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Substance Use Prevention

The early use of drugs increases a person’s chances of becoming addicted or dependent. Long-term use of drugs changes the brain which can cause serious problems. So, preventing the early use of drugs or alcohol in youth can go a long way in achieving healthy lifestyles.

Substance misuse is the harmful pattern of using substances–such as tobacco, alcohol, illicit (or illegal) drugs, and prescription drugs. Prevention and early intervention strategies can reduce the impact of substance use disorders in young adults.

Prevention approaches focus on helping people develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to make good choices or change harmful behaviors. Substance use can make daily activities difficult and impair a person’s ability to work, interact with family, and fulfill other major life functions. Along with mental health, substance use disorders are among the top conditions that cause disability in the United States. Drug and alcohol use can lead to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Preventing substance use disorders and related problems is critical to Alaskan’s all-around health.

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