Drug Dependence & Abuse (cont.)
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When to Seek Medical Care for Drug Dependence & Abuse
Someone who wishes to receive treatment for substance abuse or dependence should see a doctor. Family members should accompany the person with a drug abuse problem to the doctor's appointment to discuss the issue.
A person with an acute drug overdose should be brought to a hospital's emergency department immediately. The emergency department is a frequent place for people who suffer from drug dependence to seek medical care. People who are behavior problems may come to the attention of the emergency medical services system or police. These public service professionals can assist in bringing the person to the hospital.
Drug Dependence & Abuse Diagnosis
In order to determine if the diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence is appropriate, the doctor will determine what substances have been abused and will ask what symptoms prompted the person to seek care. The health care professional will assess whether the individual being evaluated meets diagnostic criteria for a specific substance abuse disorder. The doctor will then perform a physical examination to evaluate for possible organ damage.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017
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