Substance abuse disorder is a chronic, relapsing condition characterized by a pattern of drug or alcohol use that causes significant impairment or distress. It is a type of substance use disorder, which also includes substance dependence, a more severe form of addiction.
Substance abuse disorder involves a range of symptoms, including:
Using drugs or alcohol in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than intended
Being unable to cut down or control drug or alcohol use
Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from drug or alcohol use
Craving drugs or alcohol
Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences, such as problems at work or in relationships, legal issues, or health problems
Using drugs or alcohol in situations where it is physically dangerous, such as driving while under the influence
Developing a tolerance to drugs or alcohol, meaning that more of the substance is needed to achieve the same effects
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit or cut down on drug or alcohol use
Substance abuse disorder can have a significant impact on a person’s life, causing problems at work, in relationships, and with their physical and mental health. Treatment is available and can help individuals overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.