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Military Health System

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive substance seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to abuse substances is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge a person's self control and ability to resist intense impulses urging him or her to use substances.

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Substances

There are a myriad of substances which can be abused or misused, all of which have dangerous health implications. While many drugs are illegal, some legal substances can be bad for you in large quantities or if taken incorrectly.

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Treatment

Scientific research has shown that treatment can help drug-addicted individuals stop drug use, avoid relapse and successfully recover their lives. Based on this research, 13 fundamental principles that characterize effective drug abuse treatment have been developed.

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Getting Help

Friends and family may be among the first to recognize the signs of substance abuse. Early recognition increases chances for successful treatment. Many treatment options and informational resources are available for members of the military community.

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DoD Instruction 1010.04: Problematic Substance Use by DoD Personnel

Policy

Establishes policies, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for problematic alcohol and drug use prevention, identification, diagnosis, and treatment for DoD military and civilian personnel.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 1010.04
  • Date: 2/20/2014
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Substance Abuse
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Last Updated: November 03, 2022
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