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date: 07 December 2023

Alcohol and Drug Problems: Overviewlocked

Alcohol and Drug Problems: Overviewlocked

  • Shulamith Lala Ashenberg StraussnerShulamith Lala Ashenberg StraussnerNew York University
  •  and Richard IsralowitzRichard IsralowitzBen-Gurion University of the Negev


Most social workers will encounter individuals and families who have problems resulting from excessive use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, commonly referred to as substance abuse or, increasingly, as substance misuse problems. This article provides an overview of problems related to substance use worldwide, focusing on the United States population and selected subpopulations, such as young people, the elderly, women, ethnic and racial minorities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual communities. It discusses the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Substance Use Disorders, evidence-based treatment approaches, and relevant policy issues relating to substance use problems. The roles of social workers in addressing these problems are identified.


  • Addictions and Substance Use

Updated in this version

Article updated to reflect new research and recent scholarship.

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