Substance Abuse

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse (drug abuse) is taking something on purpose to get high. Substances that are abused include medication, household products, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, K2, and bath salts.

Substance abuse is a type of poisoning.

Poison centers are experts on substance abuse. We help doctors with difficult cases. We can answer your questions about substance abuse, too.

What are the symptoms of substance abuse?

People abuse many types of substances and the symptoms can be very different from one substance to another.  To find information on a substance, visit our A to Z index.

What can you do about substance abuse?
  • If someone has passed out or is not breathing, call 911 right away.
  • For questions about drugs of abuse, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 or chat now.
  • Learn more about substances in our A to Z Index.
For more information: