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These days, substance-related and addictive disorders are extremely widespread in every country around the world. In this regard, this topic is rather relevant. Even though it has been thoroughly studied, there are still certain disputes on the treatment and preventive measures of such diseases. The problem of dependency and substance-related disorders is quite extensive. It is associated with the fact that there are many kinds of these disorders. Nevertheless, they are all united by the negative impact on a person's identity.

Moreover, substance-related and addictive disorders violate a person's communication connections and substitute a full and healthy life for the man. The purpose of the paper is to examine substance-related and addictive disorders, study their symptoms, and methods of treatment and prevention. To do it, four credible sources were used.

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All the authors provide deep knowledge on the topic of these disorders. The authors of the books used in the research paper have studied both general notions of substance-related and addictive disorders and provided new researches and findings on this topic. The paper consists of several parts, namely the introduction, substance-related disorders, addictive disorders, and conclusion.


Although people do not want to admit it, almost every person sometimes has strange thoughts or impulses. However, people normally maintain a normal type of behavior overcoming impulses, which are regarded as abnormal. Most people probably have in nature such features as mood swings, aggression, suspiciousness, tics, and others. These traits of character can be regarded as examples of learned behavior. Most people find that such features tend to be self-reinforcing. For every person, normal mood swings are also typical. From unexpected luck, a man comes in high spirits, and from the loss or disappointment, he/she darkens.

These normal mood swings and periodic influxes of strange thoughts significantly differ both quantitatively and qualitatively from the serious violations observed in those people, whose behavior requires the attention of psychiatrists in clinical settings. Such people often experience substance-related and addictive disorders. Many patients with such diseases are strongly concerned about their inability to control fears, delusional ideas, mood swings, and even the obvious loss of contact with reality. The purpose of the paper is to study substance-related and addictive disorders, their symptoms, and their treatment.

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Substance-Related Disorders

Disorders of substance use in DSM-5 include disorders related to substance addiction and substance abuse. The authors Susan Gray and Marilyn Zide (2015) affirm that the DSM section for substance-related now consists of a substance use disorder, substance-induced disorder accompanied by the criteria of intoxication and withdrawal, substance/medication-induced mental disorders, and addictive disorders (p. 379). The psychoactive substance is defined as any chemical substance that changes the mood, physical condition, self-perception, and perception of the environment, and behavior, and has other desirable psychophysical effects from a person's point of view.

The systematic intake of such substances causes psychic and physical dependence. The psychoactive substances include drugs and toxic agents. They do not include medicines with psychotropic effects or so-called psychotropic substances that are allowed for medical use by the pharmacological committee. Drugs are substances that meet several criteria. They have a specific effect, such as sedative, stimulant, and hallucinogenic, on the central nervous system that is responsible for the non-medical use medical criterion. Their non-medical consumption is of great scope and impact and, thus, they gain social importance. It is a social criterion of drugs.

By the law, they are considered narcotic substances. Therefore, drugs include substances that are included in the list of narcotic drugs defined by the World Health Organization. Psychoactive drugs not covered by the list of drugs are commonly referred to as toxic. They have all the properties of psychotropic drugs and have common patterns of the formation of dependence. Moreover, disorders due to the emerging of addiction to certain toxic substances are even more severe than on drugs. However, the social danger of abuse is not so high. In such a way, they are not recognized as drugs.

Substance-related disorders are all violations of the mental activity of an organic nature, caused by the use of psychoactive drugs. Medical classification of substances has traditionally been based on the peculiarities of the action of various agents on the central nervous system such as stimulants, hallucinogens, tranquilizers, and sedatives or the methods of administration including inhalants. The same substance depending on the dose and the way of intake may have different effects.

Mental disorders of the genetic nature may be caused by the influence of a wide range of psychoactive substances, including sedative means, hypnotics tranquilizers, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, and similar to them sympathomimetics, phencyclidine, hallucinogens, cannabis, caffeine, nicotine, volatiles psychoactive properties, and others. Each of these means can cause one or more syndromes such as delirium, dementia, amnestic syndrome, delusional syndrome, hallucinatory syndrome, depressive syndrome, a state of anxiety, and personality disorder.

Furthermore, the listed substances can cause intoxication. The use of psychoactive substances regardless of their mode of intake leads to the development of the state of acute intoxication. This condition occurs after ingestion of psychoactive substances and can be characterized by mental and bodily disorders, changing in time, different at the beginning, apogee, and decline of intoxication.

Moreover, these substances can cause withdrawal syndrome. In the book Clinical Textbook of Addictive Disorders, it is stated that chronic substance use eventually results in structural and functional brain abnormalities that, for some, lead to the need to keep taking drugs to avoid a withdrawal syndrome (Mack, Brady, Frances & Miller, 2016, p. 3). Nevertheless, there is no unanimous opinion as to whether these syndromes can be specific to one or another specific substance.

A psychoactive substance is considered a substance, the intake of which sometimes leads to a violation of consciousness or psyche. Such substances are often included in medicines, juices, and liquors. Besides, they are also in plants that people have been using since ancient times. In the United States, such substances are divided into several categories. The first category includes substances permitted by the law, but under the control or taxed such as alcohol and tobacco. The second group is permitted by the law and issued on the doctor's prescription such as diazepam and barbiturates.

The last category includes substances prohibited by the law such as marijuana and heroin. However, in some other countries and even some states of the United States, marijuana is partially or completely legalized. In some American states, drugs are issued only on special letterheads. For instance, the prescription for amphetamines is issued on special state letterheads in triplicate.

The use of illicit drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, is more common among young people aged between 18 and 25 years than among other age groups. In the book Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach, it is noted that currently, almost 9% of the general population are believed to use illegal drugs (Barlow & Durand, 2014, p. 397). In DSM - III R, disorders due to the use of psychoactive substances are subdivided into dependence on psychoactive agents and disorders arising from substance abuse. A diagnostic criterion of the presence of drug addiction that is the dependence on the substance is the presence in the person of at least three of the following attributes (Barlow & Durand, 2014).

A person intakes drugs at high doses and for a longer time than intended. A man experiences a constant desire or takes one or more unsuccessful attempts to reduce or regulate the intake of the drug. Much time is spent on activities related to the procuring of the drug such as theft, its use, for example, the continued smoking, and then recovering from the effects of the drug. Another attribute includes being in a state of drunkenness or hangover when a person should perform some significant duties.

There are different symptoms typical for substance-related disorders. They are divided into three manifestations of diseases light, medium, and severe. In the light degree, there are slight symptoms, including a headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, and others. There is a slight decrease in professional and social activities, as well as the violation of relationships with others. In the medium degree, the number of symptoms and the severity of the effects are between light and heavy degrees. These can include unmotivated aggression, depression, insomnia, constant headaches, panic, anxiety, hyperactivity, and others (Barlow & Durand, 2014).

The severe course of substance-related diseases includes a substantial number of symptoms required for a diagnosis. There is a significant decrease in professional activity and a serious deterioration of social status, as well as a violation of relationships with others. Its symptoms include psychosis, schizophrenia, bulimia, and others. Among psychiatric disorders in states of intoxication, there are consciousness, cognitive functions, perception, emotion, and behavior disorders. The treatment of substance-related disorders is extremely difficult and completely impossible without the wish of the patient. It should be remembered that the chances of the person's recovery under the compulsion are rather small.

For some time, a patient should be completely isolated from the previous world full of temptations. Alcohol intoxication is considered one of the most widespread in all countries worldwide. Traditionally, there are three degrees of acute alcohol intoxication mild, moderate, and severe. By the basic effect, the surrounding world is perceived as bright, colorful, and friendly.

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A person experiences the reassessment of his/her importance and a positive attitude towards other people. The capacity for critical evaluation of actions is reduced. Self-consciousness is violated. Episodes of exaggerated revaluation of self-worth can be interspersed with self-deprecation and self-flagellation. In severe intoxication, all kinds of orientation are violated such as the place of residence, situation, and time.

Intoxication with cannabinoids is also rather widespread. Cannabinoids are substances that have analgesic, anticonvulsant and hypnotic effects. This group includes products made from various parts of the cannabis such as marijuana (a mixture of leaves, buds), hashish (tar, hash oil), and others. This kind of intoxication is characterized by euphoria on the background of various disorders of consciousness up to the oneiric state. Intoxication is usually accompanied by a variety of disorders of perception.

At the beginning of intoxication, a person subjectively feels the loss of hearing and visual acuity. Thus, sounds seem to be deaf and the contours of objects are vague. Then, the ability to perceive the surrounding is improved. The colors of the surrounding objects receive particular brightness and brilliance. Sounds have volume and clarity. Nevertheless, depersonalization disorders appear in the form of disturbances of the body schema.

Addictive Disorders

All psychoactive substances can be a source of abuse, misuse, and the development of psychological and physical dependence. Moreover, in addition to harmful substances, addictive disorders may originate from different activities, considering gambling to be the most widespread (Sperry, 2015). An addiction is a passion for mind-altering substances or a compulsive need for specific actions without reaching the level of physical dependence. Accordingly, the addictive behavior is based on the continuing need for any drugs, alcohol, smoking, and compulsive behavior, such as overeating or gambling, the purpose of which is to change the emotional state and perception of reality.

In the evolution of pathological addictions, there are several steps. They can also be considered as degrees of the severity of symptoms of the addictive behavior. The initial step includes the stage of the first tries. The next is the stage of addictive rhythm, where more frequent episodes of addiction are developed, and a corresponding habit is produced. The next step is a stage of physical dependence, where the addictive behavior becomes dominant, absorbing all aspects of human life. The effect of mood-enhancing disappears.

The last stage is a stage of complete physical and mental degradation. Due to the constant use of psychoactive substances or harmful behavior, the work of all organs and systems of the body is violated. The reserves are depleted. There is a considerable number of serious diseases combined with severe dependence. At this stage, an addict can commit offenses and be violent.

There are several types of addictive behavior. The first one is chemical dependency drug addiction, substance abuse, smoking, and alcoholism. The next type is eating disorders, including anorexia, starvation, and bulimia. Another type is the non-chemical dependency types such as gambling, sexual addiction, compulsive purchases, workaholism, and others. The last type of addictive disorder includes the extreme degree of enthusiasm in any activity, leading to the neglect of vital problems and their aggravation such as religious fanaticism and sectarianism.

This classification of addictive behaviors takes into account the maximum number of its kinds. Nevertheless, this division is rather arbitrary. Groups of non-chemical addictions and excessive passions are rather close and are separated mainly by the presence or absence of the corresponding nosological group in the disease nomenclature.

Each type of addiction is characterized by its specific manifestations. Nevertheless, there are also common diagnostic indicators of addicted patients (Sperry, 2015). First of all, behavior becomes compulsive certain behavioral acts are systematically repeated. If to deprive a person of the possibility of such activities, he/she will have the obsessive syndrome. A person undertakes systematic attempts to get rid of the dependence. A return to the subject of dependency after the break has a euphoric character. A person loses the orientation in time.

The appearance of addiction is associated with the mismatch between the demands of the individual to prosper and be a leader in all spheres and his/her inability to integrate into the frantic pace of modern life. A person who is unable to remove stress with volitional efforts, autogenous training, and yoga uses a more intuitive and easy way. Some people start drinking, others sit at the computer to shoot the zombies while women often start overeating or spending much money on shopping.

Psychological personality traits have been identified that influence the manifestation of addictive behavior. These characteristics include the following inadequate self-esteem, egocentrism, failure to plan ahead and properly distribute time, high suggestibility, deny of feelings, high anxiety, and low-stress tolerance. It should be remembered that in the case of chemical and biochemical dependency, heredity plays an extremely significant role. Therefore, people should know the history of their family.

All kinds of chemical and biochemical dependence should be treated stationary. Patients should be under the constant supervision of medical staff. They should observe the regimes and intake the necessary medicine. Primarily, the blood from harmful substances is purified in alcoholics and drug addicts. Doctors also give them antidepressants. Patients with anorexia receive intravenous nutrients. In bulimia, doctors monitor compliance with the diet and do not allow additional feed for the patients.

Psychiatrists and psychotherapists work with all these patients. Frequently, a group of 12 Steps is organized by the analogy with the society of Anonymous Alcoholics, where people can share their experiences from the output of dependence and support each other. Non-chemical dependence is overcome through group or individual work with a therapist or psychologist. Patients often use techniques of different directions of psychotherapy such as art, Gestalt, NLP, and body-oriented therapy. Much attention is paid to the ability to overcome stress, feelings of abreaction, and forgiveness of family.

For effective prevention of addictive behavior, its early beginning is extremely crucial. Therefore, considerable attention is given to the primary prevention of the emergence of dependent behavior (Sperry, 2015). It comprises several steps. The first one is diagnostic the identification of people, personality traits of whom indicate the possibility of the addictive behavior by observation and psychological techniques. To clarify the composition of the risk group, it is necessary to collect information about children's behavior patterns and family structure. It will help in identifying negative statements, the prosecution of others, and the lack of personal opinions and interests.

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The next step is correctional. It is aimed at correcting the negative habits and attitudes, the formation of a constructive approach to the difficulties of life, instilling the skill of work and communication effectively. The secondary prevention of the addictive behavior is directed at identifying and treating people with early stages of addiction, and the tertiary step is the socialization of individuals cured of dependencies.


The modern world provides a person with a plurality of temptations. Television has become interactive, the Internet high speed, nutrition fast, and shopping in installments. Besides, the sale of alcohol, nicotine, and even marijuana in some countries can be easily accessed. In this cycle of influence, the adaptive capacity of a person has become rather ineffective. There is an addiction to certain types of activities and behavior and, thus, dependence on them. There are various diseases and psychological states that characterize substance-related and addictive disorders.

Despite this fact, their symptoms and methods of treatment are rather similar. The most common symptoms include anxiety, depression, headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorders, insomnia, and others. A person also experiences certain difficulties in communication with surrounding people and at work. For an addictive person, it is extremely difficult to adapt to the usual world. Besides, there are always thoughts, for example, where to take the next dose or play the next game.

Mental disorders can be caused by such substances as alcohol, nicotine, heroin, cannabis, hallucinogens, caffeine, and others. The prolonged intake of all these substances subsequently will lead to a person's addiction. It is chemical dependency. Also, there are eating disorders and non-chemical dependency, including gambling. It should be noted that nowadays, a substantial number of people, especially children, get involved in non-chemical addiction, including Internet addiction and gambling.

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