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Drug abuse

abuse, drug, drug abuse, health

According to McGraw Hill dictionary of the Life Sciences, a drug refers to any substance used internally or externally as a medicine for the treatment, cure or prevention of a disease. For purposes of this discussion, a drug is any substance, apart from food, that affects the normal functioning of the body, while drug abuse refers to the taking of a drug for any purpose other than a therapeutic one. As Culyer (1973) observes, ’defining drug abuse is a two sided task with therapeutic misinterpretation as one, and recreational usage of a drug as the other’p.56. However, after taking whatever side, drug abuse still remains an eclectic concept having only one connotation: societal disapproval.

Drugs that have gained popularity in terms of abuse are those that posses a higher ability to influence behavior by altering feeling, mood, perception or other states of the mind. Over the years, drugs of choice have changed; marijuana hit the charts over heroine in 1980’s while expensive ‘boutique’ drugs, such as cocaine, have lately achieved extraordinary popularity and widespread abuse. For instance, as Wilson (1993) puts, Cocaine has achieved the reputation of a status drug among the western industrialized societies and a great ‘income’ source.

Effects of drug abuse have been grossly negative to both the victims and the society in general. In a majority of countries of the world, drug abuse is the greatest factor leading to psychiatric disorders, marriage break ups, poverty, and youth delinquency. At a general point of view, drug abuse exacerbates most medical illnesses and disorders like cancer, failure in nervous, skeletal, circulatory and respiratory systems. Despite drug abuse being a social problem in almost all countries of the world, distribution of these psychoactive drugs still remains an integral part of the social and economic order
To conclude, drug abuse still remains a great impediment not only to economic development but also to positive social change and morality. Mendelson J (1988) predicts a possible future in his words,
‘with increased civilization and global networking, drug traffickers get nearer to more consumers further resulting to a sharp increase in drug abuse. The end is a widespread degradation of the human personality and a greater rate of violence disguised under moral erosion’.


Dreyfus, P: The Biology of Alcoholism.New York, Plenum, 1974.

Hawkins, G and Zimring F,: The search for a rational drug control. Oxford,Oxford University Press, 1995.

Mello, N and Mendelson, J (eds) : The Diagnosis. New York, McGraw Hill, 19985.

McGraw Hill Dictionary of the Life Sciences.
Published: 2009-03-14
Author: Aggrey Nzomo

About the author or the publisher
I am a graduate of Moi university kenya in Linguistics and Foreing languages. I am aged twenty two and a good narrative and descriptive writer. i currently write with an online company the i have with me finished poems and short stories. i also write sex episodes and i have four episodes so far. i am a single male of an African origin.

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