Substance Abuse

Definition - What does Substance Abuse mean?

Substance abuse is the repeated consumption of harmful and dangerous substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. The usage of these substances over time can develop into a disorder (an addiction) that compels the user to continue using the substance despite any negative repercussions. The user becomes unable to control their use of the substance and it takes precedence over anything else in their life.

WorkplaceTesting explains Substance Abuse

Substance abuse in the workplace can cause major implications for a business. Employees who abuse drugs, tobacco, or alcohol can put a strain on health care providers, cause accidents, and decrease productivity. People abuse drugs and alcohol for many reasons including stress, social discomfort, chronic pain, otherwise untreated mental illness, and poor social skills. The use of drugs or alcohol over a period of time often causes a tolerance in the user where higher dosages are required in order to obtain the same effect. Signs of substance abuse are often depression, poor performance, mood swings, jaundice, tremors, and depression. Substance abuse can lead to serious medical conditions. Tobacco abuse can cause heart disease, lung cancer, and emphysema. Alcohol abuse can bring about cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, and increase the risk of cancer of the pancreas, stomach, and esophagus. Drug abuse may lead to respiratory or cardiac arrest among other conditions depending on the drug taken.

This definition was written in the context of Drug Testing
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