The use of any substance in excessive amounts and/methods that cause harm to an individual significantly impairs their judgment, clarity, and functioning is substance abuse. Such substances can be legal, such as alcohol and medication or illegal, such as Cannabis and Amphetamines.  In the DSM 5, this abuse of substances is categorised under the diagnostic criteria of substance use and related disorders.

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health you can orientate on the four C’s when detecting an addiction:

  • craving
  • loss of control of the amount or frequency of use
  • compulsion to use
  • use despite consequences.

The abuse of these substances is related to many issues on both sides economically and personally. In economic terms, an addiction can lead to a reduced productivity for society regarding increased absenteeism and higher health care costs. In personal terms, a substance abuse problem can lead to failed marriages or other relationship problems, severe emotional problems and mental disorders.