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Safe and Drug-Free Schools

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Facts about Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Abuse and addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and illegal substances cost Americans upwards of half a trillion dollars a year, considering their combined medical, economic, criminal, and social impact. Every year, abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol contributes to the death of more than 100,000 Americans, while tobacco is linked to an estimated 440,000 deaths per year.

People of all ages suffer the harmful consequences of drug abuse and addiction.

  • Babies exposed to legal and illegal drugs in the womb may be born premature and underweight. This drug exposure can slow the child's intellectual development and affect behavior later in life.

  • Adolescents who abuse drugs often act out, do poorly academically, and drop out of school. They are at risk of unplanned pregnancies, violence, and infectious diseases.

  • Adults who abuse drugs often have problems thinking clearly, remembering, and paying attention. They often develop poor social behaviors as a result of their drug abuse, and their work performance and personal relationships suffer.

  • Parents' drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes and child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the well-being and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation.


Drugs, Brains, and Behavior--The Science of Addiction, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Downloaded Oct. 31, 2007.

Drugs of Abuse

Matrix of commonly abused drugs


Club Drugs





Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medications



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