Substance use disorder

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Substance use disorder means that a person uses substances even though it causes harm to themselves or others. It can range from mild to severe. The more signs of this disorder you have, the more severe it may be. Moderate to severe substance use disorder is sometimes called addiction. People who have it find it hard to control their use.

This disorder can develop from the use of almost any type of substance. This includes alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medicines, and over-the-counter medicines.

Treatment for substance use disorder usually includes group therapy, counseling, and education. Medicines may be used to help control cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse.




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.