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Understand Addiction

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Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD) is a serious social, economic, and public health crisis that is not adequately addressed in public policy or treatment delivery. It is a primary and chronic disease, centered in the brain, with psychological and social components.

Before considering treatment, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of how addiction, also called substance use disorder (SUD), affects the brain. The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers recognizes addiction as a disease with psychological and social components, not a lack of willpower or an acute, behaviorally-centered condition. Become educated about drugs of abuse and the statistics surrounding them, and learn how to tell when someone may have a substance use disorder.

The 'economic burden' of drug and alcohol abuse in the US was $600 billion in 2018, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Key Statistics & Drugs of Abuse

Drug misuse is the use of illegal drugs or the improper use of legal/prescribed drugs for a purpose other than what they were intended. When misused, the following common drugs may lead to physical, psychological, spiritual, and relational problems, as well as other drug-related risks. In some cases, substance use disorder (SUD) may develop.
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The Science Behind Addiction

Historically, substance misuse has been wrongly viewed and mistreated as an acute, behaviorally-centered condition. However, the scientific community now recognizes addiction as a primary & chronic disease that is centered in the brain with psychological & social components.
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Warning Signs of Substance Use Disorder

A substance use disorder impacts the body (physical dependence), brain and behavior. If you or someone close to you develop these signs, it is wise to consult a physician or addiction treatment professional to obtain a diagnosis and seek appropriate treatment.
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Combatting the Stigma Surrounding Addiction

Making a few changes in how we talk about substance use disorders and how we perceive those who struggle from it can make a meaningful impact on those who need help. Learning the facts and having open conversations about alcohol and drug use and their consequences can reduce the isolation and internalized shame caused by stigma.  
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