Substance use disorder is a diagnostic term referring to recurrent use of alcohol or other drugs that causes clinically and functionally impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major school, work or home responsibilities.
The most severe, chronic stage of substance-use disorder, in which there is a substantial loss of self-control, as indicated by compulsive drug taking despite the desire to stop taking the drug. In the DSM-5, the term addiction equals the classification of severe substance-use disorder.
Keep in mind that substance use disorders are neurobiological disorders, not a choice to abuse or become dependent on toxic substances.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines substance use disorders as a group of recurrent pathological cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms arising from the ongoing use of a substance. In an effort to combat stigma, previously used terms of abuse and dependence are not recommended now when describing persons with substance use disorders.
Risk Factors for Substance Use Disorders
The risks factors are complex. They include a combination of biologic and social factors, such as: Family history (both genetic and shared environmental factors), Social factors (socioeconomic status, race, social network, education), mental health conditions and…
Even though each drug produces different effects on a person, dysregulation of brain reward pathways in conjunction with an overactive brain stress system reinforce use of the substance to achieve a pleasurable high or to avoid pain, even if pursuing these effects incurs awful consequences for the addict.
Neurobiological differences in self-control often become evident in early childhood and may correlate with the subsequent development of a substance use disorder.
Although no specific neurological testing, imaging, or laboratory evaluation can accurately predict who will develop a substance use disorder, accurate identification of predictive markers remains a field of constant research.
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