- substance abuse
- the nonclinical, or recreational, use of pharmacologically active substances such that continued use results in adverse physiological or psychological effects (see dependence). Substances commonly abused include alcohol (see alcoholism), amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and organic solvents (by inhalation).
* * *[DSM-IV] a substance use disorder characterized by the use of a mood- or behavior-altering substance in a maladaptive pattern resulting in significant impairment or distress, such as failure to fulfill social or occupational obligations or recurrent use in situations in which it is physically dangerous to do so or which end in legal problems, but without fulfilling the criteria for substance dependence (q.v.). Specific disorders are named for their etiology, e.g., alcohol abuse, anabolic steroid abuse. DSM-IV includes specific abuse disorders for alcohol, amphetamines or similar substances, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, PCP or similar substances, and sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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