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You may not think of these as drugs. But tobacco has a chemical called nicotine that gives you a little rush of pleasure and energy. The effect can wear off fast and leave you wanting more. You can abuse and get addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, just like other drugs.
When you first start taking a substance, you may think you can control how much you use. But over time, you may need more of the drug to get the same feeling or effect. For some people, that can lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that you may have a problem with substance abuse include if you:
Substance abuse affects every part of your life. It can hurt you and the people around you. It can ruin relationships and your financial health. Abusing drugs can also lead to addiction and cause serious health problems and even death.
Comments are being sought on a draft set of National Standards for Peer Support Certification. The goal of these model standards are to advance peer specialist efforts in serving people experiencing mental health and/or substance use conditions and their families by improving the quality and consistency of state certification approaches across states.
SAMHSA's mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.
Substance use disorder is the medical term used to describe a pattern of using a substance (drug) that causes significant problems or distress. This may be missing work or school, using the substance in dangerous situations, such as driving a car. It may lead to substance-related legal problems, or continued substance use that interferes with friendships, family relationships, or both. Substance use disorder, as a recognized medical brain disorder, refers to the use of illegal substances, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Or the misuse of legal substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, or prescription medicines. Alcohol is the most common legal drug associated with substance use disorder.
Cultural and societal factors determine what are acceptable or allowable forms of drug or alcohol use. Public laws determine what kind of drug use is legal or illegal. The question of what type of substance use can be considered normal or acceptable remains controversial. Substance use disorder is caused by multiple factors, including genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors, social pressures, individual personality characteristics, and psychiatric problems. But which of these factors has the biggest influence in any one person cannot be determined in all cases.
A family doctor, psychiatrist, or qualified mental health professional usually diagnoses substance use disorder. Clinical findings often depend on the substance, the frequency of use, and the length of time since last used, and may include:
A variety of treatment (or recovery) programs for substance use disorder are available on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Programs considered are usually based on the type of substance. Detoxification (if needed, based on the substance) and long-term follow-up management or recovery-oriented systems of care are important features of successful treatment. Long-term follow-up management usually includes formalized group meetings and psychosocial support systems, as well as continued medical supervision. Individual and family psychotherapy are often recommended to address the issues that may have contributed to and resulted from the development of a substance use disorder.
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment A Booklet for FamiliesCreated for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, and recovery. Addresses concerns of children of parents with substance use/abuse problems.
It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF 12 KB)Assures teens with parents wh