Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is defined as an individual being dependent on an addictive substance, such as any drugs or alcohol. However, when mixed with a person struggling mental health, substance abuse has an enormous effect, especially if the person struggling is using the substance to escape their thoughts and feelings. 

Drug Abuse

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The most commonly abused drugs (includes prescription drugs):

  • Marijuana 

  • Adderall

  • Ritalin

  • Oxycodone

  • Inhalants

  • Psychedelics (LSD, Mushrooms)

Risks of drug abuse include:

  • Illness or injury

  • Affected schooling (i.e., suspension, expulsion)

  • Declining job performance (can also affect future jobs)

  • Birth defects in cases of pregnancy

  • Overdose

  • Death

Withdrawal signs & symptoms:

  • Extreme nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Sweating excessively

  • Loss of appetite

  • Irritability

  • Inability to sleep

Additional Resources

Alcohol Abuse

Signs of use:

  • Numerous empty bottles, cans, shot glasses

  • Alcohol smelling breath

  • Slurred speech

  • Poor coordination

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea 

Risks of drug abuse include:

  • Illness (liver and heart disease)

  • Weakened immune system

  • High risk of developing cancer

  • Alcohol poisoning 

  • Death

Withdrawal signs & symptoms:

  • Extreme nausea

  • Anxiety

  • Headache

  • Inability to sleep

  • Hallucinations

  • Seizures

  • High blood pressure

Additional Resources

How to Prevent Alcohol Abuse

Parents with Alcoholic Children

Tips for Parents of Addicted Children

Contact Us

PHONE: 515.339.3837

4801 Franklin Ave. 

Des Moines, IA 50310


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