In our society “drug” is a loaded word. Certain drugs like caffeine are common and are found in products such as coffee, soda, and energy drinks. Other drugs (such as heroin) can have more immediate and devastating consequences.
For a variety of reasons, sometimes people consume drugs in unsafe ways, which may lead them to develop a substance abuse problem. Substance abuse occurs when a person uses a substance (for example, drug or medication) in a dangerous or unhealthy way that impairs their social, emotional, physical, professional, or psychological well-being. Oftentimes, people with substance abuse or substance dependence problems also struggle with other psychological problems like depression, anxiety, or psychosis.
Although improving in some areas, in the United States illicit, dangerous, or irresponsible drug use is high. For example, in 2011 almost 29 million people – about 11% of the population – reported driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the past year. For more facts on substance abuse in the United States click here.
If you have any concerns about how you consume a drug or substance – including alcohol, prescription medications, or marijuana – please know that help is available to you. Search our database of licensed psychologists to contact support and educate yourself about potential treatment options that work for you.
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Many smokers find it incredibly difficult to kick the habit and often feel discouraged and pessimistic about ever being able to quit for good. The good news is that there are treatments that can greatly enhance your chances of successfully quitting.
From our archives: When I was 19, I completed my first stint in rehab. I never really wanted to get into ‘the hard stuff’, so I got my highs through alcohol. It was never really a high I was after, though; I simply wanted to escape into another world, to forget about a loss that is still too hard to talk about.
Mental Health America (MHA) has made a collection of mental health screening tools available to the public free of charge. These screening tools are offered as a means for members of the community to answer questions that may increase self awareness about personal mental health.
The United States usually spends about $135 billion dollars a year – 5.5% of national health care spending – on mental health treatment. Despite this money, many people do not have adequate access to mental health care. For example, almost 90 million Americans live in federally designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.
At least one in four Americans struggle with a major mental health disorder. And virtually every adult in the United States has a family member or friend with a mental disorder – be it depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorder, ADHD, or another.
The very nature of addiction is controversial. Today, many consider addiction a disease. Medically speaking, addiction may be a chronic illness of the nervous system, a neurobiological disorder encompassing genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. In fact, many psychiatric disorders are classified as neurobiological, like schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, bipolar disorders, and autism. However, there are also those who consider addicts to be self-indulgent individuals who lack the will power to overcome addiction