The Differences Between Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse

A drug problem is an everyday struggle of not only the user, although some users haven’t realized yet that it is a problem, but the users family, friends, or special loved one. You may not instantly determine or realize that someone you care about is having problem with drugs.

People involved with drug problems or know someone who has at times thinks that drug addiction and drug abuse are basically the same thing, and should just be used interchangeably. But actually they are both different terms with different meanings. Complexity revolving drug abuse and definition has become increasingly clear and several efforts have been done to look of the right meaning both terms.

Drug Addiction:

The World Health Organization committee (WHO) had collected numerous of definitions concerning drug abuse and addiction and had suggested a generic term “drug dependence”. This addiction is defined as a disorder wherein the drug user’s behavior is being strongly influenced and dominated by the drug. It is a condition of recurring intoxication that happens when there is constant consumption of drug. It has characteristics of intense need or desire of continuous use, tendency of increasing dosage, unfavorable effects on both individual and society, and dependence on effects.

Drug Abuse:

Drug abuse is defined as the misuse of the drug or substance according the culturally acceptable standard. It is simply an abuse usage of substance which may involve excessive and habitual use in order to attain a certain effect. These so-called substances may be illegal, can be taken from streets and syndicates against the law, or can be legal as well in a form of prescription that are used in a pleasurable manner rather than medical.

Causes of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse:

As both terms have different definition, their causes are different as well. Drug abuse is more complicated than drug addiction, although drug addiction has more forceful motivational condition. With drug addiction, it comprises the drug’s effect on the brain wherein it can become a strong motivational factor to use the drug again. On the other hand, drug abuse as a misuse of a substance, may or may not go together with a strong motivational factor to continue the use of the drug. In many cases, therefore, drug abuse does not necessarily make drug addiction, but drug addiction can constitute drug abuse.

Patterns of Behavior:

Drug addiction and Drug abuse have basically the same effects. Both have unwanted or unfavorable consequences both to society and the individual. Some symptoms and patterns of behavior of drug addiction and abuse comprise an abnormally slow in speech, reaction or movement, cycles of restlessness, inability of sleep or intensified energy, sudden gain or loss of weight, series of excessive sleep, sudden constant wearing of long-sleeved tops even under high temperature just to hide scars of injection points, loss of physical control, sudden impulse and confidence in doing risky activities, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drug use.

Knowing the fact that drug users are prone to deny their drug-related symptoms and behavior, the family, friends, and loved ones must be sensitive and be more aware of these signs.

Being with a Drug Abuse or Addiction Problem:

At times it is not easily recognizable that someone so important to you is struggling with drug problem. It could be that it has started very early but not noticeable since the progression is slow, and that person might have been good in hiding the level of drug use from you. Or since that drug has been used early on and slowly, you might have easily adapted to the users behavior to the point that it seems normal still. It can be that the realization that someone so important to you is a victim of drugs is painful. You should never feel embarrassed. There are so many people who are in the same position as you. Drug abuse and addiction have affected millions of families all over the world.

There are available help and support everywhere. You can start by looking for support groups locally. Support groups can be in your very own religious area, private or government institutions, and small communities. By just listening to others who share the same experiences and dilemmas can be a very good way of support and give comfort. Other sources to find support and help would include a therapist, spiritual leader, a trusted friend or family member.

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