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Psychoactive Substances / Substance Abuse / Drug Abuse

Written by Dr. Vivekanand, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Jul 15, 2019
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The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse.

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The WHO has defined a 'Drug' as any substance, which on entering a living organism, modifies one or more of its functions. The use of the drugs, for purposes other than the reason for its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug Abuse.


Drug abuse, Drug dependence, Harmful drug use, and Psychoactive substance use disorder, are all various names of the same condition. People generally start abusing these substances after they get addicted to it due to medical or non-medical reasons.

Addiction is generally defined as the continuous, compulsive usage of a drug despite physical and psychological harm that it may cause to the user and the society at large.


Nowadays, the term 'Substance abuse' is used frequently due to the wide range of substances, including alcohol and inhalants, that are included under the addictive drugs profile.

Drug Abuse / Drug Addiction / Substance Abuse

Conditions that arise from the misuse of alcohol, psychoactive drugs, and other chemical stimulants, are now phrased as 'Substance use disorder', or 'Psychoactive substance disorder.' Though certain drugs (Caffeine in coffee, and tea) are harmful in a mild sense, we humans are biased towards them, and hence are reluctant about branding its usage as addictive drug abuse.

There are four important patterns in which drug abuse manifests, which may or may not be related to each other.

a. Acute Intoxication

Defined as the temporary condition following the consumption of alcohol or other substances that results in a marked disturbance in the level of consciousness, cognition, perception, behavior, and other psycho-physiological functions.

b. Withdrawal State

Characterized by a group of symptoms, which are often specific to the drug or substance used, that develops with the partial or complete withdrawal of the drug, especially after a high dose usage.

This state is usually further classified as-

  • Uncomplicated.
  • Associated with convulsions.
  • Associated with Delirium.

c. Dependence Syndrome

Defined as a group of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive phenomena wherein the use of drugs or substances takes a higher priority for the user in comparison to other issues, or behavior that was considered important by him.

d. Harmful use

When there is a continued use of a drug despite the awareness of its harmful effects, both medically and socially, it is termed as harmful use.

There is also a marked pattern with the physically hazardous use of the drug, like driving under its influence.

What is new in Drug Abuse?

1. On-Site Testing of 'Party Drugs' Could Help Users Make Better Decisions

Party drugs could be tested on-site to help users understand the quality and harm caused by these drugs and whether it is worth taking them or not. The Pill testing involves party-goers having a sample of their drugs tested on-site by scientists and drug experts. They then receive information about what is in their drug, with the option of keeping the drug or anonymously handing it over.

2. Mixed Drug Abuse Could be Impacting Hospitals In Different Ways

Higher cases of endocarditis have been reported in the hospitals over the last decade, but they have been found to follow a mixed drug abuse pattern, which is worrying. Addicts with endocarditis are ten times more likely than other patients to die or require a second surgery months after initially leaving the hospital.

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The information is good,simple and direct to the points,highly educative.but what are date of publication,especially reference purpose


THE EFFECTS ON THE SOCIETY Drugs and alcohol can cause effects on the society like:- illness… As a result of all these abuse of drugs in our planet earth today, there are so many economical problems as it can lead to mental illness like psychoses or neurological illnesses. From Engr. Spark Victory Ovadje 2347060834856


what about the social causes eg peer pressure


my daughter is intreatment as of this letter.she is a drug abuser of all drugs and she told me that she was born with an addicted personality.dont't we all have some kind of addiction be it coffee,video games etc?my probelm understanding this comment from her is that she used the drugs time and again,but had she never did these drugs,she would not have this addiction?


Hi, Drug rehab centers facility can be defined as unrestrained substance intake. It is uncontrolled substance consumption over a long period of time. Drug rehab centers facility may result in withdrawal tendencies and can lead to various mental as well as physical problems. It also places the drinker at risk of accidents, arrests, poor job performance or other social problems. It can create kidney and liver damage and high blood pressure and even heart disease. It can also bring about depression and in some cases lead to death. Studies indicate that over 100,000 people die in the United States per year of substance-related causes. The craving that a substance abuser feels for substance can be as strong as the need for food or water. A substance abuser normally continues to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems that he / she is facing. Substance addicts normally show few early signs and symptoms of substance abuse. ========= julie Problem With Drugs or Alcohol? This Drug Rehab has Helped Thousands of Individuals to Recover. Drug Rehab

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