GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) Psychology Applications of Psychology-Psychological Disorders: Conceptions of Mental Disorders Study Material (Page 23 of 24)

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Substance Use Disorder: Important Characteristics and Addictive Substances


According to APA, substance use disorder is a state when an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.

Important Characteristics

  • Pattern of pathological use of substance
  • Impairment of social functioning
  • Impairment of occupational functioning
  • Duration of disturbance last for a month

Addictive Substances

Refer Drugs & its induced changes in topic list for better underst…

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Substance Use Disorder: Dependence and Habituation, Tolerance and Stages of Substance Abuse


Dependence and Habituation

  • Dependence is the continued compulsion for the drug with increasing dose because of tolerance. Stopping the drug has physical withdrawal symptoms and continual intake is detrimental to individual and society
  • Habituation is desire for drug intake with no increase in dose due to tolerance, no physical symptoms and detrimental only to individuals.


  • Tolerance is the body՚s physical adaptation to a drug: greater amounts of the drug are required over time to achieve the initial effect

Stages of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse develops in following stages

  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal state
  • Dependence syndrome or habituation stage
  • Addiction (primary, chronic, neurobiolog…

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