Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

First, if you are a CRNA or student nurse anesthetist with substance use disorder (SUD), there is help available

U.S. Surgeon General releases 2016 report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health provides a comprehensive review of the neurobiological basis for substance use disorder, and what works in prevention, treatment, and recovery. Highlights, see the Key Findings and Reasons for Hope and Optimism.  

Help for Drugs/Alcohol


Terminology - substance use disorder and addiction:

Substance-use disorder (SUD): Diagnostic term in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; www.DSM5.org) referring to recurrent use of alcohol or other drugs that causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. Depending on the level of severity, this disorder is classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Addiction: The most severe, chronic stage of substance-use disorder, in which there is a substantial loss of self-control, as indicated by compulsive drug taking despite the desire to stop taking the drug. In the DSM-5, the term addiction is synonymous with the classification of severe substance-use disorder.  
Reference: N Volkow et al. Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction​. N Engl J Med 2016;374:363-71.

​"Addiction-ary" and why the language we use is important

Substance use disorders are neurobiological disorders, not a choice to abuse or become dependent on a substance. We're working to update the AANA webpages to only clinical, non-stigmatizing language of substance use disorder (includes addiction) and eliminate the older terms terminology of chemical dependency and substance abuse. For more on this topic, see Language, Substance Use Disorders, and Policy: The Need to Reach Consensus on an "Addiction-ary" by Kelly et al., Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, January 2016. 

AANA Resources

Government Agencies​

Drug and Alcohol Support Groups

Related Associations

NIAAA Brochures/Resources

Note: Links to external sites are provided as a convenience and do not imply endorsement.  AANA Health and Wellness is not responsible for content on these websites but hopes they help support your well-being.