There is a wide spectrum of substance use and substance use disorders. Some may have issues with their use of substances for a short time or have small issues that may not cause them harm. Others may become dependent on substances and have serious consequences because of it, up to and including death. Some may find abstinence to be the only answer that’s right for them. Others may find that reducing and/or monitoring their use works for them. It’s important to find what’s right for the individual as people may benefit from different treatments in different ways. 

There is also a wide spectrum of non-substance related use, disorders, and actions including but not limited to, gambling, sex, food, internet, gaming etc. These have the same vast spectrum of variations and treatments as substance-related disorders. 

Substance Use Disorder is a diagnosed mental health disorder that has various classifications based on their respective criteria met in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5th edition). Substance Use Disorder does not encompass all who use substances in an unhelpful or harmful way and also does not encompass all other addiction-related disorders, it is just one of the most well known and most talked about. 

Addiction is a public health issue and should be treated as such. Addiction and Substance Use Disorder does not discriminate and can affect anyone, from any walk of life. The negative outcomes associated with it disproportionately affects marginalized/priority populations due to health inequities and social determinants of health.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 in
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