ABSTRACT

The term substance abuse is most simply defined as the excessive use of one or numerous drugs. In general, most people typically have some level of access to several types of drugs, including legitimately prescribed medications, and on average, will benefit from their appropriate use. However, the term substance abuse can be applied to a variety of situations or circumstances. For example, one person may intentionally be abusing a multitude of substances including illicit drugs, prescribed medications, and over-the-counter remedies (i.e., supplements, herbals, diet aids, etc.). This is in direct contrast to another individual who may be taking only a single medication, but deliberately using it in a manner that is not consistent with normal therapeutic use. It stands to reason that when individuals begin to abuse one or more substances, and use them in an uncontrolled manner without the appropriate oversight, that they place themselves in a potentially harmful or lethal situation.