Substance Use Disorder vs. Substance Induced Disorder

Authored by Hugh Soames

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Philippa Gold

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Substance Induced Disorders Causes and Treatment


Drug and alcohol abuse can leave a person’s life in tatters if it goes untreated. Addiction is a disease that affects individuals mentally and physically. Yet, it isn’t just the individual that substance abuse harms. The lives of those people around them are also affected by drug and alcohol abuse.


Substance Induced Disorders, also known as SIDs, can occur due to substance abuse. The issues created by Substance Induced Disorders can cause metal and physical health damage. The ability to live a regular life can be greatly impaired due to the issues presented, but the good news is that most symptoms caused by the disorders can be treated.


Symptoms caused by Substance Induced Disorders can go away once an individual stops drug and alcohol use. The first approach to gaining relief from the symptoms of Substance Induced Disorders is to acknowledge the cause of symptoms coming from drug and/or alcohol use. Once the cause is uncovered, relief from symptoms could be right around the corner.


Substance Use Disorder vs. Substance Induced Disorder


Substance Induced Disorders are created by the use of drugs and alcohol. It is the presence of drugs and alcohol that causes a disorder, therefore, removing substances from a person’s life can stop – or reduce – the symptoms of Substance Induced Disorders.


An individual with a dual diagnosis uses drugs and alcohol to deal with mental health issues. These mental health issues existed previously and are often the catalyst for a person to use drugs and/or alcohol.


An individual could be dealing with mental health issues prior to using drugs and alcohol. Oftentimes, individuals unable to afford help or not sure where to turn to, will begin using substances to cope.


Issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), personality disorders, anxiety, or bipolar disorder will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Self-medicating is an alternative to dealing with the symptoms an individual suffers from.


One of the biggest differences between Substance Use Disorder and Substance Induced Disorder is that the latter will usually improve once a person gains a specific period of sobriety. The removal of drugs and alcohol from their system improves the symptoms, and allows the person to function normally.


An individual suffering from SIDs, doesn’t have an existing mental health issue. Rather, the mental health issue is created from the use of drugs and/or alcohol. The substance used by the individual caused the disorder.

What are the symptoms of Substance Induced Disorder?


One of the major issues with Substance Induced Disorders is that they look similar to mental health conditions that are not caused by substance abuse. Substance Induced Disorder symptoms include:


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychosis


The following symptoms are linked to mental health disorders caused by substance abuse:


  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Sleeping issues
  • A lack of energy
  • Alterations to the appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Thoughts of Suicide
  • Mania
  • Psychosis
  • Irritable
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Uncontrollable thoughts and/or behaviors

How is Substance Induced Disorder diagnosed?


It may be difficult for a medical professional to determine the difference between a primary mental disorder and Substance Induced Disorders due to the symptoms being similar. A medical professional will need to determine if the individual is using drugs and/or alcohol.


If the medical professional can confirm the use of drugs and/or alcohol, they will need to determine if the symptoms:


  • Cause an impairment or distress to functions that is significant
  • Show up within a month of the individual being intoxicated to a substance
  • Show up within a month of the individual being in withdrawal from the substance
  • Show up within a month of the individual being exposed to the substance
  • Developed before or after the introduction of the substance


A medical professional will likely need to monitor an individual during a time of sobriety to see if the symptoms get better.


What is the treatment for Substance Induced Disorder?


For the majority of cases involving Substance Induced Disorder, the treatment is to stop the use of drugs and/or alcohol. If the use of drugs and/or alcohol is causing the mental health issue, then removing the substances from the individual will likely end the issues being experienced.


Some individuals can suffer from very complex symptoms when dealing with SIDs. Supportive medical care or monitoring could be needed during the withdrawal process. Medication may also be needed to help individuals suffering from depressive disorders. Antidepressants could help these sufferers through the withdrawal process.


In addition, antipsychotic medication could improve the withdrawal experience for those suffering from mania. Psychotherapy may be diagnosed to work alongside medication. All cases are different when it comes to Substance Induced Disorder. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are all based on individual cases.


Which substances cause SIDs?


Not all drug and alcohol users will develop a Substance Induced Disorder. SIDs are created due to the different chemicals in drugs and alcohol, and the way they react in a person’s symptom. Like treatment for SIDs, the interaction between substances and a person differs on a case-by-case basis.


There are some substances known to the medical profession to alter a person’s mental health and cause mood disorders. These substances include:


  • Stimulants: Cocaine, nicotine, methamphetamine, and caffeine. These substances can cause anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Hallucinogens: Psilocybin, MDMA, LSD. These substances can cause anxiety, delusions, depression, and hallucinations.
  • Depressants and Alcohol: Alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids. These may cause depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and sleep disorders.
  • Marijuana: May induce psychosis.


There are tools available to treat a Substance Induced Disorder condition. After being diagnosed by a medical professional, an individual can be put on the right path to living with the symptoms caused SIDs. By getting clean and sober, the symptoms created by SIDs can go away.


Substance Induced Disorders differ than substance use disorder, because the mental health issues are created by the introduction of drugs and/or alcohol. By eliminating the substance abuse, an individual can get better and live a normal life. There is help available and getting better is possible. Medication, psychotherapy, and substance abuse rehab can change a person’s life and help them function once more.


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Alexander Stuart is the CEO of Worlds Best Rehab Magazine™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Remedy Wellbeing Hotels & Retreats. Under his leadership as CEO, Remedy Wellbeing Hotels™ received the accolade of Overall Winner: International Wellness Hotel of the Year 2022 by International Rehabs. Because of his incredible work, the individual luxury hotel retreats are the world’s first $1 million-plus exclusive wellness centers providing an escape for individuals and families requiring absolute discretion such as Celebrities, Sportspeople, Executives, Royalty, Entrepreneurs and those subject to intense media scrutiny.