According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance use disorders (SUDs) are a major public
health problem. In the United States, it is estimated that there are approximately 20 million Americans
aged 12 or older who suffer from a SUD. Of those 20 million, only 2.5 million Americans (or 12.5
percent) receive treatment for their disorder.
This public health problem is costly, both in terms of human suffering and economic resources. It is
estimated that SUDs cost the US economy over $740 billion annually in lost productivity, healthcare
costs, and criminal justice system expenses. (1)
Despite the significant burden that SUDs place on society, there is new hope for those suffering from
these disorders. Advances in science and medicine have led to a greater understanding of the causes of
SUDs and to the development of new and more effective treatments.
One of the most important advances in the treatment of SUDs has been the recognition that these
disorders are chronic, relapsing illnesses. That is, they are not simply a matter of willpower or simply a
result of poor choices. Rather, they are diseases that require long-term, comprehensive treatment.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "the most effective treatments for substance use
disorders are those that address the individual’s medical, psychological, social, and vocational needs.
They should also be able to continue for as long as necessary to achieve and maintain remission."
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating SUDs, there are evidence-based treatments that
have been shown to be effective in helping people to recover and lead productive, fulfilling lives.
Despite the seriousness of SUDs, there is hope.
Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are serious medical conditions that can result in both physical and
psychological problems. Despite the seriousness of these disorders, there is hope.
Many people suffering from SUDs are able to recover with the help of treatment. Treatment for SUDs
often includes counseling, support groups, and medication. Some people may also need to stay in a
hospital or other residential facility during treatment.
The first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. This can be difficult, but it is important to
seek help as soon as possible. Early treatment is often more successful than waiting until the problem
There is no one “right” way to recover from a SUD. What works for one person may not work for
another. It is important to find a treatment plan that is right for you. With the help of treatment, many
people are able to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.
Contact ARCNH today if you or you suspect a loved one may be suffering from SUD.
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