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What is Substance Misuse?

According to the American Public Health Association substance misuse is a serious public health challenge. It includes the use of illegal drugs and the inappropriate use of legal substances, such as alcohol and tobacco.

Whether through overindulgence in alcohol, misuse of prescription medication, or use of illegal drugs, such misuse is harmful to our health. More than 15,000 people died from overdoses of prescription opioids in 2015 alone. And 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related injuries, the third most common preventable cause of death in the United States.


What is Prevention? 

Prevention activities work to educate and support individuals and communities to prevent the use and misuse of drugs and the development of substance use disorders. Substance use and mental disorders can make daily activities difficult and impair a person’s ability to work, interact with family, and fulfill other major life functions. Mental and substance use disorders are among the top conditions that cause disability in the United States. Preventing mental and/or substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders and related problems is critical to behavioral and physical health.



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