How Common Is Substance Use Disorder?

Dealing with substance use disorder can negatively impact your life in a variety of ways. When you have a serious addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can take over your entire being. However, you might wonder how common substance use disorder is and whether others have the same issues as you.

One thing to remember is that you are not alone. When you realize that you have a terrible problem and need help, you can get help. You have avenues to turn to when you have substance use disorder.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder is a serious problem that is often considered an addiction. It’s a chronic disease that leaves you with a constant urge to abuse drugs or alcohol. Even when you mentally acknowledge that these actions are dangerous and harmful to your health, you are at the mercy of your compulsion and addiction.

Substance use disorder can quickly lead to a dependence on substances to the point where you’re unable to say no and keep using. When you struggle with substance use disorder to drugs or alcohol, it can lead to a slew of problems in your life. You may stop caring about the regular things that once brought you joy. Your personal and family relationships can begin to suffer.

You may start to decline in your job and call out sick more as you strive to get more of the substance to abuse it. Your physical and even mental health can suffer as well. Having a serious substance use disorder can lead to financial and legal problems and can even threaten your life. Treatment is the only way to reclaim your life and return to a healthy way of moving forward.

How Common Is Substance Use Disorder?

Sadly, substance use disorder is very common. Around 20 million people in the United States alone struggle with substance use disorder to alcohol or drugs. Some have addictions to both. Others have a problem with prescription drugs that they were legally prescribed to treat a legitimate condition. Some people abuse illicit drugs that are commonly sold on street corners or in alleys.

Then, others become addicted to alcohol, one of the most dangerous substances due to being legal. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), out of the nearly 20 million Americans who dealt with substance use disorder were as young as 12 years old up to adulthood. Around 8.5 million of these people also had a co-occurring mental health disorder.

When a person has a mental health condition, it increases their risk of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is because they want to numb the symptoms of their mental disorder. However, the substance doesn’t achieve that; instead, it can lead to their symptoms becoming accentuated.

Who Can Develop Substance Use Disorder?

Anyone is capable of developing a substance use disorder to alcohol or drugs, but certain factors might increase a person’s risk. As previously stated, individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders have a significantly higher risk. Members of the LGBTQ community who lack support systems may be more likely to turn to substances to escape the reality of the cruelty and bigotry they commonly face from society and sometimes, their own families.

Some people have a genetic predisposition that increases their risk of developing a substance use disorder. For example, if a person has a parent who battled a serious addiction to drugs or alcohol, their risk of using is considerably higher.

What Are the Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder?

If you suffer from substance use disorder, it can affect you in different ways. However, some people may have an easier time functioning in their daily lives. Others may struggle more and have an obvious problem. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Inability to stop using
  • Increased tolerance
  • Intensely focused on substances
  • Lack of control
  • Personal problems
  • Health problems
  • Withdrawal symptoms

A person might find that they cannot focus on the things that truly matter. When dealing with substance use disorder, getting more drugs or alcohol is often the most important thing. Ready to get the help you need? We’re here for you and can help you find the best treatment facility. Call us immediately at 844-639-8371.

Scroll to Top