What you should know…


1aAddiction is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, which in turn affect human behavior. Once addiction develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug craving, seeking and use.


2aThe impact of addiction can be far reaching. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug abuse. Some of these effects occur when drugs are used at high doses or after prolonged use; however, some may occur after just one use.


3aMental health and substance use disorders have a direct and measurable impact on your physical health and overall well-being. Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic medical conditions, and drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury-related deaths.





4aMental and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable, and many people do recover. 


5The integration of physical and behavioral health leads to better health outcomes and overall cost savings. Addressing the impact of substance use alone is estimated to cost Americans more than $600 billion each year.



Learn more by visiting drugabuse.gov or samhsa.gov/prevention