The Addiction Epidemic Of Substance Abuse

1699 Words Oct 27th, 2016 7 Pages
The Addiction Epidemic The use of substances for physical, mind and social advantage has been around since the beginning of documented history. Contemporary use of prescription medication for these advantages has led to a national epidemic of substance abuse. Health care providers need to recognize the disease process of addiction in order to effectively combat the growing epidemic of substance use disorders (SUD). Strategies to decrease the prevalence and incidence of SUD include defining addiction, understanding epidemiology, evaluating treatment options and decreasing stigmatism associated with SUD.
Addiction and SUD are complex disease processes that affect all health care providers. In order to provide optimal care for patients with SUD, health care providers must first understand the ramifications of addiction and SUD. Addiction has been defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as a primary, chronic disease of the brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry that results in characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations reflected by an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors (ASAM Board of Directors [ASAM], 2011). There is a negative stigmatism with the terms addiction, substance abuse and substance dependence. The term addiction describes the various changes in brain chemistry, behaviors associated with substance use or abuse, and the resulting actions…
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