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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Drug Abuse and Addiction
      Category : Health Centers > Addiction and Substance Abuse

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Alternate Names : Substance Abuse

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Drug abuse occurs when a person feels the need to use a drug repeatedly for various reasons. Drug addiction is said to be present when a person continues to abuse a drug after serious problems related to the drug use have occurred.

What is going on in the body?

Drug abuse is a widespread problem that affects people from all socioeconomic levels. The symptoms of abuse and addiction differ slightly based upon the drug being taken. Drug abuse and addiction cause many health-related and social problems.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The exact reason why some people abuse and become addicted to drugs is not known. There appears to be a complex relationship between biological and environmental factors that leads to abuse and addiction.

A drug overdose or drug abuse can result from the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medicines, illegal drugs, or alcohol. Commonly abused drugs are:

  • amphetamines, such as dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine
  • barbiturates, such as phenobarbital
  • benzodiazepines, such as diazepam, alprazolam, or lorazepam
  • combination pain medicines that contain narcotics, such as hydrocodone, codeine, or oxycodone
  • mind-altering drugs, such as marijuana, LSD, PCP, ecstasy, and angel dust
  • muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol
  • stimulants, such as cocaine


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    Drug Abuse and Addiction: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Terry Mason, MPH
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 08/29/01

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