Substance use is the continued use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs with negative consequences. These consequences may involve:
- Problems at work, school, home or in interpersonal relationships
- Problems with the law
- Health problems
- Physical risks that come with using drugs in dangerous situations
Substances that are commonly used include:
- Prescription drugs
Substance abuse; Illicit drug abuse; Narcotic abuse; Hallucinogen abuse
American Psychiatric Association. Substance-related and addictive disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013:481-590.
Weiss RD. Drugs of abuse. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 34.
Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Internal review and update on 11/06/2018 by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.