Substance abuse is the unlawful use of illegal drug, alcohol, or other prescription or over-the-counter medications in a manner that they are not intended to be utilized and can be detrimental to you or those around you. Individuals can abuse certain substances one time, periodically, or habitually, and they may go on to develop substance abuse disorder. Substance abuse often occurs when a person uses drugs or alcohol in a significant quantity or in an excessive fashion that interferes with your normal activities or is disruptive to your work or school schedule. It can also occur when someone uses drugs or alcohol for a period of time that is out of proportion to their activities or habits.
Often, the individual who has developed substance misuse issues will enter into a rehabilitation program where they will receive specific instruction and counseling as well as partake in formal education and support groups. A substance abuse prevention and treatment (SAT) program help to educate and provide information on the dangers of drug abuse and alcoholism, while educating individuals on how to avoid risky behaviors. The primary goal of a SAT program is to provide individuals with the tools necessary for them to make informed decisions about their substance misuse issues.
Over-the-counter medications such as cough syrups and cold remedies can be dangerous if abused. Cough syrups contain alcoholic beverages which can cause intoxication, which in turn can cause an uncontrolled release of chemicals in the body. Overuse of these products can lead to an addiction, which is considered a medical emergency. By taking the proper precautions when using medication and/or alcohol and by promoting responsible behavior among individuals suffering from substance abuse problems, many people can find the help they need to overcome their addiction.
Individuals who use illegal drugs for the purpose of obtaining illicit narcotics, prescription medications or alcohol are known as substance abusers. These individuals can be arrested and prosecuted for possession, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute. It is also possible for police to seize the drugs and all of its components, if they are found during a sting operation. However, there are some states that allow law enforcement officials to seize any drugs, regardless of whether they were obtained legally or illegally.
There are a number of legal ways to obtain drugs, including purchasing them from friends, buying prescription medications over the counter, or growing them in the backyard. Illegal substances such as marijuana are regulated in most locations, but there are still laws that prohibit the sale and distribution of this plant. Despite this restriction, a great number of individuals consume marijuana regularly and do not face serious health consequences. In most cases, possession of small amounts of marijuana does not result in criminal proceedings, whereas legal substances such as alcohol and cocaine can lead to significant criminal consequences.
For example, those who are caught driving while intoxicated will most likely be required to undergo field sobriety tests before being granted a DUI citation. If they are caught with more than two ounces of marijuana, they may also be required to undergo counseling, take classes on proper use of marijuana, complete drug treatment, or perform community service. If the person has a prior criminal record, the court may require that he or she undergo deferred adjudication, in which case they will be prohibited from possessing any controlled substances, including marijuana. Other types of substance abuse that fall under the heading of substance misuse include inhalation of cocaine or crack, use of heroin or other illicit substances, and consumption of alcoholic beverages.