Information about Substance Abuse - Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco

  • Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are all substances people abuse.  The reasons for use/abuse are complicated and varied, but substance abuse affects families in every community across the U.S. in some way.  Driving while intoxicated (drugs or alcohol), violence, stress, child abuse, crime, homelessness, disrupted or destroyed families are all consequences of substance abuse. Additional effects are damage to personal health and the increased potential of physical and/or emotional trauma.  It has been shown that the early use of drugs increases the chances of more serious drug abuse and addiction in the future.

    Scientists study the effects that drugs have on the brain and on people's behavior. They use this information to develop programs for preventing drug abuse and for helping people recover from addiction.  Education and prevention activities aimed at children and adolescents about drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse offer the best chance to curb abuse throughout the country.

    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Make a difference, talk to your child about alcohol -

    Information for young teens on alcohol abuse - 

    Prevent underage alcohol use -

    Understanding the science behind drug abuse -

    • Marijuana
    • Prescription drug abuse
    • Stimulants
    • Anabolic steroids
    • Inhalants
    • Ecstasy/MDMA
    • Tobacco

    Other drugs


    NIH report on Marijuana abuse:

    Prescription drug use and abuse -


    NIDA - Facts on Drug Abuse and Addiction 

    Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research the health effects and consequences resulting from the abuse of a wide range of drugs.  This research includes information on substances ranging from tobacco and alcohol to prescription and illicit drugs.  Through their research, it has been shown that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that affects the body, the brain and behavior.  It is considered a disease because the structure of the brain is altered by the drug and, as a result, the function of the brain is changed.  Substance use becomes an addiction when the need to use the drug is so strong that the person is unable to stop even when the harmful effects of the substance are known.

    Scientists at NIDA use the information from their research to develop programs to prevent people from abusing drugs and to help those who are dependent on drugs recover from their addiction.

    More useful and easy-to-read information is available at this website: