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Opioid Use Disorder
What is opioid use disorder? Opioid use disorder means that a person uses opioids even though it causes harm to themself or others. It can range from mild to severe. The more signs of it you have, the more severe it may be. Moderate to severe opioid use disorder is sometimes called addiction. People who have it may find...

Planning for Alcohol or Drug Relapse
Stopping substance use, whether you use alcohol or illegal or prescription drugs, is very hard. Very few people succeed the first time they try to stop. A lapse or relapse is likely. A lapse is the first time you use a drug or alcohol again after you have quit. Or it can be brief episodes of use at later points. A...

Residential Treatment for Substance Use
In residential treatment, you live in an alcohol-free and drug-free setting while recovering from substance use disorder. How long you stay varies. You may stay for a number of months or more. Residential treatment may be a good option if you have a long history of alcohol or drug use or crime, have a bad home...

Cocaine
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is used legally as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It may contain other substances, such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. It may also contain other drugs, such as another local anesthetic called...

Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Affect Your Lifespan?
Interactive tool that helps you estimate the impact smoking will have on your lifespan. Provides links to info on quitting tobacco use and a decision tool to determine whether you're ready to quit smoking.

Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. It's like amphetamine, which doctors use to treat sleep problems (narcolepsy), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and severe overweight problems. The illegal form of methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting, crystalline powder that can be dissolved...

Teen Substance Use Disorder: Choosing a Treatment Program
The program you choose for your teen needs to view substance use as a primary disease and not as a symptom. Your teen needs to have a complete evaluation to determine the level of substance use and the presence of other mental health or medical conditions. If you need to place your teen in a treatment program, look for...

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Substance Use Disorder
If you have substance use disorder, your doctor may suggest treatment at an inpatient or outpatient facility. At inpatient facilities, you stay overnight. At outpatient facilities, you come only during the day. How long you stay varies among programs. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs both usually involve the...

Teen Substance Use: Making a Contract With Your Teen
Putting a plan for avoiding alcohol and substance use in writing will help your teen make good decisions in the future. Using the example below, have your teen help you write the contract. Teens feel more responsible for their actions when they are...

Inhalant Use
Inhalants are substances that produce chemical vapors that, when inhaled, result in mind-altering effects. The term inhalant is used because these substances are rarely, if ever, used by any other means. These substances are common household, industrial, or medical products. But most people do not think of them as...

Alcohol Use Disorder
Is this topic for you? This topic is about alcohol use disorder in adults. For information about alcohol problems in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is alcohol use disorder? Alcohol use disorder means having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits, such as drinking every day or drinking...

Teen Alcohol and Drug Use
What is teen substance use? Many teens try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Some teens try these substances only a few times and stop. Others can't control their urges or cravings for them. This is substance use disorder. Moderate to severe substance use disorder is sometimes called addiction. Teens may try a number of...

LSD
Signs of use It's hard to detect LSD use. Things that point to LSD use may include: Dilated pupils, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and dry mouth if recently taken. Possession of small squares of paper or other forms of the drug.

Substance Use Disorder
Is this topic for you? This topic is about substance use disorder in adults. For information about drug use in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is substance use disorder? Substance use disorder is using drugs in a way that harms you or that leads you to harm others. It can range from mild...

Substance Use Problems
Provides links to information about drug and alcohol misuse. Includes info on substance misuse in teens and adults and resources for cutting back or stopping drug and alcohol use.

Heroin
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive type of opioid. It is a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance (black tar heroin). It can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, or injected into a muscle or vein. Other names for heroin are smack, junk, H, and ska. Heroin is often used along with other drugs, especially cocaine...

Alcohol and Drug Use
Briefly discusses substance use behaviors. Covers alcohol use, recreational and illegal drug use, and prescription and nonprescription medicine use. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers tips on how to get help.

Anabolic Steroids
What are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone. Doctors prescribe them to treat problems such as delayed puberty and other medical problems that cause the body to make very low amounts of testosterone. Steroids make muscles bigger and bones stronger. They...

Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine
The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope: Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler. Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else. Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in...

Quitting Smoking: Coping With Cravings and Withdrawal
It's not easy to quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is addicting. Your body craves it because it makes you feel good. So when you try to stop smoking, you go through nicotine withdrawal. You feel awful, and you may worry about gaining weight. You get cranky and anxious. It can be hard to sleep. You're not the...

Interactive Tool: Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?
Interactive tool measures your readiness to quit smoking. Helps you identify the stage of change that you're in. Offers questions to help you think about what to do next. Includes link to more info on quitting tobacco use.

Substance Use Disorder: Dealing With Teen Substance Use
Discusses teen use of alcohol and other harmful or illegal substances. Covers the effects and consequences substance use has on a teen's life, including physical and emotional health. Includes info on how to recognize and deal with teen substance use.

Naloxone Rescue Kits for Opioid Overdose
Naloxone is a medicine that reverses the effects of an opioid emergency. Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is also an opioid. Taking too much of an opioid can slow or stop your breathing. This is an emergency. If naloxone is given soon enough, it...

Interactive Tool: How Much Is Smoking Costing You?
Interactive tool helps you calculate how much money you have spent on cigarettes in the past and how much you will spend on them in the future if you keep smoking. Offers link to more info on quitting tobacco use.

Quitting Smoking
Provides questions to help you learn why you use tobacco. Discusses the benefits of quitting and offers strategies for quitting. Explains nicotine dependence and offers link to info on nicotine replacement therapy.

Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
You've made a big decision. You're going to quit smoking. Quitting is hard, and you probably know this. Maybe you've quit before. If so, that's normal. Most people quit many times. What can you do to make it more likely that you'll kick the habit for good? One important part of quitting smoking is getting help from...

Worried About Using Opioids?
Opioids are used to relieve moderate to severe pain. They may be used for a short time, such as after surgery, or for long-term pain when safer options don't help. Opioids don't cure a health problem. But they may help you manage the pain and help you function better. Opioids or other medicines that contain them...

Interactive Tool: Do You Have a Drinking Problem?
Offers interactive tool to help you find out if you may have an alcohol problem. Calculates how many signs of a drinking problem you have. Suggests if you are at low, medium, or high risk for an alcohol problem. Links to info on alcohol abuse.

Signs of Drug Use
Signs that a person is using substances such as drugs or alcohol include behavior changes and physical changes. Substance use is more likely to cause changes in behavior than physical signs. Behavior changes These may include: Changes in sleeping or eating habits or having less interest in sex. Paying less attention to...

Comparing Stop-Smoking Medicines
Several medicines can help you stop smoking. You can take medicine to reduce your craving for nicotine. You also can use nicotine replacement products to reduce cravings and give you smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine. Your doctor can help you...

Questions About Substance Use Treatment Programs
When visiting a treatment center to see whether the program offered there meets your and your family member's needs, ask the following questions. Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors (CDC)? Counselors who are certified have special training in counseling people who have substance use problems. Are...

Substance Use: Staying Alcohol- or Drug-Free After Treatment
Recovery from substance use disorder means finding a way to stay substance-free while changing your attitudes and behaviors. Here are some tips for staying substance-free after treatment. Get support. An important part of recovery is being sure you have support. You may: Continue with counseling or group therapy. These...

Nicotine Tests
A nicotine test measures the level of nicotine—or the chemicals it produces, such as cotinine—in your blood or urine. It's usually done by testing a sample of your blood or urine. The test is used to see if you smoke or use other forms of tobacco. All forms of tobacco have nicotine. This includes pipe tobacco, cigars...

Tobacco Use in Teens
Nicotine is only one of the thousands of chemicals in tobacco, but it is the major component that acts on the brain. The lungs readily absorb nicotine from the smoke of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. The tissues of the mouth can also absorb nicotine when a person smokes cigars or pipes or chews tobacco. Nicotine reaches...

Coping With Cravings When You're Quitting Tobacco
Learn ways to deal with cravings when you're trying to quit using tobacco.

Marijuana
What is marijuana? Marijuana (cannabis) is a drug that's made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the cannabis plant. People may use marijuana for medical or recreational reasons. The two most active chemicals in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC can make you feel "high." CBD can help you feel relaxed without the...

Plan to Stop Using Alcohol
My plan to stop drinking alcohol I will stop drinking any alcohol on (date): _______________. I have written down my reasons for not drinking and placed the list: _______________________________________________________. I have discussed my plan with my family and asked for their support. They will support me by...

Assess Your Drug Use
You can complete this form and print it for easy reference. When you exit the form, the information will be deleted. Answer these questions based on your use of drugs—not alcohol— in the past 12 months. Choose the answer that is mostly right for you. These questions are asking about risky drug use, including: Using...

Substance Use Disorders in Older Adults
People who have substance use disorder keep using alcohol or other substances even though it causes harm to themselves or others. Many people think that substance use disorder happens only to teens and younger adults. But people of all ages can have this disorder, including older adults. Older adults may use illegal...

Substance Use: Helping Someone Get Treatment
If you have a family member or friend who is using illegal drugs or other substances, you probably want to help. This can be hard. You can't force a person into treatment. But you can talk to the person and encourage them to get treatment. Here are some ideas that may help. Choose a good time to talk. Find a time when...

Signs of Substance Use
The following are some obvious signs that a person may be drinking alcohol, using tobacco, or using other substances. This is not a complete list. If you suspect use of a particular substance, get more information on signs of use for that substance. Alcohol Alcoholic beverages missing from the home storage cabinet Odor...

Quitting Smoking: Preventing Slips or Relapses
A slip is when a smoker who has quit smokes one or two cigarettes. A relapse is when a smoker who has quit returns to regular smoking. It is hard to quit smoking. The temptation can be very strong. Here you will find strategies to help you avoid slips as well as a relapse. You will also find tips for deciding how soon...

Committing to Quitting: Your Quit-Tobacco Plan
Learn what to think about and plan for when you're getting ready to quit using tobacco.

Quitting Smokeless Tobacco
Tobacco products that you don't inhale are called smokeless tobacco. These products come in many forms, such as snuff and chewing tobacco. Snuff is finely cut or ground tobacco. It may be moist or dry. Moist snuff and snus may be sold loose in cans or portioned in packets that look like small tea bags. It's placed...

Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI]
Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

Quitting Smoking: Temptations and Cravings
The best way to cope with a strong temptation to smoke is to quickly remove yourself from the situation that is causing the temptation. Don't worry about "how it will look" if you leave a party, wedding reception, or public function to avoid the temptation to smoke. You have an important reason for leaving. When you...

Assess Your Tobacco Use
Whether you want to think about kicking your tobacco habit or not, you might find it interesting to take a look at the ways tobacco has worked its way into your everyday life. Check your response: Rarely Sometimes Often Smoking or chewing tobacco is something I do when I'm out having a good time with...

My Reasons to Quit Smoking
What would motivate you to quit smoking? Take a moment to fill out the smoker's self-test. Be honest when you answer the questions. You may discover that you have more good reasons to quit than to continue using tobacco. Decide if you agree with any of these statements. _____It makes me uncomfortable to know that I am...

Teen Smokers: Reasons to Quit
You may have started smoking to fit in with your friends. Maybe your parents smoke or your brother chews. Whatever the reason you began using tobacco, there are lots more reasons to stop: Smoking is much more addictive than you may believe. You may...

Smoking: Sexual and Reproductive Problems
Smoking can affect sexual activity in both men and women. Men Men who smoke may have trouble getting and keeping an erection. This is because smoking can slowly and permanently damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that carry blood to the penis. An erection is caused when blood flow to the penis...

Smoking: Health Risk for Family Members
If you are like most smokers, you know that smoking is not good for you. But what you may not know is that the smoke from your cigarettes (secondhand smoke) also puts your loved ones' health at risk. Because of secondhand smoke, spouses and children...

Smoking Habits and Rituals
The habit of smoking is very strong: you puff on a cigarette hundreds of times each and every day—and for many years. When people who have smoked for a long time stop, they find it strange to have nothing in their hands or mouths. They have become so accustomed to handling cigarettes that their hands seek cigarettes...

Smoking Triggers
Many common activities or events can trigger the urge to smoke. Knowing how to deal with them can help you prevent a slip or relapse. Here are some common triggers and ideas for how you might deal with them. Finishing a meal. Get up from the table immediately and do something else. For example, rinse your mouth with...

Health Risks Related to Smokeless Tobacco
Smokeless tobacco products include chewing tobacco and snuff. These products are less harmful than smoking cigarettes. But they are just as addictive as cigarettes and do have serious health risks. Smokeless tobacco causes the following health...

Younger-Looking and Healthier Body After Quitting Smoking
It's never too late to quit smoking. No matter when you quit, your health will improve. People who quit smoking reduce their risks for cancer, lung diseases, heart attacks, strokes, blood vessel diseases, and blindness from macular degeneration. They get sick less often, heal faster, and have fewer colds and flu...

Smoking: Choosing a Good Time to Quit
Some unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking result from picking a time when it is harder to quit. If your life is hectic, you may feel there will never be a good time to quit. In that case, pick a time to quit, and do what you can to make your life...

Track Your Tobacco Use
Tracking your tobacco use means recording things like when and where you use tobacco. When you know this, you can take steps to avoid these situations. And you can make a plan that lists what you will do instead of using tobacco when you find yourself in those situations. Tracking your tobacco use can be helpful both...

Smoking Fewer Cigarettes
Reduced smoking is a conscious change in the amount you smoke. It can prepare you to quit smoking at a later date, even if the quit date doesn't come for a long time. Reduced smoking has some limitations, and it should not be a goal itself, because...

Quitting Smoking: How Support Groups Can Help
Support groups provide encouragement when you have decided to quit smoking. Support groups can: Increase your chances of success. Keep you motivated. Allow you to express your feelings with others who understand. Give you hope and the confidence to...

Quit-Smoking Programs
A good quit-smoking program can help a person quit smoking by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in-person, by telephone, or online (on the Internet). Look for a program that is led by someone who has had training in helping people quit smoking. Better in-person smoking...

Nicotine Gum
You chew nicotine gum as a way to help yourself quit using tobacco. The gum contains nicotine and feels and looks like chewing gum. When you chew the gum, the nicotine begins to slowly release into your mouth. Then you hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gums. Cigarette smoke passes nicotine almost...

Nicotine Patches
A nicotine patch looks like an oversized adhesive bandage. The outer part of the patch sticks to your skin, while the inner portion presses against and slowly releases nicotine into your skin. See a picture of how to use these patches to help you quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco. Nicotine patches are...

Nicotine Inhaler
A nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette. It has a cartridge that contains nicotine. You inhale, and nicotine vapor is absorbed into your mouth and throat area. You don't absorb the nicotine into your lungs like you do with a cigarette. As a result, you don't get the same "hit" of nicotine as with smoking. Nicotine...

Quitting Smoking: Your Social Life
Smoking may be a big part of your social life. Do you automatically smoke when you are around someone who is smoking? Do certain people, places, or things seem to make you want to smoke? Do your friends smoke? Friends care about one another, support...

Quitting Smoking Journal
Smoking Triggers Ways to Deal With My Triggers I had a cigarette again because I like smoking at this time of day: I'd be less tempted to smoke at these times if I ... I had a cigarette because I like smoking when I'm doing things like ... I'd be less tempted to smoke when I'm doing this if I ... I had a cigarette...

Substance Use and Mental Health Conditions
Some people who have substance use disorder also have a mental health condition. Doctors call this a dual diagnosis. You need to treat both conditions to fully recover. Mental health conditions that may occur with substance use disorder include: Depression. Bipolar disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Post-traumatic...

Stan's Story: Getting There Hasn't Been Easy
For close to 40 years, Stan woke up each day feeling as if he were going to die. "Mornings were like doomsday," he recalls, describing his depression, alcohol use disorder, and prescription drug misuse. "It was like everything was just dead … that...

Alcohol and Substance Use in PTSD
Looks at the problem of using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Covers when alcohol or drug use becomes a problem. Includes a test to see if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and steps for getting help.

Alcohol Problems: Helping Someone Get Treatment
Alcohol use disorder means that a person drinks alcohol even though it causes harm to themselves or others. It can range from mild to severe. The more symptoms of this disorder you have, the more severe it may be. People who have it may find it hard to control their use of alcohol. People who have this disorder may...

Making a Plan to Help Someone Get Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
You can use this list to help you plan how to help someone you care about to get treatment for alcohol use disorder. A health professional who has special training in conducting interventions (intervention specialist) with people who have alcohol use disorder can help you set up your plan. The plan should include: When...

Helping Your Child Avoid Tobacco, Drugs, and Alcohol
Positive self-esteem, a supportive family, and positive role models help teens gain confidence to make good choices. Even young children have opinions about substance use. So start early to help your child learn the skills needed to avoid substance use. Be a good role model. As a parent, your attitude toward tobacco...

Quitting Smoking: Helping Someone Quit
Your partner or friend has decided it's time to quit smoking. This is great news. You're excited, and you want to help. But you don't want your partner or friend to feel that you're coming on too strong or that you're "checking up" on him or her. This Actionset will give you tips on helping someone who is trying to...

Recommitting to Staying Tobacco-Free
Learn how to move ahead with your plan to quit using tobacco after having a relapse.

Quitting Smoking: How Family and Friends Can Help
You can gently encourage someone who smokes to quit. Think of your comments about smoking as only one event that moves that person toward quitting. Start any discussion of quitting in a gentle way. Let the person know why you want him or her to...

Comparing Nicotine Replacement Methods
Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful for people who quit smoking. They are available in several forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, and inhalers. All forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) work equally well. But talk with your doctor about what products might be best for you and what...

Smoking to Relieve Tension or Improve Mood
Ask yourself some questions to see whether you smoke to relieve tension, irritability, and stress or to improve your mood. Does smoking a cigarette automatically come to mind when you are frustrated, angry, or sad? Does smoking a cigarette calm you when you are upset? Do you smoke more cigarettes when you are under...

Alcohol or Drug Use During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, everything you eat, drink, or take into your body affects you and your growing baby ( fetus). Pregnant women often need to make changes to have a healthy pregnancy, such as eating better or exercising. But one of the most important things you can do when you are pregnant is to avoid alcohol and drugs...

Teens: Tips for Using News and Social Media in a Healthy Way
Learn strategies to help yourself manage the impact of news and social media use in your everyday life.

Alcohol Problems: How to Stop Drinking
You can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group, or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of withdrawal. If you think you have alcohol use disorder...

CAGE Questionnaire for Alcohol Problems
The CAGE questionnaire is used to test for alcohol use disorder in adults. It is not used to diagnose the disease but only to show whether a problem might exist. The CAGE questionnaire consists of four questions that relate to your use of alcohol: Have you ever felt that you ought to C ut down on your...

Physical Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder
The physical signs of alcohol use disorder can be vague in the early stages of the disease. Some early symptoms include: Blackouts, which cause you to not remember what happened when you were drinking. Blackouts aren't the same as passing out. Passing out means that you lose consciousness. You don't pass out when you...

Quitting Smoking and Avoiding Smoke During Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. Secondhand smoke also is a problem. Babies whose mothers breathe other people's tobacco smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have health problems. Smoking...

Smoking: Problems With Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. Babies whose mothers breathe secondhand smoke during pregnancy are also more likely to have health problems. Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of...

Drinking More Than You Want To?
This topic helps readers assess whether they may have a drinking problem.

Smoking and Coronary Artery Disease
Quitting smoking is probably the most important step you can take to decrease your chance of coronary artery disease and a heart attack. Smoking raises your risk of getting coronary artery disease and dying early from it. Carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other substances in tobacco smoke can promote atherosclerosis and...

Alcohol Withdrawal
What is alcohol withdrawal? If you drink alcohol regularly and then cut down on how much you drink or suddenly stop drinking, you may go through some physical and emotional problems. That's because the alcohol is clearing out of your system. This is called withdrawal. Clearing the alcohol from your body is called...