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Drug Abuse


Drug abuse is also known as substance abuse and substance use disorder. Drug abuse does not only cover the use of illegal drugs but also of prescription drugs and even alcohol. There is no one cause of drug abuse although it is believed that drug abuse can be an inherited issue, learned behaviour or even habit that becomes an addictive disease. Drug abuse is linked to some cases of anti-social behaviour and criminal behaviour.


Drug abuse can come about in three main areas of illegal drugs, legal drugs and alcohol. Illegal drugs are those that are against the law to keep or to consume. Illegal drugs include:

  • Cannabis
  • Heroin
  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Opioids

Illegal drugs such as these are what is most commonly associated with drug abuse however there are others that can be just as harmful.

Prescription drug abuse is a type of drug abuse that does appear to be on the rise. Prescription drug abuse includes the addiction of:

  • Pain killers
  • Anti-depressants
  • Sleeping pills

People who are addicted to prescription drugs often begin with being prescribed a drug that they need for pain or for mental health issues. It can be only too easy to get into a cycle where the drug becomes an addiction and the person affected feels they cannot continue without the drug.

The other type of drug addiction includes nicotine and alcohol. These are no less damaging than other forms of drug abuse and behaviour often mimics learned behaviour from childhood.


When someone is addicted to drugs, they will do anything they can in order to feed their addiction. This often means a need to turn to criminal activity to fund the money that is needed to buy the drugs. In addition to funding the drug, an addiction may create psychological effects that effects their behaviour. This can cause someone to be more aggressive than they would normally be and leads to issues of domestic violence or drug induced aggression. Criminal behaviour often associated with drug abuse includes:

  • Shop lifting
  • Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Fighting

Many drug addicts will have a criminal record due to the changes in behaviour.


Drug abuse and criminal activity are often linked with one another. Psychological changes caused by drugs lead to behaviour that is deemed to be anti-social. Some of this behaviour is designed to access the drug that is needed while others is caused by the influence of the drugs themselves.

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