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Population Health for Nurses

D | Frequently Used and Misused Substances

Population Health for NursesD | Frequently Used and Misused Substances

The most commonly used drugs are:

  • marijuana,
  • cocaine,
  • opiates,
  • methamphetamines, and
  • alcohol.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides current information on substance use and misuse along with a Commonly Used Drugs Chart with links to information about each drug.

NIDA also provides a PDF of commonly used substances and principles of drug addiction treatment: Commonly Abused Drugs.

As a population health nurse, your role in screening clients for a substance use disorder could save their life. However, it may be challenging to start the conversation. See this link from the CDC on talking about drug use with your clients.

Your words will matter when discussing addiction; use person-first language. This guide offers tips to remember in order to reduce the stigma and negative bias surrounding addiction.

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