Substance Use Disorders
In the medical field, substance use disorders are characterized by the class of a certain drug. This creates 10 different substance use disorders. Each of the disorders involves the primary components of addiction; they work and immensely activate reward and reinforcement systems of the brain and create a compulsive need to use a substance despite adverse consequences to their body and mind. While not the same, they may share common symptoms. Withdrawal experiences vary greatly among them but note that withdrawal does not happen to certain classes of drugs such as hallucinogens and inhalants.
- Alcohol Use Disorder: Alcohol is a CNS depressant and alcoholism is prevalent, with 12.4% of men and 4.9% with women, but alcoholism is increasing among women. It influences men and women varyingly; women appear to be more susceptible to certain detrimental effects, studies reveal. The disorder develops commonly before the age of 40.
- Caffeine Intoxication: The adverse effects of extremely high doses of caffeine include restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, flushed face, gastrointestinal complications, muscle twitching, slurred speech and thoughts, cardiac arrhythmia, times of inexhaustibility and psychomotor agitation.
- Cannabis Use Disorder: Cannabis use disorder is primarily in individuals aged 18 to 29 affecting 4.8% of people with prevalence decreasing with age.
- Phencyclidine and Other Dissociate Use Disorder: These substances alter perception. Phencyclidine is commonly called “angel dust” or PCP and produces feelings of separation of mind from body.
- Inhalant Use Disorder: Inhalant substances are volatile hydrocarbons, toxic gases that are released from glues, fuels, paints and other volatile compounds and have psychoactive effects. The disorder occurs primarily among those ages 12 to 17.
- Opioid Use Disorder: Opioids include heroin and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, codeine. The American Society of Addiction Medicine determined 2 million people suffered from substance use disorders for prescribed painkillers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder with heroin. Opioid involved overdoses are now the leading cause of death in Americans under age 50. Prescribed opioids are the leading initial source of addiction to heroin.
- Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder: Addiction to anti-anxiety pills and sleeping meds are characterized by this substance use disorder. Similar to alcohol, these medications are CNS depressants. Prevalence of these disorders is most common in those aged 18 to 29.
- Stimulant Use Disorder: Stimulant drugs include amphetamines; methylphenidate or prescription ADHD medication Ritalin; and cocaine. Stimulants are typically prescribed for the treatment of the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. In the U.S., stimulant abuse is most common in those aged 18 to 25.
- Tobacco Use Disorder: The drug nicotine, commonly found in tobacco, is classified as a central nervous stimulant. Researchers discovered that 58% of adult smokers wish to quit, and 50% of smokers have tried to quit.
- Other (or Unknown) Substance Use Disorder: Substances such as antihistamines, betel nut, and cortisol to steroids could also affect the central nervous system that results in a compulsive need to use, creating addictive complications.