Substance Use Disorder

  • Home
  • Conditions
  • Substance Use Disorder

What is a substance use disorder?

Do you have difficulty controlling alcohol or drug use? Do you find that when you try to cut down or quit that it is extremely difficult or even impossible? Have you noticed an increased tolerance to your substance of choice? Do you experience frequent cravings to use/drink? Does your drinking or drug use get in the way of you meeting your work or home obligations? Have you found that your drinking/drug use has impaired your social relationships? You may have a substance use disorder.

According to the APA, “Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex condition in which there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences. People with SUD have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s) such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, to the point where the person’s ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired. People keep using the substance even when they know it is causing or will cause problems. The most severe SUDs are sometimes called addictions.”

People with a substance use disorder may have distorted thinking and behaviors. Changes in the brain’s structure and function are what cause people to have intense cravings, changes in personality, abnormal movements, and other behaviors. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavioral control.

Repeated substance use can cause changes in how the brain functions. These changes can last long after the immediate effects of the substance wears off, or in other words, after the period of intoxication. Intoxication is the intense pleasure, euphoria, calm, increased perception and sense, and other feelings that are caused by the substance. Intoxication symptoms are different for each substance.

When someone has a substance use disorder, they usually build up a tolerance to the substance, meaning they need larger amounts to feel the effects.

Symptoms/SUD criteria

Statistics According to the NCDAS,

5% of Americans 12 and over used drugs in the last month, a 3.8% increase year-over-year (YoY).

277 million or 21.4% of people 12 and over have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year.

543 million or 50.0% of people aged 12 and over have illicitly used drugs in their lifetime.

Usership among people aged 12 and over is down 0.4% YoY.

522 million Americans 12 and over drink alcohol.

320 million or 20.4% of them have an alcohol use disorder.

277 million people use tobacco or nicotine products (vape).

4% of illegal drug users have a drug disorder.

7% of those with drug disorders have an opioid disorder; this includes prescription pain relievers or “pain killers” and heroin).

22% of males and 17% of females used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year.

5% of people in non-metropolitan, rural counties used illegal drugs compared to 20.2% of people in larger metropolitan counties.

Drug use is highest among persons between the ages of 18-25 at 39% compared to persons aged 26-29, at 34%.

70% of users who try an illegal drug before age 13 develop a substance abuse disorder within the next 7 years compared to 27% of those who try an illegal drug after age 17.

47% of young people use an illegal drug by the time they graduate from high school

If you are seeking therapy treatment for any kind of substance use disorder we are here to help. We will utilize integrative, individualized treatment to best address the concerns at hand and work together to help open to gates to freedom from feeling like your addiction is controlling you.

Call (414) 552-8242 or email us at to speak to any of our office staff to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Helpful Brochures

Please feel free to review these downloadable brochures from accredited organizations.

If you are experiencing similar
problems please contact us

(414) 552-8242

Call Us