What is meant by drug and alcohol misuse?
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Drug misuse may include:
- Use of illegal drugs. The impact of this varies and will depend on the type of drug and how much is used
- Misusing prescribed drugs. This may involve someone taking medication prescribed by a doctor even though they no longer need it. Or taking medication even though it is prescribed for another person. It may involve someone taking more than the recommended dose. Or combining medications, against advice
- Drug dependency. This is when someone becomes reliant on a drug to function day to day.
Alcohol misuse may involve a person:
- Drinking to excess to the point of being unable to safely care for their child
- Being dependent on alcohol. For example, needing to drink alcohol just to get through the day.
Sometimes practitioners use the term substance misuse to talk generally about alcohol or drug misuse, or both.