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Pharmacology is the scientific study of drugs and the affect they have.  Pharmacology was once only the study of natural substances found in nature but recently the synthetic study of drugs has taken over in the pharmacology industry.  Pharmacology defines drugs, potency, effectiveness and interactions. A substance abuse counselor should always have a basic understanding of pharmacology because without the knowledge of science a counselor may have a hard time with understanding side effects, withdrawal symptoms, safety of drugs, potency, and other very important factors that play in role in understanding the science behind drugs.  Personally, understanding pharmacology will help me greatly in my future career.  It’s always ideal to understand the whole picture and not just what’s on the surface.  In any profession you must understand the links between various assets of the job in order to avoid potential mistakes.