Substance abuse is a term which is used when you consume drugs which you are not legally permitted to. But, it definitely does not mean that you can take any drug you are allowed legally to take and save yourself from substance abuse. Truly speaking, any drug, be it alcohol, or any other drug, if taken without the prescription or in a way which is considered wrong and which may harm you or someone else surrounding you in some or the other way can be termed as substance abuse.

Hence, any drug or alcohol, if taken in excess can be termed as substance abuse some way or the other. There are various types of such substances that can be taken.


Alcohol is something which affects both teenagers and adults. It is very dangerous if it is taken in excess. Normally, for a male, if you are having more than 4 drinks in one day or all in all more than 14 drinks in one week, you are drinking alcohol too much and it is harmful for you. Also, if you are a female, then having more than 3 drinks in one day and all in all more than 7 drinks in one week is an excessive amount of drinking and is more than what normal quantities are stipulated by various researches conducted across people of different age groups. Now, the quantity of one drink varies from liquor to liquor. For example, one drink is 12 ounces of the regular beer, around 5 ounces of wine or one ounce and a half for various kinds of distilled liquor like whiskey or vodka.


You can also abuse medicines, if you intentionally take wrong medicines or the medicines which have been prescribed for someone else who may actually need it. You can also be a victim of substance abuse if you take overdose of certain medicines, or a dose more than what is prescribed by your doctor. You may also abuse medicines if you take medicines for a non-medical purpose. Certainly, medicines which work as anti depressants, reduce anxiety or induce sleep are some of the popular medicines which people who are a victim of substance abuse mostly prefer.

Other Drugs

There are many drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc. that are taken by people nowadays. Also, all kinds of chemicals and tobacco that can be taken in the form of cigarettes. The major problem which these cigarettes is that they contain a chemical which is known as nicotine and this is what causes the addiction. Nicotine when taken gives you pleasure and energy, but it leaves you craving for more. This causes the addiction being talked about.

One must be aware of the fact that while alcohol can harm the liver and the kidneys of a person, cigarettes can harm the lungs and can prove to be fatal to life. It can also interfere with one’s career as it is quite difficult to get over such addictions.