This video was created by the Addiction Policy Forum to describe addiction and why people become substance users. The video explains the physiological components of addiction within the brain. Additional information and videos from Addiction Policy Forum are available on their website.
It is important that when we consider someone with a substance use disorder we understand the other contributing factors. Substance use and mental health struggles are highly correlated. Addiction is linked to mood disorders, depression, and even suicide. It is crucial that family, friends, and professionals who are helping someone who is using a substance understands there may be underlying mental health concerns. Additional information about co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders is available on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.
How to Talk about Substance Use
Let’s work together not only understand to addiction, but talk about it. To help friends and loved ones who may have substance use disorder, we need to be able to talk in terms that will not cause harm but will instead reduce stigma. Communicating effectively can give support to someone battling addiction and let them know they are not alone. Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the secrecy, stigma, and shame associated with addiction, provides information to change how we talk about addiction.
What are Treatment Options for Substance Use Disorder
Treatment and recovery may look different for every individual and their families. When a person decides to engage in treatment, there are many options. One option to help treat substance use disorder (SUD) is Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT). This specific treatment is a combined intervention of therapy, counseling, and easing withdrawal and craving symptoms with medication. MAT helps individuals to live more fulfilling and productive lives which in turn positively impacts the family dynamics. Families benefit from MAT as loved ones regain their independence and move forward with healthier lives. Medicated-Assisted Treatment also has positive societal benefits. Studies have shown that recidivism and incarceration rates decreased when individuals with substance use disorders use MAT as a form of treatment. There is also a positive correlation between individuals who use MAT to combat their substance use and employment rates. For more information on MAT and its benefits, please review the informational graphic. Please feel free to print the graphic for personal and professional use.