Recreational Drug Use
Wikipedia Reference Information
Recreational drug use is the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational purposes rather than for work, medical or spiritual purposes, although the distinction is not always clear. Several behavioral psychologists who have studied this field have come to refer to it as the 'Fourth Drive' in that this behavior has so much force and persistence that it functions like our drives for hunger, thirst and shelter.
Regardless of medical supervision, this label does not apply to the use of drugs for utilitarian purposes, such as the relief of fatigue or insomnia, or the control of appetite. Similarly it is incorrect to catagorise non-medical use of performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids used by some athletes and bodybuilders, as being recreational drug use, as the aim of this drug use is primarily to enhance physical appearance and performance rather than to achieve pleasurable effects. Non-medical, non-recreational drug use can nevertheless be very harmful; the long term side effects of excessive use of anabolic steroids can be as bad or worse than those of drugs of abuse, and use of depressant drugs such as benzodiazepines for self-medication of insomnia or anxiety can easily lead to dependence and addiction.
A distinction is frequently made between recreational use of drugs and drug abuse, although there is much controversy on where the dividing line lies on the spectrum from a drug user to a drug abuser. Some say that abuse begins when the user begins shirking responsibility in order to afford drugs or to have enough time to use them. Some say it begins when a person uses what is deemed to be excessive amounts, while others draw the line at the point of legality. Still others believe it amounts to chronic use when mental and physical health begin degenerating in the user. Some think that any intoxicant consumption is an inappropriate activity. A further distinction can be made in that it is the use of the drug that is recreational, and not the drug itself.
The complete, up-to-date and editable article about Recreational Drug Use can be found at Wikipedia: Recreational Drug Use