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Drug Dependence & Abuse (cont.)

Prevention of Drug Dependence & Abuse

To prevent further drug use, avoiding places frequented by drug abusers and not associating with known drug abusers is important.

While knowledge about drug use and abuse can help prevent abuse in the first place and avoid relapse among those who are recovering, research is showing that a more comprehensive physical and emotional approach to a drug-free life and health in general is a more effective approach compared to just what has been called resistance education.

Prognosis of Drug Dependence & Abuse

The importance of abstaining from drug use is clear given the devastating, sometimes fatal prognosis of drug abuse and dependence. Drug abuse can affect every major organ system, even after a single use.

Treatment of drug dependence and abuse requires a long-term outlook. A person who has abused drugs in the past must be constantly vigilant never to use them again.

Relapses are common. Family and friends must provide support with a firm while caring attitude during these relapses.

Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology


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Difranza, J.R., R.J. Wellman, and J.A. Savageau. "Does progression through the stages of physical addiction indicate increasing overall addiction to tobacco?" Psychopharmacology (Berl) 219.3 Feb. 2012: 815-22.

Fahmy, V., S.L. Hatch, M. Hotopf, and R. Stewart. "Prevalences of illicit drug use in people aged 50 years and over from two surveys." Age Ageing (2012).

Gotway, M.B., S.R. Marder, D.K. Hanks, et al. "Thoracic complications of illicit drug use: an organ system approach." Radiographics 22 Oct. 2002: S119-S135.

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Last Reviewed 11/17/2017

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