What is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a condition in which a person develops a pattern of uncontrolled substance use that causes harmful effects. People with SUDs suffer from impaired thinking and behavior that can make it difficult for them to function in day-to-day life.

A person with substance use disorder may find it difficult to quit using the substance, even if they want to quit. That’s because SUD causes changes in brain function that affects judgment, learning, behavior, and memory. In some cases, a person may develop a physical dependency on a substance, and they’ll experience severe withdrawal symptoms once they stop using it.

It can be tricky to determine what substance abuse disorder is because the symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Generally, SUD refers to a pattern of harmful behavior rather than an isolated incident.

What Are the Different Types of Substance Use Disorders?

There are a wide range of substance use disorders. Substances that are commonly abused include, but are not limited to:

a man sitting holding his head in his arms

Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder

How can you tell whether you or someone you know is suffering from substance use disorder? Here are a few common symptoms of SUD:

Diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder

According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition), you can recognize substance use disorder by the following criteria:

How to Help Someone with SUD

Having a loved one struggle with substance use disorder can be a difficult thing to experience. Thankfully, there are many ways to help someone with substance use disorder.

Many people with SUD will be encouraged to seek inpatient treatment, in which they’re provided around-the-clock medical supervision. Inpatient treatment can last from weeks to months, depending on the severity of the SUD. Inpatient treatment may include:

Once a person with SUD leaves inpatient treatment, they’re often encouraged to participate in an outpatient program. Outpatient programs may include:

It’s important that a person suffering or recovering from substance use disorder receives plenty of support from their friends and family.

Here are some ways you can help someone with substance use disorder:

a group of people supporting each other

Substance Use Disorder Program at Penny Lane

Do you know someone recovering from SUD in the Los Angeles area? Learn about the Substance Use Disorder Program at Penny Lane Centers. We provide outpatient programs for people recovering from substance use disorder and have 3 locations in LA county. We work with both adolescents and adults (ages 12 and up).

Types of Services in the Substance Use Disorder Program

The Substance Use Disorder Program at Penny Lane Centers includes:

• Both in-person services and online services via telehealth

• Outpatient, Intensive Outpatient and Recovery Support Services

• Individual, group sessions, family therapy and case management services

• English and Spanish-language services for ages 12 and up

Ways to Help Penny Lane Support Individuals with SUD

Even if you don’t personally know someone struggling with SUD, you can still help Penny Lane Centers make a difference:

By donating your time, money, or experience, you can help Penny Lane Centers make a positive impact on young people and our community.