Addiction101 Addiction Network

Substance abuse is generally defined as the use of drugs or alcohol in a way that causes problems in one or more areas of an individual’s life, including social, occupational, or physical functioning. It is often characterized by a pattern of use that includes continued use despite negative consequences or an inability to control or limit use.

The specific actions that constitute substance abuse can vary depending on the substance, the individual, and the context. However, some common examples of behaviors that may be considered substance abuse include:

Using a substance despite negative consequences, such as job loss, legal trouble, or relationship problems.

Being unable to cut down or stop using a substance, despite a desire or intention to do so.

Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of a substance.

Neglecting important obligations or responsibilities, such as work, school, or family, due to substance use.

Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence, using drugs or alcohol in unsafe situations, or engaging in unprotected sex while under the influence.

Developing a tolerance to a substance, requiring increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop or reduce use of a substance.

It’s important to note that substance abuse is a complex issue that can be influenced by a variety of factors, and effective prevention and treatment requires a comprehensive and individualized approach.