Substance Abuse Prevention
Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention
Substance abuse can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. The DSM-5 defines drug abuse as "the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are indicated or in a manner or in quantities other than directed."
Students who abuse substances may:
Fail to fulfill major role obligations (e.g., poor work performance or repeated absences from work or school, and or household)
Use substances in situations that are physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating machinery when impaired by substance use)
Experience substance-related legal problems (e.g., substance-related disorderly conduct, DUI)
Continue to use substances despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or worsened by the effects of substances (e.g., arguments or physical fights)
Substance Use Disorder/ Dependence:
Drug dependence is a condition resulting from the prolonged and usually intense consumption of a drug or drugs which has resulted in psychological and/or physiological dependence on drug consumption. This dependence causes significant problems in one or more areas of the person’s life. According to the DSM 5, substance use disorder/drug dependence is a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms indicating that the individual continues to use a substance(s) despite significant substance related issues.
The DSM-5 term for substance not only includes psychoactive chemicals of abuse but also medications and toxins with psychoactive effects and includes the following 11 classes of chemicals: “alcohol, amphetamine or similarly acting sympathomimetics; cannabis; cocaine; hallucinogens; inhalants; nicotine; opioids; phencyclidine or similarly acting arylcyclohexylamines; and sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics”.
Students who are dependent upon a substance may experience:
Tolerance, which refers to the need to increase amounts of the substance in order to achieve intoxication or the desired effect. A sign of tolerance is a diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of substance.
Withdrawal, which is the development of a substance-specific syndrome when substance use is stopped or decreased. The type and length of withdrawal symptoms vary depending upon the substance. A sign of withdrawal is the need to take the same or similar substance in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Take substances in a larger amount or over a longer period of time
Want to cut down or control substance use, but may be unable to do so
Spend a lot of time and effort doing whatever is necessary to obtain the substance or recovering from the negative effects of using the substance
Give up or reduce social, occupation, or recreational activities because of substance use
Continue to use the substance despite awareness of physical or psychological problems that are either caused or worsened by substance use
Commonly abused substances include:
Opiates and narcotics are powerful painkillers that cause drowsiness (sedation) and sometimes feelings of euphoria. These include heroin, opium, codeine, meperidine (Demerol), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and oxycodone (Percocet, Percodan, and Oxycontin). * Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants include amphetamines, cocaine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and methylphenidate (Ritalin). These drugs have a stimulating effect, and people can start needing higher amounts of these drugs to feel the same effect (tolerance).
Central nervous system depressants include alcohol, barbiturates (amobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital), benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan, Xanax), chloral hydrate, and paraldehyde. These substances produce a sedative and anxiety-reducing effect, which can lead to dependence.
Hallucinogens include LSD, mescaline, psilocybin ("mushrooms"), and phencyclidine (PCP or "angel dust"). They can cause people to see things that aren't there (hallucinations) and can lead to psychological dependence.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient found in marijuana (cannabis) and hashish.
Symptoms of drug use
Some of the symptoms and behaviors of drug abuse/dependence include:
Continuing to use drugs even when health, school, work, or family are being harmed
Episodes of violence
Hostility when confronted about drug or alcohol usage
Lack of control over drug abuse - being unable to stop or reduce drug or alcohol intake
Making excuses to use drugs
Missing work or school, or a decrease in performance
Need for daily or regular drug use to function
Neglecting to eat
Not caring about physical appearance
No longer taking part in activities because of drug abuse
Secretive behavior to hide drug use
Using drugs even when alone
At Brighton High School contact:
Lance Mitchell Prevention/Intervention Youth Specialist
242 – 5000 ext. 5012
Community service providers:
Tony Klein Director, Rochester Regional
368 – 4718
Rick Briggs Director, Westfall Associates
473 – 1500 ext. 240
Carly Constantino Regional coordinator, Conifer Park
Margie Taber Program Coordinator, Delphi recovery
464 – 2230
Is your child breaking home curfew/runaway, not attending school and or being physical within the home?
Contact F.A.C.T (Family Access and connection team)
753 – 2639
Needing support to address your own thoughts and feelings regarding your child’s drug usage?
Family Recovery Network: Janice Holmesfamily
Al – Anon family groups