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Addiction and Substance Abuse

An "invisible line" can be drawn between substance abuse and addiction, also called substance dependence. Substance abuse is a behavior, something people do. And lots of people do it. In some age and race groups, more people abuse substances (such as alcohol or other mood-altering drugs) than do not. Our society approves of substance abuse, and sometimes even encourages it. Advertisements, movies, and other media would have us believe that abusing substances - getting drunk or high - can be funny, cool, or even sexy. Most people who abuse substances do so when they are young, and most grow out of that stage in their lives.

Some of the people who abuse substances, though, will cross the "invisible line" to become addicted (More)

Understanding Addiction and Substance Abuse

  • Alcohol Facts for Teens
  • CAGE questions (NIAAA)
  • Drug Testing
  • Helping Teens Make Good Choices
  • Marijuana Facts for Teens
  • Raising a Drug-Free Family
  • Raising a healthy family
  • The CRAFFT Questions (Children's Hospital Boston)
  • Tobacco Facts for Teens
  • Treatment for Chemical Dependence/Addiction
  • (More)

  • Commonly Asked Questions


  • Behavior of a Toddler of an Addict?
  • Cocaine Brain Damage?
  • Consequences of Inhaling Rubbing Alcohol?
  • Kidney Pain?
  • Other Treatment Options for Alcoholism?
  • Treating Dilaudid Addiction without Rehab?
  • What Are the Effects of Drug Abuse on Memory?
  • What Are the Side Effects of Cocaine Use?

  • Additional Information

  • Symptoms and Tests
  • Treatment
  • Complications
  • The Body
  • Research Studies
  • Info by Age, Ethnicity, Sex
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    NetWellness Expert Sybil K Marsh

    Sybil K Marsh, MD, MA
    Case Western Reserve University


    Research and Your Health:
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    Last Updated: Feb 29, 2016