What is a substance use disorder?
Different substances affect the brain in different ways. Substance use disorder causes work, school, health, legal, and family problems. The use of alcohol, drugs or other psychoactive substances does not necessarily mean that the person suffers from a substance abuse disorder. Substance use tends to appear in adolescence or early adulthood and the average onset age is 20 years old. About 75% of the people develop substance use disorder before age 27. It is more common in men than in women. Substance use disorders often occur in combination with mood, anxiety, and psychotics disorders. Persons with mood or anxiety disorders are two or three times more likely to have substance use disorders.
Dependence and substance abuse are not the same, since substance abuse, which includes alcohol can go unnoticed, but it requires treatment.
What can I do to avoid the use of psychoactive substances?
PAZ line: 1-800-981-0023, 1-888-672-7622
Book: The Healing Project (2008) Voices of Alcoholism.