Addiction vs. Substance Use Disorder

Despite long-held beliefs, not all substance use disorders are created equal.

At Decision Point, we believe that the recent changes in the DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders edition 5) more accurately reflect the reality of substance use disorders – that of a spectrum and not one single diagnosis. While some individuals may suffer with significant chemical and psychological addiction to certain substances or activities, others may not be addicted, but are nonetheless misusing. In both cases, the misuse of alcohol and drugs is doing harm to individuals, families and communities. But the ability and willingness to accurately distinguish between and diagnose addiction or substance use disorder is critical to providing accurate drug and alcohol treatment. Addiction and substance use disorders are chronic conditions. And like other chronic diseases such as diabetes, not all patients exhibit the same symptomology or require the same levels of treatment. So too, addiction and substance abuse differs among sufferers and creating an appropriate and individualized rehabilitation and recovery regimen requires a thorough understanding of the nature of the disorder and what additional mental and physical health conditions may be contributing to dysfunction and poor health.

Diagnosing and treating each person's substance use disorder individually has important real-world implications. Unlike some programs that view all clients as "addicts" and apply a one-size-fits-all approach and therapy, we tailor a personalized care plan that is responsive to the severity and complexity of each client's condition. Just as not every client will require detoxification, not every client will need the same regimen or level of substance abuse counseling, medication, nutritional therapy, relapse prevention, or psychotherapy. And understanding the type and severity of one's condition also means that additional forms of treatment may be helpful to their rehabilitation and lasting recovery. When substance abuse is accompanied by failure-to-launch problems, substance abuse alone is no longer the issue. In these cases, educational and vocational consulting are just as important in helping people find and use their passions, gifts and motivations to begin living independently.

At Decision Point, we understand that each substance use disorder is just as individual and complex as the unique people affected by these issues. Here, you will find an experienced professional staff that will assess, inform, and treat on a truly individualized basis.