Large doses produce convulsions, comas, and heart and lung failure. Lysergic acid dyethylamine (L.S.D. or "acid"), mescaline and psilocybin cause illusions, hallucinations and altered perception of time and space. Physical effects include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased appetite, insomnia and tremors. Psychological reactions include panic, confusion, paranoia, anxiety and loss of control. Flashbacks, or delayed effects, can occur even after use has ceased.

  • People who use both alcohol and drugs also are at risk for dangerous interactions between these substances.
  • Prolonged consumption of drugs and alcohol increases your tolerance, therefore requiring more of the substance to achieve the same desirable effects.
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse , The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, May 13, 1998.
  • Preston Memorial Hospital Corp.,the court considered the ADA claim of a nurse who was stealing medication to which she had become addicted.While the hospital investigated the matter, the nurse was put in drug rehabilitation.

The sweet taste covers the taste of alcohol, giving the false impression one can drink more without the intoxicating effects. Because many people use alcohol while using other drugs,4NIDA supports and conducts research on both the biological and social dynamics between alcohol use and the use of other substances. Researchers believe that some of the same genes that increase a person’s risk for problems with alcohol also might put him or her at greater risk for drug dependence. Moreover, those same genes might increase the risk for other psychiatric problems, such as conduct disorder and adult antisocial behavior (i.e., externalizing behaviors) . Environment—Just like growing up in a home where fried foods, soda and sugary sweets increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes, growing up in a home with adults who use drugs increases the risk of addiction. High-rent districts, "seedy" neighborhoods, age, race, sex or income—addiction weaves its way through all walks of life.

University Health Service

Prescription stimulant drugs, dubbed "academic steroids," are used by some college students in an attempt to enhance their academic performance. These drugs are often prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD, and should be used only as prescribed and with ongoing medical supervision. It is against federal law to use these medications without an authorized prescription from a physician.

LEXIS 1331 (4th Cir. 1998) ; Miners v. Cargill Communications, Inc., 113 F.3d 820 (8th Cir. 1997), cert. Ct. 441 ; Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms v. Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices, 95 F.3d 1102 (Fed. Cir. 1996) ( it is well-established that alcoholism meets the definition of a disability ). The IHME classification does not include tobacco – the health burden as a result of tobacco smoking is discussed in our entry on smoking. Smoking You can explore global, regional and national data on the prevalence of smoking and its health impacts in our full article here.


Signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary, depending on the substance. Some commonly inhaled substances include glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and household aerosol products. Due to the toxic nature of these substances, users may develop brain damage or sudden death. People use cannabis by smoking, eating or inhaling a vaporized form of the drug.


The unalcohol vs drugsful possession, sale, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on Harvard property or as a part of any Harvard activity are violations of University rules as well as the law and are prohibited. Help from your health care provider, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program can help you overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free. Although you probably want the substance use to stop as soon as possible, immediate abstinence from certain drugs has certain risks including withdrawal symptoms and serious medical consequences.


Examples include methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also called MDMA, ecstasy or molly, and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, known as GHB. Other examples include ketamine and flunitrazepam or Rohypnol ― a brand used outside the U.S. ― also called roofie. These drugs are not all in the same category, but they share some similar effects and dangers, including long-term harmful effects. An employer may refuse to hire an applicant or may discharge or discipline an employee based upon a test result that indicates the illegal use of drugs. The employer may take these actions even if an applicant or employee claims that he or she recently stopped illegally using drugs.

Get Help for Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is the misuse of alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medications, and the use of illegal drugs. Find treatment and recovery services for substance abuse and learn how to prevent drug and alcohol problems.Recognize the Signs and Effects of Substance AbuseAlcohol and drug addiction can happen to anyone at any age. Learn the signs of someone with a drug or alcohol problem, the effect of drugs, and how to prevent substance abuse: Find the signs of someone with a drug use problem.Find the signs of someone with an alcohol use problem.Learn about opioid abuse and addiction.Find Treatment for Substance AbuseThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers these services to help with drug and alcohol abuse:Call SAMHSA's national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357). This treatment referral and information service is confidential, free, and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in English and Spanish. It's for individuals and...  Ещё

Using the measure of fails to capture the full health consequences of substance use disorders. Drugs not only lead to death, but also to diseases and disabilities that impact people’s health. All treatment starts with a screening, which is a series of questions about the amount and frequency of alcohol or other drug use and the consequences it may be causing.

Health and Behavioral Risks of Alcohol and Drug Use

Addiction fuels habits too—craving a cigarette every morning with coffee or wanting a hit when you drive past the house where you used to do drugs. In 2011 the American Society of Addiction Medicine joined the AMA, defining addiction as a chronic brain disorder, not a behavior problem, or just the result of making bad choices. Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing.


According to NESARC, 8.5 percent of adults in the United States met the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, whereas 2 percent met the criteria for a drug use disorder and 1.1 percent met the criteria for both. People who are dependent on drugs are more likely to have an alcohol use disorder than people with alcoholism are to have a drug use disorder. Young people ages 18–24 had the highest rates of co-occurring alcohol and other drug use disorders . Men were more likely than women to have problems with alcohol, drugs, or the two substances combined . Alcohol use, even in low doses, significantly can impair judgment and coordination.