A condition that affects the well-being and health of millions of Americans, substance abuse is the misuse and abuse of alcohol or other drugs.
Alcohol abuse puts a person at risk for health problems, including brain and liver damage, heart disease, hypertension, and fetal damage in pregnant women. This includes men who drink 5 or more drinks on a single occasion and women who drink 4 or more drinks on a single occasion.
Drug abuse includes illegal drugs (methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, or other "street drugs"). Individuals use drugs to get high or relieve stress and emotional problems. Dependence or addiction occurs when an individual develops a "need" for a drug. They may not be aware that there is a problem until they try to stop taking it, and find there is an emotional or physical dependence.
Prescription Drug Abuse
This is a serious public health problem in the United States. Individuals, age 14 and older, are strongly represented in the millions of Americans using prescription drugs for reasons not prescribed by a doctor. The most common substances are opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants, which lead to addiction.
It's important to monitor all medications you keep in your home, including over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions.
If you or a loved one suffer from substance abuse, get the support you need. Visit the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Association for:
Visit the Painkillers Kill campaign for more details on prescription drugs abuse.