Substances like drugs and alcohol might give you pleasure early on, but continued use leads to the misery of addiction. If you develop a dependence on opioids like heroin, prescription medications, or other addictive substances, visit Eka Oyeka, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, and her team at Harmonica Psychiatry in McKinney, Texas. They offer expert care for people with substance use disorders, using medication and therapy to help them achieve sobriety. Call Harmonica Psychiatry today or book an appointment online to get expert help with your substance use disorder.

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What are substance use disorders?

Substance use disorders develop when someone can’t control their usage of a drug or other addictive substance, regardless of how it’s harming their health.

Substance misuse starts when you take something that gives you physical and/or psychological pleasure and become dependent on it. Substances that can lead to addiction include:

  • Alcohol
  • Hallucinogens like LSD
  • Inhalants such as glue
  • Benzodiazepines and other sedatives
  • Stimulants like amphetamines
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids

Opioids include illegal drugs like heroin and prescription medications for moderate to severe pain, such as morphine and oxycodone. Prescription opioid misuse is a widespread problem in the United States.

Binge eating is a similar problem, but in this case, your addiction is food. You might consume enormous quantities of food (especially ones high in fat and sugar) during a binge, causing weight gain and poor health. Between binges, you’ll likely feel deeply ashamed and despairing.

What problems do substance use disorders cause?

Addictive substances have multiple adverse effects. They can harm your health, damaging your organs and affecting brain function. You might overdose or take a drug combination that proves fatal. Injecting drugs and sharing needles exposes you to infections like hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which are potentially fatal if untreated.

Substance misuse is also an expensive pursuit. You could spend all your money, borrow more and be unable to pay it back, and end up in severe debt from feeding your addiction. Work or school life will suffer, and you could face job loss or expulsion. Family life and relationships also deteriorate.

If you develop an addiction, your entire life revolves around the need to use your chosen substance, even if it costs you your marriage, home, job, and health. You might also commit crimes or turn to sex work to fund your addiction.

How are substance use disorders treated?

The Harmonica Psychiatry team tailors each patient’s substance use disorder treatment to their individual needs. One of the most successful approaches is medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines therapeutic drugs with psychotherapy.

Medicines like buprenorphine for an opioid addiction or naltrexone for alcohol misuse help ease your withdrawal symptoms. Counseling and behavior therapies help you overcome the issues making you vulnerable to addiction and teach you coping strategies for everyday life.

Call Harmonica Psychiatry or book an appointment online today to get help overcoming a substance use or binge eating disorder.