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Substance Use and Misuse

Substance Use

Any use of an illegal drug or improper use of a substance is referred to as substance misuse. Repeated substance use, legal or illegal, may lead to physical dependence, addiction or both. Physical dependence occurs when the body has adapted to the repeated use of a substance. Addiction means a compulsion to continue substance use despite harmful consequences.

Substance use disorders represent clinically significant impairment caused by recurrent alcohol and drug use. In Iowa, the most commonly used substances are tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines, opioids and prescriptions drugs.

A system of evidence-based substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies are essential to address the rising trend in substance use. Prevention strategies and programs aim to educate and reduce the risk of developing a substance use disorder. Substance use disorder treatment includes interventions, therapies, and other supportive services to help treat and manage symptoms of a diagnosed substance use disorder. Recovery services provide support to an individual in recovery and may include peer support, faith-based programs, support with employment, education and housing, among others.