Substance Abuse and the Brain

substance abuse

By Ashley Barnes, M.S. Substance Abuse According to the American Psychological Association (APA), substance abuse is defined as “a pattern of compulsive substance use marked by recurrent significant social, occupational, legal, or interpersonal adverse consequences, such as repeated absences from work or school, arrests, and marital difficulties” (2022). Addiction describes the “state of psychological or physical dependence (or both) on the use of alcohol or other drugs” (APA, 2022). Substance abuse goes hand in hand with addiction, as substance abuse can lead to addiction.  Substance Use Disorder Symptoms The following are symptoms of substance use disorders as outlined by The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine: Using/drinking larger amounts or over longer periods of time than planned. Continually wanting or unsuccessfully trying to cut down or control use of drugs or alcohol. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of drugs or alcohol. Craving, or a strong …

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