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Drug Abuse and Dependence - When to Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you or someone else:

  • Has overdosed or has withdrawal signs. Be sure to tell the emergency workers that you are or someone else is using or trying to quit using drugs. Overdose or withdrawal signs may include:

Call your doctor if:

  • You think you have a problem with drugs.
  • You are having withdrawal symptoms. These may include nausea or vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.

Who can treat a drug problem?

Health professionals who can diagnose, prescribe medicine for, and treat drug abuse problems include:

Counseling usually is part of treatment. This can be done by:

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won't need treatment. If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.

Watchful waiting is not a good choice for drug abuse and dependence. If you have a drug problem, or if you believe that your health or other areas of your life are being affected by drugs, you need to take steps to stop using drugs.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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