A Commentary on Defining Substance Use Disorders: Do We Really Need More Than Heavy Use?

  1. Peter Rice*
  1. NHS Tayside, Stracathro Hospital, Brechin DD9 7QA, UK
  1. *Corresponding author: E-mail: peter.rice{at}nhs.net

Defining Substance Use Disorders as heavy use will help to reduce fruitless discussions about labeling, reduce stigma and increase the likelihood of people coming forward for help of whatever level of intensity best matches their needs. Clinicians will still need to assess propensity for withdrawal symptoms and help the heaviest drinkers to work out whether they can successfully maintain a reduced consumption level rather than abstinence.