Housatonic Valley Health District

Substance Abuse Prevention & Assistance

Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are treatable, chronic diseases characterized by a problematic pattern of use of a substance or substances leading to impairments in health, social function, and control over substance use. It is a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms indicating that the individual continues using the substance despite harmful consequences. Patterns of symptoms resulting from substance use (drugs or alcohol) can help a doctor diagnose a person with a SUD or SUDs. SUDs can range in severity from mild to severe and can affect people of any race, gender, income level, or social class.

(CDC,Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), 2021)

Key Facts

  • SUDs are treatable, chronic diseases that can affect anyone – regardless of race, gender, income level, or social class.
  • One in seven Americans aged 12 or older reports experiencing a SUD.
  • SUD diagnosis can be applied to the following classes of drugs: alcohol; cannabis; hallucinogens; inhalants; opioids; sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics; stimulants; tobacco (nicotine); and other (or unknown) substances.
  • SUDs can lead to significant problems in all aspects of a person’s life including in their work, school, or home life
  • Coordinated care is critical in treating anyone with a SUD to achieve positive outcomes. Coordinating treatment for comorbidities, including mental health conditions, is an important part of treating a SUD.

Click here to learn more about SUDs

(CDC,Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), 2021)

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Updated: April 30, 2024

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