Substance misuse abuse covers misuse of a range of mind altering substances.

It can have a severe impact on your functioning as well as your physical health.

Substance abuse or misuse is formally defined as the continued misuse of any mind-altering substance that severely affects person’s physical and mental health, social situation and responsibilities.

Alcohol dependence is the most common form of substance misuse, but any drug, including heroin, cocaine, crack and cannabis, comes into this category, as does the misuse of glue and aerosols.

Most forms of substance abuse may give you a temporary feeling of well-being or of being in control, but all of them can ultimately damage your health.

There are many reasons why you may start to use any of these substances. You may begin because of curiosity, rebellion, or influence from peers. You may find the experience enjoyable and want to repeat it. It may start when you are unhappy or stressed or trying to cope with problems in your life.

Drugs, alcohol, nicotine, solvents and even food can start as ‘props’ to help you get through difficult times. But the feelings of relief are only temporary and, as the problems don’t disappear, you may use more and more of these substances and risk becoming dependent on them – which in itself creates new problems.

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