Substance Use Disorder

Learn more about Substance Use Disorder and treatments at Northlake Behavioral Health.

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is when an individual suffers from physical and psychological dependence on certain substances.

Substance use disorder is when an individual suffers from physical and psychological dependence on certain substances. Physical dependence is when the affected individual must regularly consume their substance in order to maintain feelings of normal wellbeing and they cannot control their use of the substance. Withdrawal is also a consequence of chemical dependence. Unpleasant side effects occur as soon as the substance wears off.  The reward systems of the brain also get affected by substance dependency; however, this can be treated with more healthy learned coping mechanisms.

Many of the people who suffer from substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental disorder. Sometimes people with mental illness use alcohol or other drugs as a form of self-medication. Depending on the substance, prolonged use can even trigger or exacerbate certain mental illnesses.

Common substances of abuse are:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opioids



Substance use disorder brings many symptoms which affect everyday life including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty with maintaining work or school
  • Irritability
  • Losing interest in everyday activities
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Odd behavior
  • Shakiness
  • Social Withdrawal


Causes and Risks

Certain caeses and risk factors for substance use disorder include:

  • Abuse & Trauma
  • Family history of mental illness
  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Social pressures



If an overdose is suspected, call 911 immediately.
Substance use disorder can be treated. Certain substances require detox before long term treatments. This will be assessed by a qualified clinician. Common treatment options include:

  • Medication Assisted Treatment: A licensed clinician can prescribe medication to manage the symptoms of substance use disorders.
  • Therapy: Therapy and counseling can help treat substance use disorder. There are several different types of therapy and a licensed clinician will identify which are the most effective for you.
  • Support: Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offer long-term social structures that offer understanding and positive influences for those suffering from substance use disorder.


Get help now

Need help? Call us at 985.626.6300 or schedule an assessment. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.