Definitional of Terms

  1. Drug and Substance 

Drug: a drug is a chemical substance that when taken changes the functioning of the body systems and the mind.

Substances; this may be used to refer to products such as alcohol and other drugs which may either be illegal or even legitimate that when taken changes the mood-altering process. 

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Then main issue that arises in the definition of the terms “drug” and “Substances” is establishing the intended purpose, which may either be to change the functioning of the body or alter the mood; prescription which indicates whether the product is issued by a doctor for management of medical condition; and whether the product is a legitimate which considers whether the product’s sales and consumption is allowed by the provisions of the laws, 

  1. Illegal Drug/Substance

Illegal substances and drugs to products that are used for changing the functioning of the body systems and alteration of moods but are not allowed by the governing laws. This prohibits manufacture, sales, and transportation of the such products on the bases of legality. These products may either be natural occurring such as marijuana, prepared from naturally-occurring substances such as heroin, or can be totally synthetic such as meth. The illegal product may fall under either of these categories; stimulants, depressants, narcotics, or hallucinogens.

The issues in the determination of the legality of substances into either illegal drug and substances which affects the manner in the which the products are regulated in the United State is carried out through a drug scheduling system. This is provided for under the Controlled Substances Acts that indicates the five categories referred to as schedules. The schedules are based on the medical value and abuse potential of product. A similar system is also adopted in the UK and Australia. The main issue related with this classification is the need of scientific research to establish the medical values of the products. Different results have left dilemmas in the classification of some products as illegal.

Another issue that arises in this area is the difference in provisions of Illegal drugs between the states and federal governments. such is the case of marijuana that is allowed in a number of states but still an illegal substance under the federal law. 

  1.  Drug offences

Drug offences refers to the possession, use, sale or furnishing of any drugs or intoxicating substance or any product categorized as an illegal drug which is prohibited by law. In most cases most drug offences are felony. The most common drug offences under which criminal charges are brought are related to drug possession and possession with intention of supply. Issues that arise in this case are related to determination of whether an offence qualifies to be regarded as possession. Such an offence is requiring to satisfy three elements which include; whether the product in question is in the possession or under the control of the person, whether the person is aware abut the existences of the substance, and whether the substance in question fall under the category of controlled drug. In determination of drug offences there is need to establish the type and number of drugs involved as these factors affect the nature of penalties given. Another issues in this arises due to different laws and provision between states that govern such products.

  1. Drug-related crimes

Drug related crimes are criminal acts that may either be linked directly or indirectly to the drug and substance abuse. The most directly connected crime with drug and substances abuse is the drug offences that is a crime to use, possess, manufacture, or distribute the drugs that have classified as having a potential for abuse. The indirect drug-related crimes are crimes said to occur due to the effects that drugs have on the user thereby affecting the user’s behavior and leading to violence or other illegal activities related to drug trafficking. The UN indicates that that drug-related crime as the difference between the volume of crime in the world as it is and the volume of crime that would exist if the world had no illicit drugs available (Bryan et al., 2013).

The main issues in determination of drug-related crimes include; drug-defined offenses, drug-related offenses, drug-using lifestyle. Drug-defined offenses refers to the act that are in violation of the laws that prohibit or regulate the possession, use, distribution or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Drug-related offenses includes offenses that are said to contributed drug’s pharmacologic effects of drugs where the offenses are prompted by the need of the user to support their drug use activities or in the distribution of the drugs. Drug-using lifestyle relate to activities that drug user engaged in and exposes them to situations that encourage crime (Craddock et al., 1994). 

  1. Drug and Substances Abuse

Drug and substances abuse refers to the continued use of a drug where the user consumers the substances in level or methods that are harmful to themselves and leading to substance-related disorder. Drug abuse may either be related to prescriptions misuse such opioids or illegal substance such heroine and cocaine. The issue in this case is the definition of the different classes of drugs that may be said to be abused.


Bryan, M. L., Del Bono, E., & Pudney, S. (2013). Drug-related crime (No. 2013-08). ISER Working Paper Series.Craddock, A., Collins, J. J., & Timrots, A. D. (1994). Fact sheet: Drug-related crime. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

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