Substance abuse is seen as maladaptive and not considered dependant but can lead to dependency with certain drugs. There is a huge range of drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and opiates. Some of these drugs are illegal in some countries and regions and can lead to criminal prosecution if caught in possession or under the influence of them.Public health practitioners have undertaken many studies into drug abuse from an individual basis to social culture and availability. Practitioners have adopted phrases such as harmful or problematic and psychoactive use of substances the studies have looked at beneficial use and dependence. Some practitioners use the terms substance abuse or harmful use to blanket drug abuse.

This is used to help the user suffering any physical or psychological harm. Substance dependence is seen as compulsive and repetitive and can lead to a tolerance and withdrawal when reduced or stopped. There are other definitions with psychological, physical and social consequences with use from various drugs.Drug misuse is a term used to describe the improper use of substances and medicines and can lead to abuse if taken more frequently or as prescribed from a medical practitioner.

This can also include route of administration and prolonged misuse can lead to a tolerance that affects the central nervous system. This in turn means more of the substance is required to gain the desired effect. Drug abuse may lead to other problems such as health, social networks, and criminal activities, self-harm and physical dependence. Some drugs are more likely to lead to uncontrolled use than others.

Alcohol abuse has a high rate of suicide and is related to 1 in 4 adolescent deaths. Studies show around 48% of adolescents start to use alcohol and 42% of older adolescents start to use other substances. There are 140 million alcohol dependent people in the world and 400 million with alcohol related health problems with around 50 million heroin addicts. As a rule drug abuse can be seen as an inappropriate non-medical use of substances to alter the mental state to that not perceived as the “norm”. Substance abuse can also be seen as controlled, misuse, uncontrolled and abnormal dependency. Drug abuse is seen as wrong and disapproved by society.

Some medical professionals believe the words should be deleted from pronouncements and public policiesA diagnostic manual developed in the 1950's saw alcohol and drug abuse as psychological disorders or moral weakness. Later editions began to recognise two separate conditions of substance abuse and substance dependency involving social and cultural disorders. Substance abuse was seen as a maladaptive pattern of use even with knowledge of social, occupational, psychological and physical problems.Substance dependency was seen as a syndrome involving compulsive use with or without withdrawal and tolerance. In 2013 a further edition will revisit this again and may look at transition from abuse to dependence terminology, at present abuse is seen as a less hazardous and dependence as a disease state or an addicted state. These definitions have often led to confusion with both medical practitioners and the general public.

Most governments designed legislation to criminalize certain types of drug use. These drugs are called illegal or controlled substances, but what is illegal is their unlicensed production, distribution and possession. Possession of certain drugs can bring severe punishment in countries around the world including the death penalty. Attempts by governments to interdict drug supply and eliminate drug abuse have had very little impact. In the United States drug supply and purity are at an all-time high and a vast amount of money spent on law enforcement and interdiction rather than public health. Due to drug legislation large drug cartels operate people agree that this feeds criminal activity where decriminalization would help to control it.

Policy makers have to cost the effects of substance abuse in order to allocate scarce resources for drug related interventions. Two ways to estimate these costs are “labelled drug related expenditure” (planned spending) and “unlabelled drug expenditure” (unplanned spending). This is done by taking overall expenditure in prisons and taking away the prisoners that have drug related offences or issues. In the EU this came to a staggering 2.17 billion EUR with 66% going to medical services and public order and safety getting 20% this varied across the countries.

The cost to the economy in the UK is around £20 billion a year due to absenteeism and sickness and $109 billion in the USA.Treatment is important for substance abuse but it faces many barriers from specialists to resources and reaches very few patients. New home test kits helped drug abuse by family’s with quite accurate results. Intervention treatment for substance abuse is very important for the service user and to get them to submit to any treatment, either behavioural or medicated, to help reduce or discontinue use.

A few of these treatments stand out and have better results than others such as behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, contingency management and pharmacological therapy to name a few. A number of medicines have been approved for use with substance abuse like bupromorphine, methadone and antagonist medicines. According to some heath nurse practitioners, stopping substance abuse can lead to healthier lifestyles. In younger generations, behavioural therapies and family therapies with varying levels of support have proven beneficial.There are lots of health and criminal implications as a result of substance abuse; for example, heroin users.

Effects can include fatal overdose, collapsed veins and the chronic user may develop infection of the heart and valves, abscesses, cellulite and liver disease. There is also a financial cost to the abuse and financing their habit can lead to criminal activities such as supplying, burglary and shop lifting.Marijuana is a commonly used drug and has a detrimental effect on the user both long term and short term, such as memory loss and the brains ability to learn which can leave users falling behind at school or work and with the lack of desire to achieve.Crystal meth is strongly addictive and has a number of organ and mental heath related problems. These include memory loss, psychotic behaviour, heart and brain damage. Other effects could include loss of appetite, hallucinations, paranoia and can be smoked snorted or injected.

It is a very toxic stimulant to the body and can lead to death.Ecstasy or mdma is an amphetamine based compound and usually comes in tablet form. It is also mixed with other substances that vary amphetamine and hallucinogens. The effects from this can include positive feeling, empathy, relaxed, energised and loss of appetite and last for a long duration. This can lead to dehydration and exhaustion.

Also later bouts of depression and paranoia.Rohypnol is a strong sedative and very similar to valium but 10 times stronger and used as a date rape drug. It is very easily dissolved in most drinks such as alcohol and comes in tablet form, the victim is left disorientated for up to 12 hours and has an effect of amnesia . Ghb is another date rape drug but is more dangerous than ryhypnol as it is made by kitchen chemists and the purity is an unknown factor this makes it a very toxic.