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Substance Use Disorder and Harm Reduction Programs 2022

Introduction

Welcome!

Today we are going to look at proposals to address drug and alcohol misuse and addiction, also known as substance use disorders.  Drugs that can be misused can include illegal drugs, prescription drugs used in an unprescribed manner, and other drugs that may not be illegal (such as marijuana in some states).

A person has a substance use disorder if they meet some of the following criteria:
  • The substance (drugs or alcohol) is often used in a manner that is physically harmful, psychologically harmful and/or results in failures to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home, and giving up on social activities or hobbies.
  • The substance (drugs or alcohol) is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than the person originally intended.
  • A number of negative symptoms occur when substance use is cut back or stopped (i.e. withdrawal symptoms).
  • Larger amounts of the substance are needed to get the intended feeling or prevent withdrawal.
  • The person desires to cut down on using the substance but has not succeeded.
There are millions of Americans who have a substance use disorder. Since the covid pandemic began, it is estimated that the number of people misusing alcohol and drugs has increased.