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Abuse and Misuse as Community Health Problems

Definitions of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse: the use of any drug (alcohol, street drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medications) that results in a loss of control over the amount taken and when it is taken

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Dependence or addiction: present when there are physiological symptoms that occur with withdrawal of the substance

Scope of Substance Abuse

Illicit drug use

Use of alcohol

Use of Tobacco

Impact of Substance Abuse on Society

Preventable morbidity and mortality

Healthcare costs

Costs to society

Impact of Substance Abuse on the Individual

Loss of job


Health problems (acute and chronic)

Nutritional deficiences

Low self-esteem




Risk Factors for Substance Abuse

Society’s influence

The family’s influence

The workplace’s influence

Personal factors

Nursing Assessment

Nurses’ attitude self-assessment

Drug history

Recognizing the signs of substance abuse


Society’s response

Healthy People 2020

Primary prevention

Secondary prevention

Tertiary Prevention

Interventions with special populations

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