Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing public health problems in the USA. To address this epidemic, a near real-Time monitoring strategy, instead of one resorting to a retrospective health records, may improve detecting the prevalence and patterns of abuse of both illegal drugs and prescription medications. In this paper, our primary goals are to demonstrate the possibility of utilizing social media, e.g., Twitter, for automatic monitoring of illegal drug and prescription medication abuse. We use machine learning methods for an automatic classification that can identify tweets that are indicative of drug abuse. We collected tweets associated with well-known illegal and prescription drugs. We manually annotated 300 tweets that are likely to be related to drug abuse. Our experiment compares a set of classification algorithms, and a decision tree classifier J48, and the SVM outperform others for determining whether tweets contain signals of drug abuse. This automatic supervised classification study results illustrate the utility of Twitter in examining patterns of abuse, and show the feasibility of building the drug abuse detection system that can process large volume data from social media sources in a near real-Time.