Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Substance Abuse (Substance Use Disorder - SUD)

  • Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. It involves a pattern of behavior where an individual consumes substances in amounts or in ways that are harmful to themselves or others.
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a clinical term used to describe a range of conditions related to substance abuse, from mild to severe. It is characterized by a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms indicating that an individual continues using a substance despite significant substance-related problems.
  • Common substances of abuse include alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opioids, stimulants (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine), and various prescription medications.

Mental Illness (Mental Health Disorders)

  • Mental illness refers to a wide range of conditions that affect a person's thinking, mood, emotions, and behavior. These conditions can significantly impair a person's ability to function in daily life.
  • Common mental health disorders include depression, anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa).

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