Substance use

Psychoactive substances are various natural or synthetic compounds that act on the nervous system causing alterations in the functions that regulate thoughts, emotions and behavior. There are regulations for the control and supervision of the use of these substances, either for recreational use, such as alcohol or tobacco; for drug use, such as tranquilizers or opioid analgesics, or general use, such as industrial solvents. There is a group whose use is considered illegal and authorized only for medical or research purposes, as in the case of cocaine and its derivatives. The use of psychoactive substances always involves a degree of risk of adverse effects on different organs and systems, which can occur in a short term, as in the case of poisoning, which increases the risk of injuries or aggression, and unsafe sexual behavior. Repeated or prolonged use in time of these substances, favors the development of dependence disorders that are chronic and recurrent disorders characterized by severe need of substance and loss of the ability to control their consumption, despite adverse consequences of health status, interpersonal, family, academic, occupational, or legal operation. The damage associated with the use of psychoactive substances, short or long term, depends on the interaction of a set of factors such as the type of substance and form of consumption, personal, physical and psychological characteristics of consumers, but also the social context in which consumption occurs.
Numerous interventions based on scientific evidence that are effective in reducing substance use and its impact on health, either by preventing the use, early addressing the population at risk, trying dependency or adverse consequences of the use and promoting recovery in the medium and long term. Treatment should be accessible, especially for the most vulnerable, suited to the needs and profile of the user population, maintained in the long term, focusing on the recovery and protected from human rights groups.