Drug Abuse

The definition of drug abuse has fluctuated with changes in cultural and legal norms, and there is currently no consensus on a standardized definition. However, drug abuse generally can be defined as the harmful or risky use of legal or illegal drugs or the use of legal drugs in a manner or amount inconsistent with medical advice. Some organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) do not refer to the abuse of drugs per se, but rather to the abuse of substances in general. These two terms (drug abuse and substance abuse) are often considered synonymous and are used synonymously in this entry.

The abuse of drugs is frequently associated with a myriad of psychosocial issues, including violence, homicide, homelessness, premature death, psychopathology, and economic ...

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