Substance Abuse

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What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse is the use of illegal substances, the misuse of alcohol or prescribed and over the counter medications. This behavior has many health consequences. In fact, diseases linked to substance abuse are associated with medical problems that may lead to premature death. Substance abuse is a medical and psychologic problem and requires a two pronged approach.

What are the treatment options?

The two major treatment options are a drug-free environment or substitutive therapy. Both involve counseling to address the psychologic issues that may prevent a patient from becoming abstinent.

If a patient repeatedly fails to maintain abstinence despite adequate counseling, medical therapy may be appropriate and necessary.

Drug abuse treatment will be for a minimum of nine hours a week for outpatient intensive treatment. This treatment is same for people who are gainfully employed or potentially gainfully employed. There will also be group and individual psychological therapy.


Why do people begin using drugs?

People begin using drugs for many reasons. However, some are able to avoid dependence while others descend into addiction. The how and why of addiction versus non-addiction has been the subject of numerous studies but the answer continues to elude us and probably involves both genetic and environmental factors. Regardless, once someone becomes addicted, many treatment methods are available that can reduce the medical and social problems associated with addiction.



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What is the most commonly abused substance?

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance and the consequences of abuse are the most severe. These complications include neurologic, liver, lung and lung problems as well as an increased risk of cancer. Link to Alcohol page

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