Defining a Drug Abuse Problem

Defining a Drug Abuse ProblemMany people may make little distinction between drug abuse, addiction, dependence and other addiction-related terms, but these all describe unique stages of drug misuse. In other words, Seattle residents may be developing a physical and psychological reliance on a substance as they bounce from one of these terms to another. Likewise, different terms describe drug use, especially concerning how often, under what circumstances and for what reason people use different substances. If people want to safeguard themselves from the dangers of drug abuse, they should learn what causes addiction and also what treatment options can address both its causes and effects.

Casual Drug Use

Casual drug use refers to occasionally using small amounts, as opposed to using regularly or using large amounts. A casual drug user takes drugs when it is convenient and the drug is accessible. Many people may believe this only refers to drug use that does not bear consequences, but it merely refers to infrequent use that is currently not dependence or addiction. Seattle residents still abuse drugs even if they take safer drugs infrequently.

Recreational Drug Use

This term refers to intentional dug use to obtain pleasurable side effects, such as experiencing a euphoric high, a sense of calm, mental stimulation, physical endurance or a loss of inhibitions. Recreational use refers to the motive – it can be defined as casual use or abuse, depending on how frequently and in what amounts someone uses the drug. People can also identify drug abuse from the behaviors people exhibit with and without the drug.

Use vs. Abuse

The distinction between use and abuse is not always clear. Drug use is a broader term describing the action of using a drug for whatever reason. Drug abuse is a more specific term that implies habitually taking addictive or illegal drugs without a prescription or in a different amount than prescribed. Any use of illegal drugs is by definition abuse, while use of legal substances is only considered abuse if the patient is taking drugs outside of a prescription

Abuse vs. Addiction

Drug abuse implies a choice. If someone is abusing drugs, she is choosing to disregard risks and consequences to obtain whatever effects a substance may produce. However, when someone is addicted, his drugs use is still referred to as drug abuse, though not merely that. It is now also a physical and psychological disease that affects motives, actions and the addict’s everyday life. When users quit considering the sacrifices they made to sustain a habit, then they are addicted (the stage during wherein “choice” is absent, except the choice to accept help and avoid negative drug influences.

What Is Drug Dependence?

Dependence refers to the state between abuse and addiction, and it means the user’s body needs the drug to function normally, though she may not have developed the psychological attributes that define addiction. Abstinence from the drug generally causes withdrawal symptoms, but this can occur without addiction. Dependence merely describes use of the drug to maintain normal physiological function.

Help for Drug Abuse, Dependence and Addiction

There are many resources to help Seattle drug addicts, whether they are fully-blown addicts or want to quit before they become addicted. Call our toll-free helpline to speak with a counselor about resources and treatment options to get your life back on track. We are available 24 hours a day, so please call today.