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Drug Use Disorders: Psychological Factors

Substance use disorders are defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition; they involve the recurrent use of psychoactive drugs and cause impairment in clinical or functional domains (e.g., health problems or failure to meet major life responsibilities). Several drugs of abuse are included under this category, including opioids (e.g., heroin), cocaine, amphetamines, cannabis, benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam), nicotine, and others.

Many factors are thought to contribute to the development and maintenance of substance use disorders, including individual biological factors (e.g., genetics) and social/environmental factors (e.g., family norms about drug use, availability and cost of drugs, and social laws/policy around drugs). This entry focuses on psychological factors that interact with biological and social/environmental factors, all of which tend to affect the likelihood of ...

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