Mental health problems and substance use disorders sometimes occur together. This is because: Certain illegal drugs can cause people with. A substance use disorder (SUD), also known as a drug use disorder, is a condition in which the use of one or more substances leads to a clinically significant  ‎Definitions · ‎Signs and symptoms · ‎Causes · ‎Management. The high prevalence of comorbidity between substance use disorders and other mental illnesses does not necessarily mean that one caused.


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Substance use disorder - Wikipedia

Doctors may inadvertently contribute to harmful use of psychoactive drugs by overzealously prescribing them to relieve stress.

Many social factors, including mass media, contribute to patients' expectation that drugs should be used to relieve all distress. Diagnosis A doctor's evaluation Sometimes a person's self-report Sometimes a substance use disorder is diagnosed substance use disorders people go to a health care practitioner substance use disorders they want help stopping use of a drug.

Other people try to hide their drug use, substance use disorders doctors may suspect problems with drug use only when they notice changes in a person's mood or behavior.

Sometimes doctors discover signs of substance use during a physical examination. For example, they may substance use disorders track marks caused by repeatedly injecting drugs intravenously.

Track marks are lines of tiny, dark dots needle punctures surrounded by an area of darkened or discolored skin. Injecting drugs under the skin causes circular scars or ulcers. People may claim other reasons for the marks, such as frequent blood donations, bug bites, or other injuries.

Health care practitioners also use other methods such as questionnaires to identify a substance use disorder.

Substance Use Disorders - Mental Health Disorders - MSD Manual Consumer Version

Urine and sometimes blood tests may be done to check for the presence of drugs. Criteria for diagnosis The criteria for substance use disorders a substance use disorder fall into four categories: The person cannot control use of the substance.

The person's ability to meet social obligations is compromised by use of the substance.

Common risk factors can contribute to both mental illness substance use disorders substance use and addiction. Both substance use disorders and other mental illnesses are caused by overlapping factors such as genetic and substance use disorders vulnerabilities, 27,33—35 issues with similar areas of the brain, 2,3,36 and environmental influences such as early exposure to stress or trauma.

Specific genetic factors have been identified that predispose an individual to alcohol dependence and cigarette smoking, and research is starting to uncover the link between genetic sequences and a higher risk of cocaine dependence, substance use disorders opioid use, and cannabis craving and withdrawal.

Research suggests that there are many genes that may contribute to the risk for both mental disorders and addiction, including those that influence the action of neurotransmitters—chemicals that carry messages from one neuron to another—that are affected by drugs and commonly dysregulated in mental illness, such as dopamine and serotonin.


Environmental factors such as chronic stress, trauma, or drug exposure can induce stable changes in gene expression, which can alter substance use disorders in neural circuits and ultimately impact behavior.

Through epigenetic mechanisms, the environment can cause substance use disorders genetic adaptations—influencing the pattern of genes that are active or silent in encoding proteins—without altering the DNA sequence. Drop in attendance and performance at work or school Frequently getting into trouble fights, accidents, illegal activities Using substances in physically hazardous situations such as while driving or operating a machine Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors Changes in appetite or sleep patterns Unexplained change in personality or attitude Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness Lacking of motivation Appearing fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason Physical changes, such as: Bloodshot eyes and abnormally sized pupils Sudden weight loss or weight gain Deterioration of physical appearance Unusual smells substance use disorders breath, body, or clothing Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination Social changes, such as: Narcotics Anonymous NA -- www.

You can find other support groups on the Internet.


Outlook Prognosis Substance use may lead to a fatal overdose. Some people start taking the substances again substance use disorders after they have stopped.

Complications of substance use include: