Essay on Substance Abuse Disorder

Published: 2021/11/29
Number of words: 696

Substance use problems are widespread over the world and are still a difficult medical challenge to solve. For the years of 2010 to 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) projected that there were around 275 million people in the world with the condition, ranging in age from 15 to 64. (Office of the Surgeon General & U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). Addiction has a negative impact on the addict as well as their family and the community as a whole. Clinically substantial deficits in physical and mental health, as well as social function, are all characteristics of substance use disorders. Milder to more severe forms of these illnesses can be found. Substance abuse and alcoholism were blamed for 160, 235, and 145,565 deaths worldwide in 2016, respectively, according to WHO estimates.

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Healthcare systems continue to face enormous obstacles as a result of these persistent problems. Substance abuse disorder can begin with occasional social use of a recreational drug and become more severe for certain people. The use of prescribed drugs can lead to addiction in certain people. Individuals’ susceptibility to addiction and how quickly they become addicted to a substance differ depending on its nature. Opioids, for example, have a higher potential for abuse and addiction than other medications. People may require more drugs to get high in the long run, and eventually they’ll merely want the substance to feel good (Tran et al., 2019).Other risk factors include a family history of addiction, mental health disorder where individuals can begin using drugs to cope with mental health, peer pressure, and difficult family situations. Substance disorder symptoms and behaviors include individuals feeling the urge to use a drug regularly, taking larger amounts of drugs than one intended to, continuing substance use even when it causes the inability to fulfill one’s responsibilities, and interpersonal problems.

Given the detrimental effects of this disorder, prevention and management of substance, disorder is a key priority. In order to better understand the mechanisms that underlie addiction and relapse, more study is being conducted on topics such as reinforcement and reward, tolerance and withdrawal, negative consequences, cravings, and stress sensitivity, among others. Treatments for substance use disorders have included both pharmacological and non-pharmacological techniques in recent decades (Tran et al., 2019). Smoking cessation has been maintained for over a 6-month follow-up with nicotine replacement therapies and pharmaceutical techniques such counseling, self-help, and behavioral therapies. Alcohol dependence is commonly treated with non-pharmacological methods such as skills training, cognitive behavior therapy, and family and marital therapy.

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There have also been strategies to reduce the harm developed to help individuals not ready for drug abuse. The programs provide people evidence-based, safe, and cost-effective alternatives to prevent and lessen the hazards associated with substance dependence. The needle exchange program, overdose prevention initiatives, and naloxone are just a few of the tools available. Outreach and education assist in identifying those who do not seek treatment and in making them aware that it is both possible and vital for them to receive therapy (Tran et al., 2019). To reduce the danger of infection spread, those who inject narcotics are given sterile needles as part of a needle exchange program. The FDA has approved the use of Naloxone to treat opioid overdoses. As the number of opioid overdose deaths has risen, so has public anxiety, resulting in initiatives to make naloxone more widely available to those most at risk.These interventions significantly decrease the effects of substance abuse; however, much more must be done to end this challenge of drug abuse.


Office of the Surgeon General, & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). facing addiction in America: The surgeon general’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health. Create space Independent Publishing Platform.

Tran, B. X., Moir, M., Latkin, C. A., Hall, B. J., Nguyen, C. T., Ha, G. H., Nguyen, N. B., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2019). Global research mapping of substance use disorder and treatment 1971–2017: Implications for priority setting. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy14(1).

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