Substance Abuse

Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome - a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.

Policies which influence the levels and patterns of substance abuse and related harm can significantly reduce the public health problems attributable to substance abuse, and interventions at the health care system level can work towards the restoration of health in affected individuals.

Substance abuse is the use of drugs, alcohol, or chemicals. The substance abuse results in physical, psychological, emotional harm to the user or others.

 

Substance abuse is rare before the teenage years.

 

Most frequently abused substances include:

 

Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Hashish, Over-the-counter drugs (such as dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine), Benzodiazepines (like Ativan and Valium), Stimulants: Methamphetamine or Cocaine Club drugs: (Ecstasy, ketamine, MDA, or Rohypnol), Hallucinogens: (LSD, mushrooms), Inhalants: (glue, lighter fluid, gasoline, or paint thinner) Narcotic painkillers: codeine and morphine

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