Running head: SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER 1
SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER 7
A Comparison of Substance Abuse and Substance Use Disorder
Melissa L. Rea
There is no doubt that substance abuse and misuse is a growing dilemma in our society. It crosses all ethnicities, cultures, education levels, social statuses, economic classes, genders and age groups (Clinton and Scalise, 2013). Simply put, substance use disorders (SUDs) do not discriminate. According to Clinton and Scalise (2013), every addict directly affects a minimum of 5 people and 1 out of 8 Americans struggle with a drug or alcohol problem according to Dr. Clinton (2009). That means that 75% of all Americans suffer from affects of drug and alcohol use. Becker, Sullivan, and Tetrault (2007) point out that substance abuse and dependence is a serious, potentially chronic disease that leads to decreased quality of life, mortality and increased costs to society due to loss of productive citizens and increase in demands on the justice system. While research continues to reveal the severe impact SUDs have on an entire society, there is an insignificant amount scientific research available to build a clear basis for cause and treatment, contrary to many self-help books and television talk shows (Doweiko & Evans, 2019).
There are numerous discrepancies concerning substance use disorders which lead to different theories of possible causes, treatment and the recovery of clients facing these challenges. One common disagreement found when researching substance related issues is the way the terms are defined. As noted by Doweiko & Evans (2019), (Churchland, 2013; Wunsch, Boyd, & McMasters, 2009), there is no ubiquitously accepted definition for the terms use, abuse or substance use disorder, however; they are, at times, incorrectly used interchangeably. According to Clinton and Scalise (2013), the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV measures the differences ranging from substance use, abuse and dependency. Substance abuse and dependency always begins with substance use, but substance use does not always lead to substance abuse/dependency. (Doweiko & Evans, 2019).
Substance abuse is included as a category under the broader term, substance use disorders, along with substance dependence (Doweiko & Evans, 2019). WebMD (n.d.) defines substance abuse as ingesting any illegal substance or using any legal substance contrary to the way it’s prescribed or in excess. Doweiko & Evans’ (2019) use of the term, substance abuse, or misuse, coincides with this definition. Dowieko & Evans (2019) add that substance abuse does not necessarily involve physical dependence on the chemical and physical dependence isn’t necessarily the result of abusing the substance. Researchers and clinicians are unable to accurately identify which individuals will move from substance use into substance use disorders (Dowieko & Evans, 2019).
As mentioned earlier in this paper, substance use...