According to the Centers for Disease Control, Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are treatable, chronic diseases characterized by a problematic pattern of use of a substance or substances leading to impairments in health, social function, and control over substance use. These clusters of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms are often noticed by individuals or their loved ones when they continue using a substance despite harmful consequences.
Substance use and abuse can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, sex, profession, or location. SUDs can develop gradually as an individual’s substance use increases in amount, frequency, duration, or impact on the individual’s personal and professional life. As a result, many people struggle to realize and admit they have a substance use disorder.
If you have or suspect you may have a substance use disorder, call the SAMHSA national helpline to speak to someone who can connect you with local support.