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Medicine LibreTexts

8: Substance Use and Abuse

  • Page ID
    11742
  • Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives. Before further studying addiction and recovery, we must first gain an understanding of the different types of drugs and substances and their effects on the body.

    Thumbnail: Lines of cocaine prepared for insufflation. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Zxc).