Professor LaSaesha Feagin
November 28, 2011
Drugs & Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is “a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p.114-115). The difference between using drugs and abusing drugs depends on three things, what the drug is for, how much of the drug is used, and the effect that the drug has on the person. Drug abuse typically relates to one using drugs in an excessive manner, whether the drug is legal or illegal. It is legal if you are using the drug for a specific reason under written consent of a doctor. You can use the drug, such as marijuana, in an excessive manner, which can result in the person abusing the drug. Just like alcohol, it is legal, but if you drink a lot of it, you can become impaired, increasing the risk of trouble with you and the law. Therefore, there is a thin line between “use” and “abuse”. Abuse has a lot to do with the “law and other social norms” (Macionis, 2010, p. 211). In order to understand what drug abuse is, we would have to understand what a drug exactly is.
A drug is “any chemical substance other than food or wate
+r that affects the mind or body” (Goldstein, 2004; Macionis, 2010, p. 208). The top three types of drugs that are legal and illegal in the world that are popular are stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. Stimulants affect the person’s mood when using this drug. It also provides alertness and increases your energy (Macionis, 2010). Examples of stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, cocaine and crack. Caffeine is one of the most popular drugs used in the United States. Caffeine provides energy and alertness in other drinks other than just coffee such as, tea, soda, chocolate drinks, and energy drinks.
Cocaine and crack are powerful stimulants that increase your heart rate, your pulse rate, and will raise your blood pressure because of these drugs. Cocaine is a powder form, but...