Substance Use Disorder

A substance use disorder is a medical illness caused by repeated misuse of a substance or substances.

  • Substance use disorders are characterized by clinically significant impairments in health, social function, and impaired control over substance use.
  • Substance use disorders range from mild to severe and from temporary to chronic.
  • They typically develop gradually over time with repeated misuse, leading to changes in brain circuits governing incentive salience, reward, stress, and executive functions like decision making and self-control.
  • Severe substance use disorders are commonly called addictions. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1 in 12 Americans are currently suffering from substance use disorder.

Here is a link for optional additional related materials that may enhance your learning experience:

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHFFR2017/NSDUHFFR2017.pdf