Some people are able to use drugs (both recreational or prescription) without any of the negative consequences of abuse or addiction. However, for many others, using drugs leads to a variety of problems. Drug abuse is the use of illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs (using the drugs in ways other than directed). Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes compulsive drug abuse, despite the harmful effects.
Drug addicts are not able to control their consumption of drugs and may go to great lengths to obtain drugs. If your drug use is impacting your life, work, health or relationships you might have a drug addiction or abuse problem, regardless of how little or how infrequently you use drugs. Both drug abusers and drug addicts can get help from a qualified mental health professional. Family members of drug addicts can also benefit from therapy, which can help them develop healthy and supportive ways of coping.