Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance (drug) that is not considered dependent. Substance abuse/drug abuse is not limited to mood-altering or psycho-active drugs. Activity is also considered substance abuse when inappropriately used (as in steroids for performance enhancement in sports). Therefore, mood-altering and psychoactive substances are not the only drugs of abuse. Substance abuse often includes problems with impulse control and impulsivity.
The term "drug abuse" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts. The terms have a huge range of definitions related to taking a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or non-medical effect. All of these definitions imply a negative judgment of the drug use in question (compare with the term responsible drug use for alternative views). Some of the drugs most often associated with this term include alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (particularly temazepam, nimetazepam, and flunitrazepam), cocaine, methaqualone, and opioids. Use of these drugs may lead to criminal penalty in addition