The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that in 2006, 20.4 million Americans ages 12 years or older used an illicit drug in the month prior to the survey. About 7 million could be classified with a substance abuse or dependence disorder in the past year. Substance abuse can be defined as a harmful pattern of drug use that results in repeated adverse consequences, such as the failure to meet social obligations or encountering legal problems. The consequences of substance abuse can and often do lead to serious medical problems for not only the individual who uses drugs but also for the society at large. Some of the negative effects can occur after using a huge quantity of drugs or after using for ...

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