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Substance misuse 

Substance misuse
Substance misuse

Stephen Potts

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date: 02 March 2021

Many chemical substances are taken for their psychoactive properties, even if prescribed for other purposes. Such use and misuse of psychoactive substances is so highly prevalent that it inevitably impinges on medical practice. All physicians therefore need a general understanding of the ways in which substance misuse may interrelate with medical needs, as well as a specific understanding of the inter-relationships most relevant to their own area of medical practice. Use of psychoactive substances may lead to acute intoxication and its consequences, or the effects of chronic use and dependence. Acute intoxication is associated with accidents and with acute psychiatric and medical illness. Chronic misuse may cause medical harm, which is often linked to the route of administration. Injection of substances poses particular hazards.

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