When Does Drug Abuse Escalate to Drug Addiction?
Drug abuse can all too easily escalate and transition into a full-blown drug addiction. But when exactly does this occur? Although it can be difficult to notice when drug use develops into an addiction, it helps to understand what both drug abuse and drug addiction are defined as in addition to what the signs of each are.
Understanding Drug Abuse & Drug Addiction
One of the main differences between drug abuse and drug addiction is that addiction in itself is a chronic brain disease. More specifically, drug addiction is classified as having the obsession and compulsion to use drugs in spite of any negative consequences. Drug abuse can still be a problem, but what truly sets the use of drugs apart from a full-blown addiction is the obsessive and compulsive nature of continuing to use drugs regardless of any legal, financial, or emotional consequences. Drug abuse often leads to an addiction, especially when the individual continues to use regularly and habitually or as a way to cope with problems.
Many drug users who are not physically and/or psychologically addicted to the drug are able to put the substance down while addicts are rarely, if ever, able to stop using drugs on their own. People who do not suffer from a drug addiction may realize they took too much and want to cut back as a result while a drug addict may overdose or blackout but want to get high again. Overall, drug abusers are typically able to put down the drug but addicts lack the capability of stopping out of pure self-will because they have an “allergy” to substances that is set off every time they use.
Knowing the Signs of Addiction
Drug abuse can look as innocent as a person “experimenting” with substances or getting high with friends on the weekend, but continuous drug use like this can eventually, if not immediately, lead to drug addiction. When a person suffers from a drug addiction, they tend to lose focus on everything other than when they can get their next fix, how they can get their next fix, what they need to afford their next fix, and who they will get their next fix from. Drug addiction can involve denial and minimization. If it is suggested than an individual is addicted, the person may become angry and dispute the thought when the truth is that they can’t put the substance down or stay stopped for long.
Treatment for Drug Addiction & Drug Abuse
While drug addiction and drug abuse can happen, there is treatment available for both. Substance use disorders like these can be treated initially with a medical detox and inpatient rehab. These treatments allow for the individual to be removed from their environment long enough for them to receive critical care for underlying issues. By addressing the core root issues, these individuals can start to heal and learn how to cope without the use of substances.
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs offers comprehensive care to treat substance use disorders like alcoholism, drug addiction, and substance abuse. If you, or someone you know, is struggling to stay sober, call The Watershed for help today at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Addiction, drug abuse, drug addiction, substance use disorder