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What is substance abuse disorder?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Defense

In the U.S., over 20 million people have a substance abuse disorder. Among those 20 million people, almost 40% struggle with drug use. If you or a loved one recently faced drug-related charges, it is possible SUD could be the underlying factor.

SUD can disrupt your personal and professional life and result in criminal charges.

The signs of substance abuse disorder

Substances refer to any drug that has the potential to cause addiction. SUD can affect people who use recreational drugs or prescription medication. SUD can result in physical and psychological dependence on drugs.

When a person has SUD, he or she may need to take doses larger than recommended or may increase the amount over time to continue to feel the desired effect. The disorder causes people to act impulsively and often; they cannot fight the desire to use the substance or to seek it, regardless of the consequences. Severe instances of substance abuse make it difficult for those affected to fulfill responsibilities at home, work and school.

The development of substance abuse disorder

There are various reasons that SUD may develop. Some people are more prone to addiction due to underlying mental illness and genetics. A patient may develop substance abuse disorder after being prescribed pain medication to treat an actual condition. In other cases, someone may experiment with substances first. The drugs affect the reward center of the brain and create an unhealthy drive to seek out illicit substances.

Often, substance abuse disorder is an underlying factor behind drug charges. Without treatment, patients with substance abuse disorder have a higher likelihood of recidivism.