Get help on getting the right help for your substance use treatment & recovery

What Are Substance Use Disorders?

The DSM 5 recognizes substance-related disorders resulting from the use of 10 separate classes of drugs:

  • alcohol; caffeine;
  • cannabis;
  • hallucinogens (phencyclidine or similarly acting arylcyclohexylamines, and other hallucinogens, such as LSD);
  • inhalants;
  • opioids;
  • sedatives,
  • hypnotics, or anxiolytics;
  • stimulants (including amphetamine-type substances, cocaine, and other stimulants);
  • tobacco;
  • and other or unknown substances.

Therefore, while some major groupings of psychoactive substances are specifically identified, the use of other or unknown substances can also form the basis of a substance-related or addictive disorder.

The activation of the brain’s reward system is central to problems arising from drug use; the rewarding feeling that people experience as a result of taking drugs may be so profound that they neglect other normal activities in favor of taking the drug. While the pharmacological mechanisms for each class of drug are different, the activation of the reward system is similar across substances in producing feelings of pleasure or euphoria, which is often referred to as a “high.”

The DSM 5 recognizes that people are not all automatically or equally vulnerable to developing substance-related disorders and that some people have lower levels of self-control that predispose them to develop problems if they’re exposed to drugs.

What is the DSM-5?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders.

The DSM-5 is the product of more than 10 years of effort by hundreds of international experts in all aspects of mental health. Their dedication and hard work have yielded an authoritative volume that defines and classifies mental disorders in order to improve diagnoses, treatment, and research.

Criteria for Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders span a wide variety of problems arising from substance use, and cover 11 different criteria:

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you’re meant to.
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to.
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance.
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance.
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use.
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.
  7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger.
  9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).
  11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance(s).

Severity of Substance Use Disorders

The DSM 5 allows clinicians to specify how severe or how much of a problem the substance use disorder is, depending on how many symptoms are identified. Two or three symptoms indicate a mild substance use disorder; four or five symptoms indicate a moderate substance use disorder, and six or more symptoms indicate a severe substance use disorder. Clinicians can also add “in early remission,” “in sustained remission,” “on maintenance therapy,” and “in a controlled environment.”

This information was souced from the following websites:

How can the Foundation Clinic help you?

As a licensed drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic our multi-disciplinary team is able to assist you in getting the right treatment for your substance use disorder.  Our experienced team will assist you with choosing the right programme to support your recovery and wellness.

We offer the following assistance:

We also offer a free information and assessment session with one of the professional team members at the clinic.  During this time we are able to:

  • Assess your personal need for a treatment intervention,
  • Recommend the most suitable treatment programme for you,
  • Answer all your questions about our various treatment options,
  • Inform you about treatment costs,
  • Help you understand your medical aid benefits,
  • Introduce you to some of the team,
  • Explain our family support programme, and
  • Make you feel comfortable around your treatment choices.