According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 14 Americans reports experiencing a substance use disorder, a disease in which a person overuses or abuses alcohol or drugs. Some people may use drugs to help cope with stress, trauma, or to help with mental health issues. About half of individuals with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental disorder (and vice versa). Symptoms of substance use disorders are significant behavioral, physical, social, and/or psychological impairments such as the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol, reduced productivity at work, school or home, sudden changes in social network, risky behavior, and financial problems.
A substance use disorder is a medical condition that requires treatment to recover, and the type of treatment depends on the individual, the severity of the condition, and whether there are co-occurring illnesses. People suffering from substance use disorders have trouble controlling their drug use even though they know drugs are harmful. And if not treated, substance use disorders can get worse and impact other medical and mental health conditions.
There is not one single driving factor that leads to substance abuse addiction. Addiction is a disease, not a character flaw, and it affects people from all walks of life and age groups.
Download our Substance Use Disorder Toolkit (ZIP), which contains the following resources to help you support your employees:
- Mental health and behavioral health fact sheets, flyers, and infographics
- A Telemedicine Behavioral Health flyer
- A Behavioral Health Value Story brochure