Substance abuse is a recognized health disorder. It refers to the abuse of illegal or legal substances. Alcohol is the most common legal drug of abuse. Substance abuse causes serious problems at work, school, in relationships, and with the law.
Substances that are often abused include:
Substance dependence describes abuse of drugs or alcohol that continues, even when serious problems related to their use have developed. Signs of dependence include:
The following are the most common behaviors that signal you have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse:
The symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse may look like other medical problems or mental health conditions. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
A family doctor, health care provider, psychiatrist, or qualified mental health professional can diagnose substance abuse. Depending on the substance abused, the frequency of use, and the length of time since last used, your doctor may note the following:
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
Treatment for drug addiction is serious and complex. People who are addicted can’t simply stop using. Treatment programs involve many different components. You can take part in inpatient or outpatient treatment programs for substance abuse. Programs are usually based on the type of substance abused. Programs include:
Complications of drug abuse or dependence vary depending of the drug or substance being used. They may include:
There are many things you can do to prevent substance abuse or dependence in your home and community, including:
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