Drug Use, Misuse, and Abuse
Drug use is taking a drug in a way for which it was intended.
Drug misuse is taking a drug not prescribed for you or for a purpose for which it was not intended or in a
way for which it was not intended.
Drug abuse is the excessive use of a drug.
Individual Response to Drugs: Set and Setting
Set and Setting are two factors that can influence the main side effects of drugs.
Set is the total internal environment, or mindset, of a person at the time a drug is taken. The elderly are
particularly susceptible to their set.
Setting is the total external environment of a person at the time a drug is taken. It encompasses the
physical and social aspects of that environment at the time the person takes the drug.
Addiction is defined as a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance. Now the
definition has been extended to include mood-altering behaviours or activities. A person with an
addition generally exhibits at least three of the following behaviours:
- Makes excessive use of a substance or behaviour in a greater quantity or over a longer period of
- Expresses a persistent desire, or makes unsuccessful efforts, to cut down or control the use of
the substance or engagement in the activity.
- Spends a great deal of time getting or using substance or engaging in the behaviour
- Is frequently too intoxicated by the after-effects
- Gives up regular activities to use the substance
- Continues to use the substance despite problems with it
- Develops a physical tolerance to the substance
- Exhibits withdrawal when not using the substance
- Uses the substance to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
The Physiology of Addiction
Tolerance is a phenomenon in which a progressively larger dose of a drug or more intense involvement
in behaviour is needed to produce the desired effects
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Withdrawal is experienced by individuals addicted to a drug or behaviour when the drug is not
consumed or behaviour not engaged in. Generally the symptoms are opposite to the effects
experienced when engaging in the substance or behaviour.
The Addictive Process
Nurturing through avoidance is repeatedly seeking the illusion of relief to avoid unpleasant feelings or
Signs of Addiction
1. Compulsion is obsessive preoccupation with a behaviour or substance and an overwhelming
need to engage in it.
2. Loss of control: Inability to predict reliably whether any isolated involvement with the addictive
substance or behaviour will be healthy or damaging.
3. Negative consequences: Difficulties such as physical damage, legal trouble, financial ruin,
academic failure, relationship difficulties, family dissolution, and others as a result of continued
engagement in a substance or behaviour.
4. Denial: Inability to perceive or accurately interpret the effects of drug use or engaging in a
5. Relapse: The tendency to return to the addictive behaviours or drug after a period of
Ten characteristics are listed, including:
- Preoccupation with gambling
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit
- Using gambling to escape problems
- Lying to family members to conceal gambling
Shopping and Borrowing
Compulsive spending and borrowing is another example of addictive behaviour.