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Disorder Awareness: Substance Use Disorder

Drug addiction or substance use disorder (SUD) is an illness that has a detrimental impact on a person’s behaviour and brain. Any drug, whether legal or illicit, can cause an obsession in a person. Some people are susceptible to drug addiction. When a person continues to use the substance despite the impairment it produces, an addiction slowly starts to form. Alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine are three drugs frequently abused nowadays.

Catherine Murtagh/ HealthCare | 75% of all high school students have used addictive substances

What is substance use disorder?

A person with a substance use disorder (SUD) has a problematic pattern of substance use that negatively affects their life and/or causes them distress. SUD is a spectrum disorder that can range from mild to severe. Typically, it entails a strong desire to take the drug, a heightened tolerance, and/or withdrawal symptoms after stopping use.

A person may simultaneously suffer from an alcohol use disorder and a cocaine use disorder, for example. Your quality of life as a whole, as well as your health and relationships, can be greatly impacted by addiction. Additionally, it can endanger life. It’s imperative to get assistance as soon as you see indicators of SUD.

Adam Felman/ iStock | Drug addiction is not a choice

Addiction vs. Misuse and Tolerance

When you use drugs improperly, whether legal or illicit, they are misused. You might exceed the recommended dosage or utilise a prescription written for someone else. You might abuse drugs to feel better, reduce stress, or escape reality. However, you may generally stop using altogether or adjust your bad habits.

Addiction is the inability to stop. Not if it endangers your health. Not if it results in issues for you or your loved ones regarding finances, emotions, or other factors. Even if you wish to stop, the desire to obtain and use drugs can grow stronger every minute of the day.

Additionally, tolerance or physical reliance is not the same as addiction. When you abruptly cease using a substance in cases of physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms take place. When a dose of a substance loses its effectiveness over time, tolerance occurs.

For instance, if you use opioids for pain for a long time, you might become physically dependent and/or acquire tolerance. This does not indicate addiction. In general, only a small fraction of persons develop an addiction when using drugs under competent medical supervision.

Healthline/ Pinterest | Therapy might be one-to-one or a group session.

Intervention for Drug Addiction

Keeping one’s disease a secret and being unable to talk openly about it with others are frequent reasons for difficulties among SUD patients. A SUD intervention is a planned occasion for you or a loved one to discuss the addiction. It could be challenging to stage an intervention at first. However, the victim’s loved ones and friends are urged to start it. It is suggested to enlist the help of an alcohol/drug counsellor or a treatment specialist in urgent situations if the victim refuses to listen to family or friends. Heart-to-heart discussions sparked by this intervention frequently provide beneficial outcomes and aid folks with trouble moving toward recovery.

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