Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Substance use disorder
Substance use disorder means that a person uses substances even though it causes harm to themselves or others. It can range from mild to severe. The more signs of this disorder you have, the more severe it may be. Moderate to severe substance use disorder is sometimes called addiction. People who have it find it hard to control their use.
This disorder can develop from the use of almost any type of substance. This includes alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medicines, and over-the-counter medicines.
Treatment for substance use disorder usually includes group therapy, counseling, and education. Medicines may be used to help control cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse.
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.