Slide decks on substance use disorders and other addictions
Substance use disorders (SUD), and addictions in general, are characterized by the compulsion to seek out or take a substance or engage in certain behaviours, with the associated loss of control. Addiction is a relapsing brain disease, which can have a progressive disease course, characterized by the development of tolerance over time.
Many psychiatric disorders are more frequently observed in patients with substance-use disorders than in the general population, including mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating substance use disorders, but there is no treatment that will fit every patient. Therefore, it is important to balance the needs of the individual patient with the available options.
Interested in learning more about substance use disorders and other addictions?
You can learn about substance use disorders and fundamental concepts related to them by going through our slide decks. Each slide deck focuses on a separate topic area, and across the decks topics such as the neurocircuitry of the addiction cycle, the endogenous opioid system and opioid addiction, the global prevalence of substance use are introduced.
The slides have been reviewed by Professors David Nutt and Celia Morgan. Whether you are a student, educator, researcher, or simply someone interested in learning about substance use disorders these slides are freely available for you to learn from and to download and use.
History, Definitions, and Diagnosis
In this slide deck, basic concepts and definitions related to substance use disorders are explored. Theories of the underlying mechanisms are visualized, and a brief introduction to diagnostics based on DSM-5 and ICD-11 is given. Go to the slide deck.
Epidemiology and Burden
Substance use and addiction contribute to the global burden of disease. This deck discusses details on the prevalence and incidence of substance use disorders, global variance, disability-adjusted life years and risk factors for addiction. Go to the slide deck.
Neurobiology and Aetiology
The past 50 years have seen many breakthroughs in the study of addiction, from neurobiology to the molecular identification of the targets of addiction. This slide deck discusses in detail the neurobiology and aetiology of Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Go to the slide deck.
Course, Natural History, and Prognosis
Addiction is a relapsing brain disease, which can have a progressive disease course, characterized by the development of tolerance over time. This slide deck discusses in detail the course, natural history and prognosis of Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and other addictions. Go to the slide deck.
Many psychiatric disorders are more frequently observed in patients with substance-use disorders than in the general population, including mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. Among people who relapse, psychiatric comorbidities are more common. Go to the slide deck.
There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating substance use disorders. But there is no treatment that will fit every patient. It is important to balance the needs of the individual patient with the available options. Go to the slide deck.
One breakthrough in the understanding of addiction is the conceptual framework that separates addiction into:
1. Compulsion to seek a substance or behaviour
2. Loss of control in limiting that substance or behaviour
3. Emergence of a negative emotional state when use stops, which predisposes to further use
Download free images to teach about substance use disorders
Substance use is driven by the pharmacological effects of a drug, which are experienced as reinforcing/rewarding. The reinforcing effects of some drugs (e.g., stimulants and alcohol) are driven by dopamine signalling in the nucleus accumbens; for other drugs, different processes such as interactions with stress pathways also play a part.
The Global Impact of Substance use disorders and other addictions
This infographic provides a visual, at-a-glance overview of the global impact of Substance use disorders and other addictions.
3D brain atlas
Many regions and circuits in the brain are involved in the control of motivation, which can be dysregulated by substance-use disorders and other addictions. There are four key independent and overlapping circuits implicated in addiction, consisting of:
- Reward prediction and pleasure, located within the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum
- Cognitive control, located within the prefrontal cortex and cingulate gyrus
- Motivation, drive, and salience evaluation, located within the orbitofrontal cortex
- Learning and memory, located within the amygdala and hippocampus.