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Substance abuse programs and services

Addiction to alcohol or other drugs is a primary, chronic illness. The disease is often progressive and can be fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic:

  • Impaired control over one's chemical use
  • Preoccupation with alcohol or other drugs
  • Use despite adverse consequences
  • Distortions in thinking, most notably denial.

Alcohol or other drug addiction may begin with a personal choice to use these substances. However, research shows that, for many, a physiological dependence soon takes hold. Drug dependence produces significant and lasting changes in brain chemistry and function. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have behavioral consequences, including the defining characteristic of addiction: compulsion to use alcohol or other drugs despite adverse consequences.

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