drug and substance


Medical dictionary defined drug and substance abuse as the habitual use of drugs not needed for therapeutic purposes, solely to alter one’s mood, affect, or state of consciousness, or to affect a body function unnecessarily (as in laxative abuse).

Also World Health Organization define Drug and Substance abuse as harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.

drug and substance1

Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome – a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state,  Most times people use the Drugs/Substances for purpose which is not consistent with the legal and medical guidelines.

Drug and Substance abuse has come to stay in our society. This is a social problem that plague both developed and third world countries. Some of this abuse started right from tender age due to exposure within the family or use of drugs for medication without proper prescription by medical practitioner. Some abuse occur at the adult stage due to association, self-induced activities, environmental influences, frustrations etc. The dangers of this abuse is inimical to societal development. It is only healthy people that can bring about development.


National Institute on Drug Abuse has published a list that contains commonly abused Drug and Substance. The table below contains drug/substance are included in the list:

·         Alcohol

·         Ayahuasca

·         Central Nervous System Depressants

·         Cocaine

·         DMT

·         GHB

·         Hallucinogens

·         Heroin

·         Inhalants

·         Ketamine

·         Khat

·         Kratom

·         LSD

·         Marijuana (Cannabis)

·         MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)

·         Mescaline (Peyote)

·         Methamphetamine

·         Over-the-Counter Medicines–Dextromethorphan (DXM)

·         Over-the-Counter Medicines–Loperamide

·         PCP

·         Prescription Opioids

·         Prescription Stimulants

·         Psilocybin

·         Rohypnol® (Flunitrazepam)

·         Salvia

·         Steroids (Anabolic)

·         Synthetic Cannabinoids

·         Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts)

·         Tobacco

These are Drug and Substance that are commonly come by in our daily engagement. It is really a social and health issue that must be tackled by all. As it is always said if you are not infected, you are affected.


There are behavioural patterns that point to this menace. One need to observe it keenly in order to avert possible misinterpretation. Some of these signs include:

  • Consistent failure to meet social, work and academic obligation.
  • Reduce or total lack of interest on activities that were hitherto a hobby.
  • Intermittent memory loss or black out.
  • Lasciviousness, impulsiveness which result to excessive spending of money or waste of resources.
  • Frequently inflicting self with injuries.
  • Involvement in traffic offence and accident frequently.
  • Uncontrolled family or relationship problem.


There are a lot of negative effect of drug and substance abuse on human health, economic, psychological and social life. Some of these effect can be short or long term, if not tackled early it can become uncontrolled and lead to even death. The effect also depend on the type of drug and substance, how it is taken, level of intake, space of time etc.

These effects includes:

  • Chest pain or lung pain
  • Having abnormal vital signs that pose serious health treat and instability.
  • Stomach disorder like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain etc
  • Skin cool or dryness
  • Exposure to HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis Band C
  • Infertility in male and female
  • Mental illness
  • cancer
  • Aggressiveness and irritability
  • Feeling of rejection resulting to stigmatisation
  • Luring peers to the act thereby increasing the effect in the society
  • Loss of friendship and family due to abnormal behavioural pattern.
  • Poverty due to spending money for drug and substance instead of investment.
  • Loss of focus and concentration which can result to loss of job, business failure and lack of productivity.
  • ETC


Drug and Substance abuse can be treatment with a coordination plan of treatment of therapy. This need patience and cooperation from individual affected, family, friends. The treatment modules may follow the under listed modules.

  • Proper diagnosis to ascertain the level of effect.
  • Individual and group counselling to help parties involved take informed decision.
  • Decision on choice of treatment either impatient and residential
  • Individual and group counselling
  • Inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient
  • Schedule partial hospital programmes
  • Case management and care provision
  • Medication and support services

It is pertinent to note that individual react differently to treatment. So the modules may vary in some cases. Drug and Substance abuse is a problem that must be tackled headlong by both individual, government, Non-Governmental Organization etc. The menace is prevalence in all strata of human endeavor. The time to act is now.

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