Drug addiction and the abuse of drugs is generally defined as the chronic or the regular use of any chemical substance by a human in order to change or alter the states of body and mind for any purposes other than purposes that are medically warranted.
Addiction to a particular drug or a substance is the compulsive nature in the human being to use the drug despite psychological or physical harm that is being caused to themselves and society. These drugs may be legal as well as illegal.
Substance abuse or drug abuse generally consists of a broader range of substances that can include likes of alcohol and inhalants. Any drug that can get a person addicted to it can also come into the drug abuse column but the victim undergoes the situation of drug abuse when the addiction situation worsens to the last step.
Dependence on a particular drug can be of two types. Psychological dependence is the subjective feeling of the user where he feels the urge and needs to use the drug in order to maintain a feeling of well being. Another type of dependence is known as physical dependence that is characterized by the need for increasingly larger doses of the drug in order to achieve the initial highness that was received by the person.
Abused substances that are legal are the substances that are approved by the law for sale over the counter or by prescription from the doctor. These abused legal substances include caffeine, alcoholic beverages, nicotine and other inhalants such as nail polish, glue, inhalers, gasoline. There are some other types of legal substances which are known as prescription drugs. These are the drugs that are prescribed by the doctor such as tranquillizers, steroids, analgesics etc.
Prescribed drugs do come under legal substances only until the time that they are used within their limits and they are used for medically warranted purposes only. Once they have been used for the wrong purpose then they are considered as illegal substances. Morphine and synthetic opiates are used very often by people and abused. People who are in the medical professions have much more easy access to these drugs. Other illegal substances also include weed, crack (cocaine), hashish, heroin etc. There are also a few designer drugs that are abused such as MDMA and ecstasy and also available party drugs such as GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate).
People have the tendency to take drugs for the first time as an act of excitement or peer pressure. When a person or friend next to you is doing the drug then it causes an unknown temptation inside us to try the drug. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that drugs are taken only for excitement purpose. The drugs are used by various people for various reasons. Some people use it for relieving their stress and increasing the energy in their body. Drugs can be used in order to relieve pain and also escape reality. Athletes and bodybuilders may consume anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass. Even if these steroids are overused then it is considered as drug abuse because the addicts inject a lot of foreign material into their bodies.