Substance use is the continued use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs with negative consequences. These consequences may involve:
- Problems at work, school, home or in interpersonal relationships
- Problems with the law
- Health problems
- Physical risks that come with using drugs in dangerous situations
Substances that are commonly used include:
Substance abuse; Illicit drug abuse; Narcotic abuse; Hallucinogen abuse
American Psychiatric Association. Substance-related and addictive disorders. In: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013:481-590.
Weiss RD. Drugs of abuse. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 31.
Review Date 7/7/2019
Updated by: Ryan James Kimmel, MD, Medical Director of Hospital Psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.