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Difference Between Drug Addiction And Drug Abuse

Tip : Identify The Triggers

Your Health: Addiction and Substance Abuse

A trigger is an emotional reaction an individual develops because of a disturbing experience or an external factor in the past. It increases ones urge to use drugs. This is especially common during the last stages of drug abuse treatment, leading to .

Triggers are mostly related to incidents causing stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. After identifying them, it becomes easy to manage the victims.

Physical Dependence On A Drug

This doesnt necessarily mean you or your loved one is addicted to something or has developed an addiction. Its possible to develop a physical dependence on a prescription drug you have been taking for a long period of time and following the doctors instructions exactly.

Some medications cannot be stopped all at once. Instead, people need to be weaned off them by lowering their dosage over a period of time in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. For example, antidepressants should not be stopped all at once. Discontinuation symptoms, as the withdrawal symptoms from antidepressant medication are called, can be uncomfortable. If someone stops taking the medication abruptly, they could feel anxious or even depressed. Some people complain of flu-like symptoms or dizziness in the days and weeks after stopping their medication.

Prescription pain medications are another type of drug that should not be stopped all at once but instead should be weaned off slowly in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Dilaudid, can create a dependence in people who use them for some time, even if they are following their doctors orders as directed.

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Drug Addiction And Drug Abuse Difference

When drug addiction and drug abuse are mentioned, they both often get lumped together. However, there is a difference between the two. Drug addiction is when someone has an intense craving for drugs that cant be controlled or forgotten about. They will do anything to have more of the drug in their system because it feels like life without it isnt worth living. Drug abuse refers to using drugs recreationally and then stopping on your own terms. Its still a drug, but it doesnt have the same intensity as drug addiction.

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Recognizing Unhealthy Use Of Drugs In Yourself

Getting intense urges to take more drugs to block out a thought or emotion

Feeling that you need to take drugs regularly or even several times a day

The dosage of the drug keeps on increasing over time

Needing more drugs to create the same effect

Cutting back from socializing, ignoring responsibilities, and not meeting obligations

Going extreme to get drugs which you usually would not have, like stealing

Experiencing whenever you try to stop using drugs

Difference Between Drug Addiction And Drug Abuse

Do You Know the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction?

Questions that might have struck your mind after reading the heading could be:

1: Isnt drug abuse and drug addiction the same thing?2: What are the leading causes and effects of drug abuse or drug addiction?3: Does drug overdose lead to death?

The above questions and all the rest you are thinking about are all rational. Findings show that the harmful effects of drugs consume around 8.5 lakh people in India. It is not much of a surprise, if you too, are worried about the impact of a drug that has come down upon someone you love.

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An Introduction To Drug Abuse And Addiction

Drug abuse, addiction and alcoholism are three of the most common problems plaguing adolescents, teens, and adults alike. Recent reports place the numbers of Americans, aged 12 and older, suffering from substance and/or alcohol abuse issues above 20 million. Despite the staggering numbers and the fact that only a fraction of those who need treatment for alcohol and drug abuse and addiction actually receive it when it is affecting you or someone close to you, there are many things you can do to help address the burgeoning problem of drug abuse.

The Dangers Of Substance Misuse

There are several dangers that can occur as a result of substance misuse, including the ever-present risk for overdose, which can be fatal. Regardless of the severity of ones misuse, the risk of overdose always remains, as do other dangers such as contracting blood borne diseases through intravenous drug use or being involved in a serious accident due to being under the influence.

Those who do not have an addiction generally have control over their substance use. If these individuals wish to stop using drugs or alcohol, they can usually do so without the need for extensive treatment. There is always a chance that this casual use can turn into addiction, however, and oftentimes, that addiction can develop quickly. The National Institute on Alcohol Use and Alcoholism estimates that 40 percent of individuals who begin drinking before they are 15 years old will become dependent on alcohol.

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What Is Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a compulsive need to keep taking the drug or substance, regardless of the consequences and risks they cause. If a person attempts to quit, they experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings that make them start using the drug again. A patient with a drug addiction needs professional help to recover successfully. This is the main point of difference between drug abuse and drug addiction.

As a mental health problem, drug addiction affects a persons brain and behavior. It often starts with the experimental use of recreational drugs. For some people, recreational use becomes more frequent to the point they start abusing the substance and pave the way to addiction.

The development of drug addiction has a lot to do with genetics and the environment.

Drug addiction is formally classified as a substance use disorder in DSM-5. Young males are most likely to develop drug addiction. For example, 22% of males and 17% of females misused prescription drugs or used illegal drugs within the past year, according to National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics.

The same report also shows that 31.9 million Americans are current illegal drug users. Every year, around 700,000 drug overdose deaths occur in the United States.

Prevention Of Drug Dependence After Medical Use Of Drug

What is addiction? | APA

If drugs are used or handled properly, there is no need of drug addiction but when drugs are used excessively especially analgesics, and then dependence will occur. Prevention could be brought about by spacing the drug dosages as much as Possible. Effort should also be made by withdrawing the drug of addiction from the patients or conceal the nature of the drug. In some patient whose expectation of life is little, there is no need to bother much on drug dependence when planning therapy

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What Is Physical Dependence

Physical dependence is when the body has physiologically adapted to the presence of a substance.

When you repeatedly use a drug, the brain begins to adapt to the increased dopamine. Neurons start making less dopamine or reduce the number of receptors. The amount of dopamine your brain naturally produces decreases, and you begin to feel depressed and unable to enjoy the things that normally give you pleasure. You still seek the drug to increase your dopamine levels and achieve that high, but you now need the drug just to feel normal you are physically dependant.

If you have a physical dependence on a substance, you will experience a range of withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. These can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, can be dangerous. They make it even more challenging to stop using a substance.

9 Signs and symptoms of drug addiction are:

  • Feeling like you need to use a drug to cope with a problem
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities you usually enjoy
  • Losing friends or having issues with colleagues at work
  • Missing days off work
  • Stealing and lying to family and friends
  • Having sudden and more frequent outbursts of anger
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

Recognizing Unhealthy Use Of Drugs In A Loved One

Frequent missing of school or work or drop in the quality of the result

Changes in health like sudden weight loss or gain, lack of motivation or energy, red eyes, etc.

A significant change in behavior like being secretive, not involving friends or family, etc.

Lack of interest in grooming, looks, or clothing

A frequent request for money without any explanation

Now that the potent symptoms and major triggers of drug abuse have been discussed, one can easily detect the incidence of the abuse and avoid the same by following the useful tips mentioned above.

However, treatment of drug abuse may be challenging as it involves withdrawal symptoms. So, it is best to consult professionals and approach for holistic health recovery.

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How Do Drugs Of Abuse Differ From Medicines

Drugs of abuse differ from medicines because they have no medical purpose. On the other hand, medicines prevent, cure, or aid the management of various illnesses and health conditions.

A drug of abuse is a specific substance or compound, whereas medicine is a pharmacological product that contains a form of some compound delivered through a specific dosage.

This subject is more complex than it seems, though. For example, the drug can be any chemical substance that acts on the body and alters physiological processes to treat, prevent, or manage some disease. Medicine is the formulated form of the drug.

More precisely, the term drug generally refers to an active pharmaceutical ingredient, whereas medicine is the formulation of that compound with or without excipients.

While drugs of abuse dont have a suitable dosage and form, medicines do. Additionally, medicines are used for the treatment of specific health problems directly, while drugs of abuse are not.

Drugs of abuse and medicines differ in terms of sources, too. For example, drug abuse may stem from plants, minerals, herbs, microorganisms, and other sources. The source of medicine is the drug with other additions.

The clients can only leave the property under the care of our therapeutic team.

You can bring all your electronic devices with you. We have fiber optic WIFI throughout the whole property and you can use this WIFI 24/7. We ask you to turn off your phone during group sessions and one-to-one sessions.

How To Determine Drug Abuse Vs Drug Addiction


Not everyone who uses drugs will develop an addiction to them, but its important to recognize when someone is living with addiction and get the support and treatment they need.

Drug abuse means using drugs differently than prescribed or in larger amounts than recommended. Over time, a person who abuses drugs may develop a physical dependence on them. Quitting is nearly impossible and usually requires significant interventions, support, and treatment.

If you are considering if someone has drug abuse vs. drug addiction, keep in mind the four Cs of addiction:

  • Loss of Control over drug use.
  • Compulsive drug use.
  • Continuing to use drugs despite the negative consequences.
  • Someone who feels powerless over their drug use, continues to use drugs while their life unravels, and experiences strong urges to use drugs may meet the criteria for drug addiction. Its essential to seek comprehensive treatment that will provide the skills they need to address addictions physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects.

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    Abuse Vs Addiction: Whats The Difference

    Category: Alcohol Abuse and Addiction, Drugs & Addiction, Resources

    While the terms drug abuse and drug addiction are often used interchangeably, there are several differences between the two. Substance abuse can often lead to addiction, but that is not always the case. In fact, it is possible for a person to abuse drugs or alcohol without becoming addicted. Regardless of whether or not abuse becomes addiction, both forms of substance use are incredibly dangerous and can have detrimental effects on a persons mental, physical, and emotional health. Identifying the differences between the two can help you determine the next steps to take in acquiring help.

    Whats The Difference Between Abuse And Dependence

    Drug abuse is when you use prescription medication in any way other than as directed by a doctor or use any kind of illicit substance.Alcohol abuse is excess alcohol use, often getting as drunk as possible on a regular basis. If you use substances in high quantities, cant control your intake or feel you need them to perform a specific function, such as unwinding or feeling confident, youre likely abusing them.

    Drug dependence is a physical condition, whereby either your body or mind adapts to you using the substance. Physical dependence can be dangerous and occurs with opioids, benzodiazepines and alcohol. The body gets tricked into thinking the substance is a necessary part of daily functioning and can easily continue to addiction. Psychological dependence can be just as harmful, leading to incapacitating cravings, obsessive thoughts and a belief that you rely on the substance to do certain things.

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    When Your Teen Has A Drug Problem

    Discovering your child uses drugs can generate fear, confusion, and anger. Its important to remain calm when confronting your teen, and to only do so when everyone is sober. Explain your concerns and make it clear that your concern comes from a place of love. Its important that your teen feels you are supportive.

    What Are Some Examples Of Substance Abuse

    The link between drug abuse and mental illness

    There are many ways in which a person can engage in active alcohol or drug abuse. For example:

    • Habitual heavy alcohol assumption or binge-drinking
    • Regular marijuana use
    • Purposefully taking more of medication than is prescribed
    • Crushing pain pills so they can be snorted for greater effect

    There is a fine distinction substance abuse and experimentation. Experimentation can refer to mild initial uses of a substance. A teenager who tastes his first beer at a party or who takes one puff off of a joint is not yet a substance abuser. The difference is in the degree and in the establishment of a pattern of use.

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    The Edge Treatment Center Will Help You Avoid Drug Abuse

    Although drug abuse can certainly be avoided especially with the easy-to-use tips listed above sometimes its a harmful behavior pattern that people just fall into. While the risk of drug overdose means addiction is often fatal if left untreated, drug and alcohol addiction is also treatable.

    At , we follow a holistic approach to end individual suffering, whether mental, physical, or both. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about comfort, as our caring and lively community believes in strengthening bonds, creating new relations, and inducing a speedy recovery. So, for a bright future, contact our team today!

    Substance Abuse Vs Substance Dependence

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the leading source for diagnosing and understanding addiction. The DSM-IV defined abuse and dependence as two separate disorders. However, the most recent edition of the DSM no longer creates this distinction.

    Abuse and dependence are defined on a scale that measures the time and degree of substance use. Essentially, abuse is like the early stage of dependence. As substance abuse becomes more frequent, the likelihood of developing a dependence disorder becomes greater.

    Abandoning The Terms

    In 2013, the American Psychological Association released the fifth edition of the DSM. In this edition, the definitions revolving around addiction were changed once again. The APA ditched both substance abuse and substance dependence in favor of substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is now the medical term for addiction. Previously, abuse was a mild form of addiction, and dependence was a moderate or severe form of addiction. That terminology was problematic because in biology the study of organisms dependence refers to a physical adaptation to a substance.

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    Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: January 28, 2019

    David Hampton

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    Holding An Intervention To Stop Drug Abuse

    Someone who abuses drugs may have difficulties acknowledging their use and the severity of their behavior. They may be in denial about their situation and refuse to seek treatment. For this reason, a more focused approach is required.

    An intervention is a carefully planned process, organized by the individuals family and friends and in consultation with a doctor or substance abuse professional.

    During an intervention, these people come together to confront their loved ones about the negative consequences of their condition and discuss treatment options. During interventions, family and friends may:

    Offer specific examples of how their loved one’s behavior has affected them.

    Tell their loved one what they may do if he/she refuses to seek treatment.

    Provide their loved one with a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals, and guidelines.

    Effects Of Drug Abuse

    Substance Use In Women and Men {Infographic}

    Some people believe that experimentation as an adolescent or young adult is a normal part of growing up and do not feel as though it is as dangerous as addiction however, it can have detrimental effects without reaching that point. This is especially true for teens and young adults because of the fact that the body is still undergoing major biological changes. The introduction of mind and mood-altering substances during this time can have numerous consequences on a persons development.

    Different drugs have varying effects depending on numerous factors. The potency of the substance, frequency of use, and whether or not it is mixed with other drugs can produce dangerous side effects that can put a person at risk. Substance abuse affects a persons thinking, mood, energy, and perception of things around them. This combined with decreased motor-functioning, impaired judgement, and poor decision-making can put a person in a dangerous situation. Drug use can also lower inhibitions making a person more likely to engage in activities or behaviors they would not otherwise.

    Drug abuse also puts a person at risk for being exposed to infectious diseases and a host of other health problems. Even occasional substance abuse can put a person at risk for overdose.

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