Substance Abuse Topic Guide
Substance Abuse: People abuse substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for varied and complicated reasons, but it is clear that our society pays a significant cost. Symptoms and signs of substance abuse include forgetfulness, frequent hangovers, having blackouts, and getting into trouble with the law. Treatment typically involves counseling and prescription medications to control withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.
Narcotic Abuse In 2007, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services reported that 21% of people over 12 years of age used prescription painkillers nonmedically. Narcotic abuse is when people use narcotics for reasons apart from the narcotic's pain-relief purpose. Signs and symptoms of narcotic abuse include euphoria, shallow breathing, small pupils, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, confusion, and needle marks on the skin. Treatment involves addressing the long-term psychological dependence associated with narcotic abuse and administering medications such as buprenorphine, clonidine, and naltrexone to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
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