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drug abuse

noun
1.
addiction to drugs.
2.
substance abuse involving drugs.
Origin
1965-1970
1965-70
Related forms
drug abuser, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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drug-abuse in Medicine

drug abuse n.
Habitual use of drugs to alter one's mood, emotion, or state of consciousness.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for drug-abuse

drug abuse

the excessive, maladaptive, or addictive use of drugs for nonmedical purposes despite social, psychological, and physical problems that may arise from such use. Abused substances include such agents as anabolic steroids, which are used by some athletes to accelerate muscular development and increase strength and which can cause heart disease, liver damage, and other physical problems; and psychotropic agents, substances that affect the user's mental state and are used to produce changes in mood, feeling, and perception. The latter category, which has a much longer history of abuse, includes opium (and such derivatives as heroin), hallucinogens, barbiturates, cocaine, amphetamines, tranquilizers, the several forms of cannabis, and alcohol. A brief treatment of drug abuse follows. For full treatment, see drug use. See also steroid.

Learn more about drug abuse with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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