Substance Abuse

Substance abuse defined:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome – a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.

Find out more about drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism from these online sources:

Mayo Clinic
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
The U.S. National Library of Medicine

What can you do if you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol?

Seeking professional help for drug or alcohol abuse can be extremely helpful. You may consult with your primary care physician about your options, or use the locators listed below to find a behavioral health professional:

American Psychological Association (APA) Locator
HelpPro Therapist Locator

You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

Emergency situations:

If you are experiencing a crisis please call 911 or one of the numbers listed below, or go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255
National Hopeline Net 800-784-2433

The above information was compiled for Box of Stars by the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation (TSBHF). The resources listed are not those of TSBHF. The provided information should not replace seeking medical attention.