Recreational drugs are chemical substances taken for enjoyment or leisure purposes, rather than for medical reasons. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are all common recreational drugs. Recreational drugs are usually started for pleasure but they can lead to addiction, health and social problems, road traffic accidents and crime.
Many people take drugs because they make them feel good for a short time and sometimes people use drugs to self-medicate. Continual use can lead to a dependency, which often results in withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped.
Problem drug use usually involves a person taking either prescribed drugs (such as painkillers and tranquilisers) or non-prescribed drugs (such as cannabis or heroin).