There are some technical terms that are closely related in meaning in the parlance of Drug education. A layman can be confused with the use of these terms. Some of them are drug misuse, drug abuse, drug dependent, drug addiction and withdrawal.


Inappropriate use of prescribed drugs which may result in impaired physical, mental and emotional well being of the user. Some individuals inject or ingest drug in excess of recommended dosage by doubling the no of capsules or tablets prescribed to them by a physician. Some reduce the recommended time interval between the dose without doctor’s directive.


This is a deliberate use of chemical substances usually for reasons other than the legitimate purpose. Drug abuse could also be defined as the act of taking psychoactive drugs or performance enhancing drugs for a non-therapeutic or non-medical purpose

Some of the drugs most often associated with these terms include Alcohol , amphetamine, barbiturate, benzodiazapines, cocaine, mentolygualone, opoids. These are commonly abused drugs.


This is when an individual persist in the use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to the use of that drug. Drug dependence has been defined by WHO (1947) as a state arises from repeated administration of drugs that result in the harm of individual and sometimes of the society.

It is also a state of physical or psychological need of a particular person.

This is a state of periodical of chronic of intoxication produced by the consumption of a particular drug. It is also align to drug dependence.


Simply means/describe the intension of an addict or drug dependent to stop taking his drug. This attempt usually result in symptoms such as anxiety, coma, depression, combustion and possibly death.

People abuse drugs for the following reasons

  • To stimulate
  • To remove shyness
  • As a result of curiosity
  • To enjoy sex
  • As a result of peer influence
  • To feel high
  • As a result of availability of drugs
  • For relaxation
  • To escape pressure and responsibility of drugs
  • To engage in crime
  • For experimentation
  • To remove boredom and fatigue
  • To induce sleep
  • To cover up inadequacies
  • As a result of joblessness
  • As a result of parental deprivation
  • As a result of parental substance drug abuse.

These and more other reasons make people abuse drugs.
People who are in the habit of drug abuse may show any of the following signs.


  • Sudden change in behavior which may include a sharp decline in academic performance.
  •  Loss of interest in sport and other activities and truancy
  • Disinterest in the opposite sex.
  • Moodiness.
  • Sudden careless in appearance such as unkept hair, long fingernails, shabby dressing especially if he/she has been neat before.
  • Drowsiness and idleness
  • The tendencies to laugh too much to things that are not funny
  • An appearance of intoxication without the odour of alcohol
  • Looking for fun in questionable places
  • Staying out much longer than before
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight
  • A sudden increase in appetite or unusual desire for sweet
  • Looking for money at all
  • Possession of pills or injection materials
  • Balancing problems as in difficulty in working and coordination in body system
  • Poor sense of judgement or memory loss
  • Dilate pupils of the eyes
  • Slur speech
  • Excessive and irrational talking
  • Impaired vision
  • Leaving responsibilities unfulfilled
  • Changes in mental status
  • Criminal act and delinquency behavior