Drug Abuse

Also called: Substance abuse

Drug abuse is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way. Each year drug abuse causes millions of serious illnesses or injuries among Americans. Abused drugs include

Drug abuse also plays a role in many major social problems, such as drugged driving, violence, stress, and child abuse. Drug abuse can lead to homelessness, crime, and missed work or problems with keeping a job. It harms unborn babies and destroys families. There are different types of treatment for drug abuse. But the best is to prevent drug abuse in the first place.

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

The following features are indicative of Drug Abuse:
  • impulsivity
  • increased risk of suicide
  • increased risks of committing criminal offences
  • mental illness
  • prolonged psychosis
  • depression
  • psychotic disorders
  • anxiety
It is possible that Drug Abuse shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Drug Abuse

The following are the most common causes of Drug Abuse:
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Drug Abuse

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Drug Abuse:
  • family history
  • mental health disorder such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • being male
  • lack of family involvement
  • taking a highly addictive drug such as cocaine or opioid painkillers

Prevention of Drug Abuse

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Drug Abuse. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • parents should strengthen their bond with the children
  • don't abuse alcohol or addictive drugs
  • educate the children about the risks of drug's use and abuse

Occurrence of Drug Abuse

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Drug Abuse cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Drug Abuse can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Drug Abuse can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Drug Abuse

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Drug Abuse:
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: To diagnose the mental conditions
  • Blood and urine tests: To assess the drug use

Doctor for Diagnosis of Drug Abuse

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Drug Abuse:
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Licensed alcohol and drug counselor

Complications of Drug Abuse if untreated

Yes, Drug Abuse causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Drug Abuse is left untreated:
  • psychotic behavior
  • seizures
  • coma
  • can damage the brain
  • infectious diseases
  • mental and physical health problems
  • accidents

Procedures for Treatment of Drug Abuse

The following procedures are used to treat Drug Abuse:
  • Talk therapy or psychotherapy: Helps in developing the ways to cope with your drug cravings

Self-care for Drug Abuse

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Drug Abuse:
  • Communicate with children: Talk to your children about the risks of drug use and abuse
  • Set a good example: Don't abuse alcohol or addictive drugs
  • Strengthen the bond: Work on your relationship with your children
  • Stick with your treatment plan: Monitor your cravings

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Drug Abuse

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Drug Abuse:
  • Try art therapy: Helps the patients in drawing their emotions
  • Music therapy: Motivate patients to receive treatment
  • Acupuncture: Provides relaxation

Patient Support for Treatment of Drug Abuse

The following actions may help Drug Abuse patients:
  • See a therapist: Helps in regaining the peace of mind and mend your relationships
  • Seek treatment for other mental health disorders
  • Join a support group: Helps in coping with addiction

Time for Treatment of Drug Abuse

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Drug Abuse to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Drug Abuse.
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