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Future Health

Substance Use Disorder

September 26, 2022 

Substance abuse disorder (SUD) is a mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior. It gives them the inability to control their use of substance use, whether it is illegal/legal drugs, alcohol, or medications. This disorder does not cause another mental disorder. What happens, is that it may co-occur with other disorders due to the following:

●Common risk factors can contribute to both SUDs and other mental disorders

  • Genetics

  • Environmental (stress or trauma)

● Mental disorders can contribute to substance use and SUDs

  • Brain changes (may enhance rewarding effects of substance use)

  • Substance use and SUDs can contribute to the development of other mental disorders

  • Can trigger changes in the brain structure and function that makes people more likely to develop a mental disorder

Treatments for this disorder would include behavioral therapy and medication. Regarding behavioral therapy, there are several types that someone who struggles with this disorder can go through. A few are listed below.

 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - also known as talk therapy, to cope.

● Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) - a concept where mindfulness is used to accept a current situation and emotional state.

 Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) - community-based mental health care that emphasizes outreach to the community and the individual in it.

● Contingency Management (CM) - principle encourages healthy behavior by offering vouchers and rewards for desired behaviors.

● Behavioral Therapy for Children/Adolescence

  • Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) - targets family interactions thought to maintain or worsen adolescence

  • Multisystemic Therapy (MST) - targets key factors associated with serious antisocial behavior in children and adolescent with SUD