Substance use disorder is a broad term that includes substance misuse, dependence and addiction to alcohol, legal and/or illegal substances.
Signs of a substance use disorder may include behavioral, physical and social changes. There are a number of warning signs to look for when you suspect someone might be struggling with a substance use disorder.
Addiction, the most severe level of substance use disorder, is a chronic disease characterized by continuing a behavior despite the harm and unintended consequences it may cause. Addiction causes changes in the brain that over time interfere with a person’s self-control and ability to resist cravings.
There are a number of warning signs to look for when you suspect a loved one may be struggling with a substance use disorder:
These include behavioral and social changes, such as:
Physical changes related to substance use disorder can include:
Other signs to look for include:
A series of toolkits with information specifically geared to parents, faith communities and other community leaders is available on this website. These toolkits provide guidance on appropriate topics and language when discussing the dangers of addiction or approaching someone who might be at risk.
For more information about recognizing the signs of substance use disorder, please see mentalhealth.gov.
Last modified on Friday, 3 April 2020 10:58