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Substance Use Disorders and the Family

Several national epidemiological studies conducted in the United States show high rates of substance use disorders (SUDs). Findings of the Epidemiological Catchment Area Study show lifetime prevalence rates for alcohol use disorders at 13.5% and for drug use disorders at 6.1%. In addition, 37% of those with an alcohol use disorder and 53% of those with a drug use disorder met the lifetime criteria for a mental health disorder. However, the majority of those with an SUD never receive help for their disorder. In any given year, less than 10% of individuals with SUDs are engaged in treatment.

Biological, psychological, and social factors influence the likelihood of developing an SUD, genetic influence being among the strongest. SUDs run in families and can profoundly shape the ...

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