Psychoactive Substance Use and Abuse
A psychoactive substance refers to any chemical which both impacts the central nervous system and the way the brain functions. Psychoactive substances refer to stimulants (cocaine, methamphetamine, dextroamphetamine), sedatives and analgesics (alcohol, heroin), hallucinogens (PCP, psychoactive mushrooms). As stated in the DSM-IIIR "psychoactive substance abuse is given the definition of being "a maladaptive pattern of use indicated by continued use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, occupational, psychological or physical problem that is caused by the use [or by] recurrent use in situations in which it is physically hazardous" (Nordegren, 2002, p.11).
The social impact of psychoactive substance use and abuse on widespread scale is enormously detrimental to society. "In a 2005 report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services indicated that alcohol was associated with 100,000 preventable deaths each year and that it cost taxpayers nearly $185...
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