9 Facts About Substance Use Disorders

Rather than using the term “addiction”, the American Psychiatric Association calls alcohol and drug problems “substance use disorders” or “substance dependence” (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 173).

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Symptoms related to alcohol or drug use include: inability to meet responsibilities at school, work and home; using drugs or alcohol during dangerous situations like driving; arrests for public intoxication or legal problems; and fighting or interactive problems (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 174).

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Consequences for substance use includes a loss of family or job, serious health issues, and incarceration (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 174).

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Alcohol complications are more common than complications with illegal drugs (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 174).

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Over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs can lead to abuse, misuse, and dependence (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 174).

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It is more likely for young people to experience problems from using ecstasy, inhalants, or anabolic steroids than older people (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 174).

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Older adults are more likely to encounter prescription drug problems because thy are prescribed more medications than other sectors of the population. They also do not metabolize medications well (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 174).

 

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“Pharming” is a common trend for young people where they abuse prescription drugs that are usually obtained illegally (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 175).

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Approximately 15 million people have an alcohol use disorder, 4 million have a drug use disorder, and 3 million have both alcohol and drug disorder (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 175).

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