n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Substance use disorders : main article




Substance use disorders are common and costly, but treatable disorders. <BR>Substance use disorders are best viewed on a spectrum and include abuse (harmful use) with eventual progression to dependence (addiction). <BR>Substance dependence is an irreversible, chronic, relapsing brain disease, marked by functional and structural brain changes and an inability to control the use of a substance despite negative consequences. <BR>Addicts do not have a realistic understanding of their problem (it is too painful); denial is not manipulative deception. <BR>Substances of abuse can be classified according to their effect on the CNS, e.g. stimulants, depressants, psychedelics. <BR>Substance use disorders should be approached by addressing the problem at various levels, including primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. <BR>Even substance abuse deserves an intervention in order to prevent disease progression to dependence. <BR>Detoxification is only a small part of the treatment process and is unlikely to be successful on its own. <BR>Brief interventions and motivational interviewing are useful skills in the management of substance use disorders.


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