Substance use disorder is a disease that affects how someone’s brain works and how they behave. It can make someone want to use drugs or alcohol even though it hurts their body. Over time, a person might need more and more of the substance to feel the same way. Once this happens, people will have a hard time going without the drug, and they will likely experience side effects when going without the substance. Effects that happen when going without the substance is called withdrawal symptoms.
When to see a doctor:
It is recommended to see a health care professional when an individual’s substance use is out of control and causes problems to their wellbeing. If people are uncomfortable in meeting with a doctor, helplines are available for people to learn and talk about treatments and outcomes.
Doctors can help treat substance use disorder with medicine, but they also suggest going to support groups where people can help each other stop using harmful drugs. There are two common specialty medications used to treat substance use disorder. They are both injections given once a month. A healthcare professional will give you the medicine.
To learn more about substance use disorder, there are several resources listed below:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/patients/Opioids-for-Acute-Pain-a.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/aha-patient-opioid-factsheet-a.pdf
Ghoshal, M. (2022, September 12). Sublocade injection: How it’s given, side effects, and more. Healthline. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/drugs/sublocade#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/NIAAA_RethinkingDrinking.pdf
Once-monthly vivitrol along with counseling may give you a path forward in your alcohol dependence recovery journey. For Alcohol Dependence | Why VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension). (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.vivitrol.com/alcohol-dependence/why-vivitrol
What is a substance use disorder? Psychiatry.org – What Is a Substance Use Disorder? (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction-substance-use-disorders/what-is-a-substance-use-disorder