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Drug abuse liability is the degree to which a psychoactive drug has properties that facilitate people abusing it, becoming addicted or dependent on it. This may be because of their pharmacological and psychopharmacological properties or ritualist social aspects around their self administration. Highly addictive drugs have high drug abuse liability.
The addictive potency of drugs varies from substance to substance. Drugs such as codeine or alcohol, for instance, typically require many more exposures to addict their users than drugs such as heroin or cocaine.