Is There a Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction?
It’s not unusual for the terms drug abuse and drug addiction to be used interchangeably, but are they actually the same? The truth is that drug abuse and drug addiction differ in a number of ways. It’s important to understand the differences between the two because the approaches for treatment can vary.
Understanding Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
Drug abuse is best defined as when abusing substances has become a problem in a person’s life. This can include taking too many drugs, suffering legal trouble as a result of drug use, and even spending too much time thinking about drugs. While some of these examples may overlap with what drug addiction can look like, the main difference is that a drug abuser has the ability to learn from consequences and is able to put down the drugs.
When a person suffers from drug addiction, they have developed a mental and physical obsession with the drug. This means that they are physically and/or psychologically addicted to the drug. Consequences, such as legal issues, relationship problems, and financial distress, are not enough to get an addict to stop using. In fact, addiction is defined as being unable to stop using drugs in spite of any negative outcomes that may occur. Many drug users who suffer from a drug addiction attempt to stop using drugs, only to return back to using shortly after because of the obsessive and compulsive nature to use drugs. Drug addiction is a disease that can impact an addict on a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual level.
Treatment for Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
The treatment for drug abuse and drug addiction can be similar, but treatment for drug addiction may require more intensive care. If an individual has just begun abusing drugs and does not suffer from a physical dependency to the substance, they might be able to seek outpatient treatment, counseling, and/or go to a support group to overcome their problem.
Drug addiction, however, is a disease which needs to be treated by addressing each affected aspect. This is why inpatient rehabilitation can be critical. At an inpatient rehab center, medical detoxification and various types of therapies are offered to address the physical and emotional aspects of addiction. In addition to this, outpatient therapy can be beneficial as part of an aftercare plan because recovering from addiction is a continual process. Even after treatment, a recovering addict will want to work a solid program of recovery by participating in a 12 Step Program or working with a counselor in order to maintain recovery.
Whether you’re struggling with drug abuse or drug addiction, it is important to seek help when you need it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists for support with any substance use disorder.Tags: Addiction, drug abuse, drug addiction