Abuse of non-dependence-producing substances

A wide variety of medicaments and folk remedies may be involved, but the particularly important groups are: (a) psychotropic drugs that do not produce dependence, such as antidepressants, (b) laxatives, and (c) analgesics that may be purchased without medical prescription, such as aspirin and paracetamol.

Persistent use of these substances often involves unnecessary contacts with medical professionals or supporting staff, and is sometimes accompanied by harmful physical effects of the substances. Attempts to dissuade or forbid the use of the substance are often met with resistance; for laxatives and analgesics this may be in spite of warnings about (or even the development of) physical harm such as renal dysfunction or electrolyte disturbances. Although it is usually clear that the patient has a strong motivation to take the substance, dependence or withdrawal symptoms do not develop as in the case of the psychoactive substances

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