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Substance Abuse

What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is the use of illegal drugs or misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Alcohol abuse is another common type of substance abuse.

How is Substance Abuse Diagnosed?

Substance abuse is diagnosed by talking with a doctor about your history, use of drugs, medicines, and alcohol and determining the significance of your usage pattern.

How is Substance Abuse Treated?

Substance abuse problems are treated through a combination of lifestyle changes, counseling and occasionally other medicines.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one may have a problem with substance abuse, contact one of our family medicine locations to schedule an appointment.

Substance Abuse: Additional Resources

Visit our UPMC patient education materials for more information about substance abuse:

Visit our Health Library for additional information on substance abuse:

Contact a Family Medicine Health Center

UPMC's Department of Family Medicine has several locations throughout the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Find a family medicine health center close to you and call us to make an appointment or find out how we can help you with your primary care needs.


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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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