicated, often combining evidence-based therapies, individual and group counseling sessions, support groups, and sometimes medications. These approaches empower individuals to break free from addiction, regain control over their lives, and develop healthier coping strategies.

While substance abuse involves the harmful use of drugs or alcohol, addiction digs deeper, encompassing a strong physical and psychological dependence on substances. Addiction often leads to uncontrollable cravings, an inability to quit despite adverse consequences, and a compulsive need to use substances.

Interventions for alcohol/drug abuse encompass a range of therapeutic strategies. These can include cognitive-behavioral therapy to address thought patterns, motivational enhancement therapy to strengthen motivation for change, family therapy to repair relationships, and, when necessary, medically-assisted treatments to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Genetic tendencies and environmental factors influence the development of substance use disorders. Genetic traits can increase vulnerability to addiction, while aspects like family dynamics, early exposure to substances, peer influence, and traumatic experiences can further contribute to their onset.

Overcoming a substance use disorder (SUD) without professional help is possible but often more challenging due to the complex nature of addiction. Professional guidance provides:

  • Evidence-based strategies.

  • Individualized treatment plans.

  • Therapeutic support.

  • A structured approach that significantly improves the chances of lasting recovery.

The recovery timeline varies widely based on individual circumstances. Factors like substance use type and severity, co-existing mental health disorders, personal commitment, and agreement to treatment plans all influence the duration. While progress can be made in weeks, sustained recovery often involves months to years of dedicated effort, support, and ongoing care.

  1. Jahan AR, Burgess DM. Substance Use Disorder. [Updated 2023 Jul 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK570642/

  2. Leone, F. T., Baldassarri, S. R., Galiatsatos, P., & Schnoll, R. (2018). Nicotine Dependence: Future Opportunities and Emerging Clinical Challenges.Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 15(10), 1127–1130. https://doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201802-099PS

  3. Gupta M, Gokarakonda SB, Attia FN. Withdrawal Syndromes. [Updated 2023 Apr 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459239/

Latest posts

Share this post


Leave a comment

Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Read More

Addiction & Recovery

Did you know that we are always here for you 24/7?

You don't have to try to cope with life and addiction all on your own. Reach out to us now, no matter the time of day or night, even if you're not sure what you want to do yet and just need someone to listen.

We understand what you're going through and we can help you or a loved one survive addiction and find happiness in your life again.

Fill out the form below and we will contact you soon or call us any time at (323) 307-7997.
Contact Form - Blog

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? We can help!

Our advisors are waiting for your call: (323) 307-7997

Ready to get Help?