Substance use disorder is a disease that affects how your brain works. It causes you to need to use drugs or alcohol. Over time, you may need more of the substance to feel the same way. Once this happens, you will have a hard time living without the drug. Going without the drug or substance causes adverse effects. These effects are called withdrawal symptoms.
When to see a healthcare provider:
You should see a healthcare professional when your substance use is out of control and causes problems to your wellbeing. If meeting with a provider makes you nervous, you can call a helpline to learn and talk about treatments and outcomes.
Healthcare providers treat substance use disorder with medicine. They also suggest going to support groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) where people can help each other. Two specialty medications treat substance use disorder, including:
- Sublocade® (buprenorphine extended-release injection) – an injection given under the skin in the abdomen
- Vivitrol® (naltrexone extended-release injection) – an injection given into the muscle in the buttock
These medications are both injections given once a month by a healthcare professional. Talk to your prescriber to see if these medications would work for you.
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