What is a Drug?

Throughout history, humans have engaged with mood-altering substances, tracing back to the Old Stone Age. These substances have played various roles in society, including religious, medicinal and recreational purposes with social norms dictating acceptable use. The definition of a drug varies widely, influenced by cultural and temporal contexts, encompassing anything from everyday caffeine to narcotics like heroin.

The World Health Organization defines a drug as any substance, excluding food, water and oxygen, that alters the body’s function either physically or psychologically. This broad definition acknowledges the pervasive role of drugs in human culture, where practices like social drinking or the ritual of morning coffee are normalised aspects of life. Addiction represents a maladaptive relationship with these substances or behaviors, where use becomes compulsive despite harmful consequences.

In addiction treatment, the focus narrows to substances known for their addictive potential, including both legal and illegal drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, prescription medications and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin. These substances can lead to a dependency that disrupts physical and mental health, necessitating specialised intervention.

Addiction is recognised as a complex disease that alters brain chemistry and behaviour, reinforceing the challenge of overcoming dependency through sheer willpower. It’s a condition that demands comprehensive treatment strategies, highlighting the importance of understanding the multilayered nature of drug use and addiction in human society.

Discover What is a Drug? - Your Comprehensive Addiction Guide

What is a drug? There is evidence that drugs, or mood-altering substances, have always been a part of human culture, since the Old Stone Age. Get help from qualified counsellors.

  • Covered by Medical Aid or Private Health Insurance
  • Outpatient, Detox, Primary, Secondary, Sober Home
  • Effective Addiction & Mental Health Treatment


    View More

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

    Scroll to top
    Call Us Now