Substance use disorder (SUD) is a medical condition characterized by the recurrent and excessive use of substances such as alcohol or drugs, leading to significant impairment or distress. It is commonly referred to as addiction. SUD is considered a complex brain disorder that affects the reward, motivation, and decision-making centers of the brain.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is a widely accepted diagnostic manual in the field of psychiatry, provides criteria for diagnosing substance use disorder. The severity of the disorder is determined by the number of symptoms experienced, ranging from mild to moderate or severe.
Some common signs and symptoms of substance use disorder include:
Substance use disorder is a chronic condition that can have severe consequences for an individual's physical and mental health, relationships, and overall functioning. However, with proper diagnosis, treatment, and support, recovery is possible. Treatment may involve a combination of medication, therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy), support groups, and lifestyle changes to help individuals manage their addiction and maintain a substance-free life.