Causes of the Abuse of Illicit Drugs

  • John JoshuaEmail author


This chapter analyzes the causes of the abuse of drugs and explores the pathways from initiation to the abuse of psychoactive drugs to chronic and acute diseases. The detrimental consequences of the use of various drugs to health are also explained. Even though many abusers of drugs have begun as casual users, a significant number eventually become addicted. Various factors which may make individuals vulnerable to the abuse of drugs are explored. The vulnerability to drug abuse is to a large extent determined by personal characteristics and the social environment; for example, an individual’s impulsivity leads to a preference for short-term over-delayed gratification and also shows an inability to persevere with a given task.


Behavioral disease Drug abuse and diseases Initiation into drug abuse Pathways Personal characteristics Psychotropic drugs Vulnerability to drug use 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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