Basics of Drug Abuse Addiction and Abuse

The term chemical dependency is often used synonymously with terms such as addiction, drug dependence, alcoholism, polysubstance abuse, substance abuse, substance dependence, and drug abuse. Seymour and Smith (6) provide what is probably the best definition of chemical dependency: "Addictive disease is a pathological state with characteristic signs and symptoms as well as a predictable outcome if not treated. Dependency is characterized by a compulsive desire for the drug, loss of control when exposed to the drug, and continued use in spite of adverse consequences" (Table 10.1).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (7) defines substance abuse as a maladaptive pattern of substance use. One of the criteria listed for the diagnosis of substance abuse is a failure to fulfill the major role obligations of work as well as other social situations (Table 10.2).

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