Drug Addiction Drug Abuse
What is the difference between drug addiction and drug abuse?
Drug Addiction Drug Abuse: What is drug abuse?
The easiest way of defining drug abuse is observing that a person uses a drug for something other than a medically prescribed purpose.
That is, they have a habit of taking a drug to “get high” or “feel better.” They take more than prescribed amounts. They take the drugs for recreation.
Some “drugs” that are used for recreation may not be prescription meds, or over-the-counter medications, or even street drugs. They can be common, everyday chemicals. For example, people inhale glue or solvents to get high. People want to have a mood change, to feel good.
Drug Addiction Drug Abuse
Professional drug counselors will tell you that any use of illegal drugs is drug abuse. Those drugs are illegal because they are potentially very addictive and harmful to a person’s health. That broadens our definition of drug abuse even more.
Therefore, any illegal drug use, or any use of prescription or non-prescription medication use beyond what is prescribed by a medical professional, or any use of a chemical to get high, is drug abuse.
There are some drugs that are used to relax, to feel good, to be sociable. Alcohol is the most common drug used in America for this purpose. It’s legal, and if taken in moderation, is not harmful. But alcohol is addictive. Some people say marijuana is not addictive, and therefore should be legal, but researchers have found that marijuana has other harmful effects, even if someone is not “addicted.” People can become psychologically addicted, even if there is no physical dependence.
Almost any substance can be abused and abuse or addiction are possible. Cigarettes, caffeine and other common, legal substances are abused by people every day. Sometimes the line between use and abuse is fuzzy.
For example, people might go to the tavern after work and have a couple of drinks with their friends. Is that abuse? Some might argue that it becomes abuse when it becomes a regular, daily occurrence. Too many cigarettes, too much coffee, to many diet sodas. The line is determined by the person.
Drug Addiction Drug Abuse: What is drug addiction?
We will now try to determine when drug abuse becomes addiction. When a person is abusing a drug they are making a choice. They choose to get high. When a person goes into addiction, their choice in the matter is either severely limited or taken away entirely.
The 12-Step process begins with a very important statement, “We admitted we were powerless…”
You can insert the drug that is doing the damage. When the drug takes over, when a person’s life is all about getting the drug and taking the drug, when nothing but the drug matters, that is addiction. A person might develop a physical “need” for the drug, or a psychological craving for the drug. The first step in the 12-Step process ends with:
“that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Drug Addiction Drug Abuse: Powerless and unmanageable
Powerless and unmanageable are the hallmarks of addiction. When brain chemistry changes, the mind is tricked into thinking it NEEDS the drug to function. A physical addiction sets in and the person must have the drug. Just like the body needs food to survive, the addicted mind needs the drug to survive. It doesn’t matter if the person is dying, it doesn’t matter if their health has deteriorated and even if their life has been ruined. All that matters is the drug.
The addicted person might even holler and scream that they are in control, that they can “handle it,” or that every other person who is watching is wrong and only they are right. Sadly, addiction is easier to see from the outside looking in.
There are medical explanations of addiction, but suffice it to say that addiction owns the addict. From the perspective of the addicted person, they have to take the drug to feel “normal” or to feel “good.” There is no choice. People do things they normally would never think of doing. They steal money. They become prostitutes. They break off relationships, even the ones with those they love the most. Why? The drug is dictating their life.
Drug Addiction Drug Abuse: So now what?
Whether a person is struggling with drug addiction drug abuse to drugs, it’s a problem. It is not a problem that a mere “I’ll cut back,” or “I can handle it” is going to solve. Drug addiction drug abuse are both serious problems.
Perhaps a person can recognize that their drug use is really abuse and they will stop on their own. God bless them. But most people can’t. They need professional help. They can talk to their doctor and maybe get a recommendation on a treatment program. There are social service agencies that deal help deal with drug abuse or addiction.
There are treatment centers. There is Alcoholics Anonymous. Recovery from abuse and addiction is vitally important. Seek professional help and guidance. Drug abuse or addiction are both serious problems that should be dealt with as soon as possible because the situation is only likely to get much worse.
Drug Addiction Drug Abuse: Drug Addiction causes permanent changes in brain chemistry
Because of the change in the brain’s chemistry and function, it’s very difficult for people who are addicted to stop using; that's what is so difficult about drug addiction.
Treatment centers around the country have found that a combination of medications, along with behavioral therapy is the most effective way of helping the patient manage the disease.
Treatment centers will tailor-made a program to meet the needs of patients seeking help. We are body, mind and spirit. Medicine can effectively treat the body and the mind, but medicine alone does not treat the spirit.
It's been 2 years!
(from: South East England)
It's been something like two years. I don't know exactly, I
don't like to count. It's never as long as you think it's been when you
work it out and I always find that hard!
My name is Jay, I'm 28 now and I come from a fairly well off loving home, I always felt a little shy inside and didn't mix well. I tried the odd little bit of speed when i used to go out but never thought I'd end up like i did. Basically in brief through a friend I tried coke. And as time went on I used more and more, on some cases as much as 18 grams in a night.
I used when I met my girlfriend, i used when she became my fiance, and still when she became my wife. She of course knew and occasionally used socially, but she stopped, and told me to. That's when I was at my worst, now I had to lie, and when I lied i used more and more. Any excuse, any time..... work, home, alone with friends.
My life started to become coke related. I was forever thinking about it, buying it, taking it, lying about it, hiding it.
Any way time went on, I'd been married about 2 years or so and my wife left. Funny enough not anything to do with drugs, she claimed she never knew, but more like never cared.
She had an affair, I fell apart, I tried to commit suicide but in honesty pretty much bottled it. Tried an overdose but it's not easy when your body has such a high tolerance! Tried crashing the car but got too scared. So I did what I felt I needed to.
I TOLD, every one, my parents, sisters, ex's family. Just every one that mattered and would listen. For me that was probably the hardest part. I had to sit and watch the look in the eyes of the parents I love so much as I muttered those dirty words. "mum, dad. I have a problem. I am a cocaine addict."
I cry even just writing them. Then I made my promise, to me more than any one else. That was going to be it, no more drugs, none of the people, none of the places.
And that was exactly what I did. I DID IT. Just me. I walked away. I walked from the pubs I drank in, The town I'd hang around in, and probably hardest ALL of my friends that where involved.
Even my very best mate, also called Jay, I know he's had a child now and hope he's clean and doing well, but I couldn't fix him too. I needed all of my energy for me. I had no direct help. No rehab or alike. I just stopped, I hurt and I struggled. I called my sis at 1 am just to talk to try and stop my brain realising how much it wanted to escape.
It took a lot of sitting and looking at my self to realise that i didn't like me and i had many issues, but slowly day by day i beat them, and although i wouldn't say i love my self i am def starting to like me a bit more.
I moved on, i've met someone. I have a step daughter now, she's 8. She can be a pain but i guess we all where at 8. I love her to bits and i love her mum in a way i never thought i'd love any one. And if you're reading this then you'll be only the third person to find out, she's pregnant! I am so happy.
Look I still have the odd down day, even now. I just crash and I find it a little hard to cope. My mrs sorta understands but no one will ever get it 100 per cent unless they've been there.
All I want to say to you is that if you're reading this then you're on you're way there, i promise. We don't all take the same route and only you can decide which route is right for you. But you can do it. No matter how dark it gets there will always be a light. No matter how hard it gets there will always be some one to reach out and take your hand.
Many of us have walked through the valley of the shadow of death before, and now we are like family. You don't know me, you haven't met me but be assured my i'm hear. When people don't listen it is time to shout, and when they don't run to help you run to them and ask for their help.
You will do it, hold your head high and be strong. Because when you make it, it will all be worth while.
Take care x
That ends the of story on Drug addiction drug abuse.