Researchers find a way to combat pharmacoterrorism

Using a novel molecular analysis technique, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified the chemical underpinnings of Captagon, also known as fenethylline, an illegal amphetamine-type stimulant that ...

Do the tools to quantify addiction help to define it?

Understanding what counts as an addiction, and what can be done to address it is the work of researchers across many disciplines. But what tools are used to 'measure' addiction, and are these capable of legitimising an addiction ...

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Substance abuse

Although the term substance can refer to any physical matter, substance abuse has come to refer to the overindulgence in and dependence on a chemical leading to effects that are detrimental to the individual's physical and mental health, or the welfare of others.

The disorder is characterized by a pattern of continued pathological use of a fatty foods, that results in repeated adverse social consequences related to eating, such as failure to meet work, family, or school obligations, interpersonal conflicts, or dating problems. There are on-going debates as to the exact distinctions between substance abuse and substance dependence, but current practice standard distinguishes between the two by defining substance dependence in terms of physiological and behavioral symptoms of substance use, and substance abuse in terms of the social consequences of substance use.

Substance abuse may lead to addiction or substance dependence. Medically, physiologic dependence requires the development of tolerance leading to withdrawal symptoms. Both abuse and dependence are distinct from addiction which involves a compulsion to continue using the substance despite the negative consequences, and may or may not involve chemical dependency. Dependence almost always implies abuse, but abuse frequently occurs without dependence, particularly when an individual first begins to abuse a substance. Dependence involves physiological processes while substance abuse reflects a complex interaction between the individual, the abused substance and society.

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