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What is considered substance abuse?

103 Answers
Last Updated: 01/18/2022 at 9:58pm
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Top Rated Answers
June 26th, 2016 9:53pm
Frequent OR heavy use of any substance that impacts our physiology can be substance abuse. There is no exact point at which use becomes abuse. If we impair ourselves physically or mentally, use important resources to acquire recreational drugs (including alcohol), or cause problems for others or ourselves through substance use, it is almost definitely abuse. If you are too intoxicated/high to drive, you are abusing, not using! But keep in mind: addiction and abuse are not (necessarily) the same thing.
November 29th, 2017 2:46pm
Typically substance abuse is when a person is using a substance long-term, especially but not limited to daily use, or when using a substance has become part of our habit energy under specific circumstances such as certain times of the day or in stressful or uncomfortable situations. Substance abuse can lead to addiction or dependency. If using a substance has impaired or interferred with your wellbeing in any scope, such as social interactions, finances or work, or the ability to seek other means of coping or 'having fun'. Many substances can abused, from socially acceptable forms of substances such as smoking, alochol, prescribed medication, street drugs, or even caffeine. It may be considered substance abuse when the individual is willing to go a variety of lengths to obtain the substance, such as long distances, spending a lot of money, putting themselves in dangerous or uncomfortable situations, and so on. Often people who abuse substances will rationalize this behavior so as to not feel as though they have the situation under control. Such rationalizations may be 'this is the last time', 'i only do this for fun', 'i only need it to relax', 'i only do it with these friends', and so on. 7cups recently started Daily Check In threads with regards to alcohol and drug abuse - please look at this link ( Additionally, 7cups has an Alcohol and Drug Abuse self-help guide, which may further help you understand this condition ( It is recommended to seek professional help, as often addiction is not a matter of willpower, but a physical unbalance in our brains that may require medical attention. It's always okay to reach out and seek help. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to listeners or use our resources here until you or the person you know is ready to be free of their substance.
July 10th, 2016 3:15pm
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder.
March 20th, 2017 6:45pm
Substance abuse is a formal name in the area of the addiction medical and treatment profession. To be considered abuse, it when a person keeps on using despite having negative consequences in their life. There could be lots of types of negative consequences, for example; upsetting your family, getting into trouble at work, legal problems, medical problems, or spending too much of your money so it's hard for you to cover other things you need the money to cover.
August 18th, 2017 9:46am
That's a very broad question and can be relative to the person and the situation. Generally speaking, I think that where substance use crosses the line into being abuse is when it starts to impact the person's life in a negative manner. For example, it could be causing them to miss work, putting strain on their relationships, causing them to isolate themselves from their friends and family, making them ill, making them do things they regret, putting them in situations where their own safety and/or the safety of others is threatened, etc. Another tell-tale sign can be a person not recognizing and/or denying the fact that their substance use is getting them in trouble. They could also experience trouble stopping or cutting back on their substance use and feel that their urges to use are beyond their control.
December 23rd, 2017 11:34pm
When drug or alcohol use interferes with your ability to function in daily life or in the real world.
June 25th, 2016 6:56pm
Substance abuse is a dependency on a chemical. This may hinder someone from carrying on their daily life.
October 7th, 2016 4:46pm
Substance abuse is whenever you are doing any activity that has a negative impact on your general life .
March 9th, 2017 5:29am
Substance abuse is anything harmful to your body. Whether it be alcohol or illegal drugs entering your body. Using these excessively is considered substance abuse and you should seek professional help.
April 8th, 2017 5:24am
Substance abuse is drinking to excess or taking illegal or prescription drugs to excess. It becomes abuse when it gets in the way of you living a normal life or when it becomes more important than all other aspects of your life.
July 5th, 2017 4:51pm
Every substance that gives you pleasure and in the other way harm you is a very dangerous substance. It is worst than weapons...
August 3rd, 2017 5:41am
Substance abuse is when drugs, and or alcohol start to interfere negatively with your everyday functions. For instance I used to be addicted to pills. It came to a point I wasn't doing well in any of my classes and my friends stopped hanging with me. Because it changed me into a drug dependent person who built a physical dependency
August 9th, 2017 10:27pm
Stubstance abuse is when you use medication or alcohol in a way that it was not intended for. People that have Stubstance abuse only get better when they want to get better, not when someone wants them to get better.
August 11th, 2017 12:34am
Substance abuse is to use legal and or illegal drugs and alcohol for the purpose of. becoming intoxicated, Often times there is a genetic component to the abuse or addiction.
August 13th, 2017 2:02pm
when you use a substance more/when it is not intended to be used. A substance abuser often is addicted to the substance they are abusing
October 18th, 2017 1:34am
From personal experience with an addict, I would describe substance abuse as using drugs or alcohol in a way that it is not meant to be used. For example, taking prescription meds way too much or through alternate means besides orally. Alcohol abuse can mean needing a drink as soon as you wake in the morning. We all have different definitions, but you know someone has a problem when they can't get through the day without said substance.
November 8th, 2017 11:41pm
substance abuse can relate to alcohol or any forms of drugs, this means taking an amount that is unhealthy and can affect you negatively
December 29th, 2017 4:13pm
Substance abuse is using substances such as mood-altering drugs for purposes other than their intended medical usage, usually for recreational purposes or with the intention of numbing emotional pain.
January 14th, 2018 10:41pm
From a standpoint of my personal experience, Substance abuse is using a substance in order for you to fill the pain a hurt inside.
February 11th, 2018 12:55pm
Substance abuse is when your body starts to rely on whatever substance you are taking. Whenever anything is consuming you, and is mind altering is. Abusing your body. Anything in. Excess is abuse.
February 15th, 2018 6:11pm
Substance abuse is when a person is actively taking a substance in ways or in amounts that are typically not considered healthy. The person may feel out of control or dependent on this substance, as if they could not manage life without it, or feel large amounts of hopelessness and discontent when not using this substance.
February 16th, 2018 4:44pm
When subatances interfere with what you need ot want to do with your life, that is substance abuse.
February 17th, 2018 10:41pm
Consumption of drugs or something that can harm somone the is not physical in that kind of way......
February 21st, 2018 2:18pm
Substance abuse is when an individual uses a substance, legal or illegal, for purposes other than its intended purpose and continue to do so despite serious consequences.
March 4th, 2018 8:21pm
It all depends on the substance. Without knowing any background details, I would define substance abuse as the constant desire to want/take the substance. Once that point has been reached, I'm afraid I would classify that as substance abuse
March 17th, 2018 9:47am
Every abuse of a substance, it doesn't have to be hard drugs it can be prescription free pills, like pain killers or alcohol, everything you feel like you can't live without
March 29th, 2018 1:00pm
Substance abuse is when you choose to take any substance, and that substance takes over your life. It prevents you from doing everyday normal tasks and you can't stop thinking about it.
April 5th, 2018 11:26am
Substance abuse is when the you have started using something no mater what it is and it starts to affect the way you and/ or others function in your/ or their daily life. substance abuse is devastating to many individuals and family in every country. Just for today I will Live a sober life.
July 10th, 2016 8:09am
When you come to the point where you say you could stop at any time but continue to use substances. When you convince yourself you don't have an issue.
July 10th, 2016 6:48pm
To depend on or be addicted to a substance. Generally a drug of some sort such as alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or even over the counter medication like cough medicine or tylenol. If you take it consistently because you feel you need it to cope or survive even, then that is substance abuse.