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The Transition House, Inc.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Substance Use Disorder


Substance abuse, also known as Substance Use Disorder, refers to the recurrent use of drugs and/or alcohol that results in clinical or functional impairment. In a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2009, it was estimated that just under 24 million people, aged 12 or older, needed treatment for a substance use disorder.

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Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

The good news is that treatment for Substance Use Disorder is available. Research-based treatment for most abused substances can have incredible results. Treatment for opioid and for alcohol dependence, such as medication assisted treatment, is safe and highly effective.  

One of the first steps in choosing recovery is to recognize the symptoms of addiction. Are you, or a loved one, experiencing any of the following symptoms of Substance Use Disorder?

Behavioral Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work or home
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Getting in trouble with the law, including DUIs
  • Fighting with friends, family members or co-workers
  • Experiencing mood swings, irritability or sudden outbursts
  • Using more and more of the drug to experience a high
  • Taking drugs to relieve withdrawal symptoms like nausea, insomnia, sweating and shaking
  • Feeling powerless to stop using drugs
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about drugs or how to get them
  • Losing interest in hobbies you used to enjoy
  • Continuing drug use despite knowing it’s hurting you 

Physical Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Unusual appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Poor grooming habits
  • Tremors, slurred speech or impaired coordination
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vomiting, headaches or nausea
  • Secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth (when using inhalants) 

What are the treatment options for addiction?

It is possible to choose recovery over addiction. Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is a safe and highly effective treatment option for opioid and alcohol dependence. Medication assisted treatment combines the most effective therapy methods with the most effective medications specifically used for substance abuse.

If you are looking for MAT in Central Florida, contact one of our counseling centers. MAT is also available at our Chattanooga counseling center.

Substance Abuse Rehabilitation and Residential Programs

Sometimes, participating in a substance abuse rehabilitation program is essential to recovery. The best residential treatment programs provide medication assisted treatment, individual therapy, family counseling, medication management, skills-building and follow-up care. If you are looking for a drug rehabilitation program, then learn more about our residential program in Central Florida.

Choosing recovery takes strength, courage, and a positive support system on your side. Know that you do not have to struggle with addiction alone. Our skilled mental health practitioners include a psychiatrist, a physician, a psychologist, licensed mental health counselors and certified addiction professionals. We’re here to help you find a way.


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