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Drug Abuse and Dependence, Epidemiology of

Drug dependence is a disorder with neurobiological, social, and psychological influences. It is characterized by a pattern of maladaptive behaviors that develop as a consequence of the reinforcing effects of a drug that promotes continued use. Drug abuse and dependence have both direct and indirect impacts on individual health and also lead to social costs including those associated with drug-related crime. Although dependence is often a chronic, relapsing condition that accounts for a large public health burden, a large proportion of those with drug dependence remit even without treatment. This entry reviews the diagnoses of drug abuse and dependence, examines individual and environmental risk factors, discusses the individual and social costs of abuse and dependence, and considers options for the prevention and treatment of drug ...

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