The Difference Between Abuse and Addiction

Drug use is a prevalent feature of life thanks to our proximity to the drug cartels in Mexico. There are varying levels of drug use and lots of terms used to define them. Not all of those terms are set in stone and depending on the type of drug being discussed the definitions can vary widely. What makes it even more difficult is that people tend to use a lot of these terms interchangeably, further blurring their meanings. Drug addiction treatment quickly becomes the only way to get away from drug use once dependence sets in, but before that stage, there are others.more from here

Drug Use
Experimenting with drugs, alcohol, prescription medication, or inhalants to simply see what it’s like to be high or to improve athletic ability or self-treat personal problems like stress, anxiety or depression. Simply using drugs does not immediately indicate abuse or even addiction.

Drug Misuse
Drug misuse is when a prescription or over-the-counter medication is used for purposes other than initially prescribed or indicated by the label, especially if the sole intent of using it is to achieve a state of intoxication or high.

Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is when a substance is being used by someone with the knowledge that it is causing them harm to do so, regardless of whether that harm is physical, mental, or interfering with work or relationships. Substance abusers know they shouldn’t be using the drug or substance of choice, but continue to do so. Drug abuse is often typified by recurring impairment of performance at work, neglect of familial needs, legal trouble for using while driving around disorderly conduct charges. This is not the same as dependence, however.

Drug Dependence
Drug dependence is what most laymen would start to consider addiction. Physical changes have occurred in the body because of the substance being abused. Tolerance to the intoxicating effect may have begun so that more has to be used to get the same high as before. The user may find it impossible to stop, even if they want to. More time is spent trying to purchase the drug or substance of choice. Important activities including work and family obligations are sidelined in favor of pursuing their drug use. Trying to quit using the substance also may produce withdrawal symptoms for a person who is dependent.

Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is defined differently depending on the particular drug being abused but generally shares these similarities: The feeling that the drug must be used regularly, at least once a day if not more. A steady supply of the drug must be easily accessible. The user has attempted to quit multiple times and consistently failed. Developing behavior outside of what you would consider acceptable when not on the drug, like stealing, in order to obtain the drug. They “need” the drug to deal with problems.

Drug addiction is a complex disease that is as individual as each person who suffers from it. No two people will become addicted in the same way or at the same rate. Even the type of drug used will alter how dependence and addiction occurs. For this reason, drug addiction treatment needs to be as individual as the person suffering from this disease.