Substance abuse is a chronic or habitual use of a chemical substance to alter states of body or mind for other than medically warranted purposes and may reflect an addiction. The drugs used are often associated with alterations in judgment, perception, attention, and physical control, and their use affords the individual psychological relief at least in the moment. Addiction involves continuing, compulsive drug use (or engagement with rewarding stimuli) despite physical and/or psychological harm to the user, family and friends, and society and includes both licit and illicit drugs. Addiction can be a chronic, debilitating disease and also involves dependence. Psychological dependence is the subjective feeling that the user needs the drug to maintain a feeling of well-being; physical dependence is characterized by tolerance (the ...

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