There is a difference between drug abuse and addiction that not many people are aware of. As a substance abuse treatment center in Pompano, we understand that these two terms are often used interchangeably.
The differences between the two stem from their effects and their longevity. Certain characteristics of drug use and addiction are different, separating them into distinct categories. However, regardless of these details, drug abuse and addiction to drugs are not only linked, but they can also be life-threatening.
The definition of drug abuse focuses on the way a person uses drugs. When it comes to prescription drugs, taking them more frequently or taking a higher dose than directed by a doctor, mixing them with other substances, or taking them without a prescription are all behaviors that fall under the umbrella of drug abuse. When it comes to illicit or illegal drugs like heroin and methamphetamine, using them in any way can be considered abuse because they wouldn’t otherwise be prescribed to people and because they have a high potential for abuse. Drug abuse also includes the abuse of alcohol. Although people can abuse these substances without necessarily being addicted to them, very rarely can people stay sober after regularly abusing drugs and alcohol.
An addiction to drugs refers to the inability to stop using these substances despite the harm they cause. A drug addict’s body may crave this substance and exhibit certain symptoms when they aren’t using, otherwise known as withdrawal symptoms. Continuous drug abuse causes a chronic dysfunction or disease of the brain’s reward system, affecting the person’s memory, reward, and motivation. This manifests into a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of the “reward” or euphoria that drug highs offer and a lack of concern for anything else. In other words, addiction creates tunnel vision in its users, causing them to focus on nothing but the substance.
Addiction and drug abuse are linked because drug abuse often leads to addiction. When an individual develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s usually difficult for them to stop using on their own. Long-term abuse of these substances can lead to a variety of health problems, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and drug-induced skin disorders. Chronic drug abuse also increases the individual’s chances of experiencing death by overdose. Banyan Treatment Centers Pompano offers a variety of addiction treatment programs that address addiction to multiple substances. Our rehab programs can help you or a loved one get sober again.
The main difference between drug abuse and drug addiction is the former refers to the abuse or misuse of drugs, while the latter refers to an uncontrollable use of drugs. Drug abuse focuses on how a person uses drugs or alcohol. For example, a person who drinks alcohol with their prescription medications is engaging in drug abuse. Addiction, on the other hand, is commonly the result of drug abuse and refers to a disease characterized by the uncontrollable use of drugs or alcohol. While a person who has just begun to abuse drugs still has a chance to avoid addiction if they stop, a person with an addiction may require drug or alcohol addiction treatment to get sober.
Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that can get worse over time without help. Banyan Pompano is a rehab center in Pompano Beach that focuses on treating this disease and helping patients and their loved ones heal. If you or a loved one is currently battling addiction and needs help, call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our levels of care. Our addiction treatment professionals are here to help you get your health and life back.