Comparison of the perceived harm for various psychoactive drugs from a poll among medical psychiatrists specialized in addiction treatment
|Classification and external resources|
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a substance (drug) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others.
The terms have a huge range of definitions related to taking a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or non-medical effect. All of these definitions imply a negative judgment of the drug use in question (compare with the term responsible drug use for alternative views). Some of the drugs most often associated with this term include alcohol, substituted amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (particularly alprazolam, temazepam,diazepam and clonazepam), cocaine, methaqualone, and opioids. Use of these drugs may lead to criminal penalty in addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, both strongly depending on local jurisdiction. There are many cases in which criminal or anti-social behavior occur when the person is under the influence of a drug. Long term personality changes in individuals may occur as well. Other definitions of drug abuse fall into four main categories: public health definitions, mass communication and vernacular usage, medical definitions, and political and criminal justice definitions. Substance abuse is prevalent with an estimated 120 million users of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and other synthetic drugs. Substance abuse is a form of substance-related disorder.
Some people can have strong drug cravings even after they have not used the drug for a long period of time. They call this being "clean". To determine how the brain triggers these cravings, multiple tests have been done on mice.
Substance-related disorders, including both substance dependence and substance abuse, can lead to large societal problems. It is found to be greatest in individuals ages 18–25, with a higher likelihood occurring in men compared to women, and urban residents compared to rural residents. On average, general medical facilities hold 20% of patients with substance-related disorders, possibly leading to psychiatric disorders later on. Over 50% of individuals with substance-related disorders will often have a "dual diagnosis," where they are diagnosed with the substance abuse, as well as a psychiatric diagnosis, the most common being major depression, personality disorder, anxiety disorders, and dysthymia.
Classification and terminology
Substance-induced disorders include medical conditions that can be directly attributed to the use of a substance.
Substance use disorders
Substance use disorders include substance abuse and substance dependence. In DSM-IV, the conditions are formally diagnosed as one or the other, but it has been proposed that DSM-V combine the two into a single condition called "Substance-use disorder".
- Behavioural sciences
- Chemical dependency
- Major depressive disorder
- Psychological trauma
- Shared care
- Substance abuse prevention
- Substance-abuse rehabilitation
- Substance abuse treatment
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- "substance-related disorders" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
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- "Substance use disorders" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
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- National Institute on Drug Abuse: "NIDA for Teens: Brain and Addiction".