Substance Abuse Resource Guide

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No one is immune to the risks of using drugs and alcohol. Although alcohol is legal for adults, many people of different ages experience problems from overusing and abusing alcohol. Substance abuse includes alcohol and drugs of both the illegal and prescription variety. Learning about the dangers of substance abuse early can help you avoid dangerous mistakes that could impact your health for the rest of your life.


When talking about drugs, it’s common for people to immediately think about illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Although these drugs are dangerous and should be avoided, there are also other types of drugs to consider. Prescription medications are common for people who have health issues or problems with recurring pain. Although these medications are helpful when a doctor prescribes them and the patient uses them correctly, they can be dangerous if they are abused. Some people use these drugs when a doctor has not prescribed them, or they use the drugs for a longer period of time or in greater amounts than they’re supposed to. If this happens, dangerous addiction can occur.

  • Preventing Drug Use(PDF): Everyone has some risk of developing a drug addiction, but some people’s situations make them more likely to have problems with addiction.
  • A Prescription for Pain (PDF): Doctors sometimes prescribe prescription medication for pain, but some people have problems because they take these medications when they don’t need them.
  • Tips for Parents on Keeping Kids Drug-Free (PDF): The younger a person is at the time of drug experimentation, the more likely it is that they will go on to have problems with drugs.
  • Child’s First Eight Years Critical for Substance Abuse Prevention: Being healthy and strong while you’re a child helps you avoid drugs and alcohol when you get to your teen years.
  • Warning Signs: Someone struggling with drugs will usually show warning signs such as problems in school and unusual mood changes.
  • Drug Prevention for Teens (PDF): Dangerous drugs can be street substances such as marijuana or medications that people keep in their medicine cabinets.
  • Preventing Drug Abuse: Not using drugs in the first place is the best defense against developing a problem with these dangerous substances.
  • Preventing Teen Abuse of Prescription Drugs: Fact Sheet (PDF): Using pain relievers or stimulant medications in ways that are different from how they are prescribed can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
  • True Stories: Reading true stories about people who have misused drugs can be a sobering way to learn about their dangers.
  • Raising Drug-Free Children: Parents can help their kids avoid drug addiction by setting a positive example, setting clear expectations, and being involved with daily activities.
  • Raising Drug-Free Kids: Advice by Age (PDF): It’s important to have open communication between parents and kids so kids can ask questions about drugs and alcohol to learn about the risks.
  • Information About Amphetamines: Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that people use to stay awake or feel more energetic.
  • Keep Your Kids Drug-Free This Summer: Kids need to be active over the summer so they don’t feel tempted to experiment with drugs. Working at a part-time job or participating in extracurricular activities are good ways to stay busy.
  • Prescription Drug Misuse/Abuse and Your Kids: Kids who need to take prescription drugs for a health issue need to have their parents keep track of and dispense their medications for safety.
  • Protect Your Kids! Prescription Drug Alert: It’s common for people to think that prescription medication is safer than street drugs; however, these medicines are often just as powerful and dangerous.
  • Club Drugs: Club drugs are drugs that affect the central nervous system, which can have a big impact on the way people behave.
  • Raising Awareness of Opioid Addiction (video): Watch this video to hear people with drug problems share their stories.
  • Marijuana Myths and Facts (PDF): Many people think that marijuana is harmless, but this drug can have a negative effect on how people think and concentrate.
  • Live Above the Influence: Take this quiz to see how strong you might be if you are in a situation where someone offers you drugs.
  • Bath Salts: Bath salts are powders that some people misuse dangerously to feel more energetic.
  • A Brief History of Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is a stimulant that people abuse to give them more energy and to stay awake.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention: Abusing prescription drugs can result in addiction and even dangerous overdoses.


Alcohol is a common part of society, and many adults engage in social drinking. Although drinking alcohol is a legal activity for people older than 21, there are several issues that make alcohol potentially dangerous. First, many people under 21 drink alcohol, even though this is illegal. Underage alcohol consumption is dangerous for young people because alcohol can be more harmful to kids’ health. Drinking alcohol can also lead to accidents and other dangerous situations. Adults also need to be careful about how often and how much alcohol they consume because alcohol addiction is common and harmful.