Abuse of Legal and Illegal Drugs Essay

Abuse of Legal and Illegal Drugs Essay

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Drug abuse is “a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p.114-115). The difference between using drugs and abusing drugs depends on three things, what the drug is for, how much of the drug is used, and the effect that the drug has on the person. Drug abuse typically relates to one using drugs in an excessive manner, whether the drug is legal or illegal. For example, marijuana is illegal in some states, but in other states, it is not. It is legal if you are using the drug for a specific reason under written consent of a doctor. You can use the drug, such as marijuana, in an excessive manner, which can result in the person abusing the drug. Just like alcohol, it is legal, but if you drink a lot of it, you can become impaired, increasing the risk of trouble with you and the law. Therefore, there is a thin line between “use” and “abuse”. Abuse has a lot to do with the “law and other social norms” (Macionis, 2010, p. 211). In order to understand what drug abuse is, we would have to understand what a drug exactly is.
What is a drug? Moreover, what types of drugs are there?
A drug is “any chemical substance other than food or water that affects the mind or body” (Goldstein, 2004; Macionis, 2010, p. 208). Six different types of drugs that are legal and illegal in the world that are popular are stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, cannabis, steroids, and prescription drugs. Stimulants affect the person’s mood when using this drug. It also provides alertness and increases your energy (Macionis, 2010). Examples of stimulants are Caffeine, Nicotine, Cocaine and Crack. Caffeine is one of the most popular drugs used in the United...


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...hat is prescribed by a medical doctor or what is directed for over the counter drugs. Drug abuse is the process of an individual overdosing, or using the drug in an improper manner that is against the law.
An individual can commit drug abuse to their own prescribed medications by taking more than what is recommended or by taking other drugs along with that drug, they were originally intended to take. There have been advertisements around inner cities that advocate for prescription drug abuse and posting on city subways information on how to discard expired medications so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. This topic was something important to the author of this paper. The author of this paper can relate to the topic on drugs and how it affects the individual because the author of this paper has had experience with the use of drugs and drug abuse.

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