Are Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction the Same Things?

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Are Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction the Same Things?

For some time now, the question has been asked as to what is worse, drug abuse or drug addiction? Drug abuse refers to simply consuming any drug substance in an abusive or recreational fashion and not as intended. This could be things like doing heroin, cocaine, or meth. It could also mean taking prescription drugs in a way that is not intended, even though you have a prescription for them. Drinking excessively or binge drinking is considered alcohol abuse. Alcohol addiction is when you get to the point that you suffer withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from alcohol. Therefore, drug abuse and drug addiction are not the same things.

Drug addiction is usually thought to be much worse because it implies a continual abuse of such a substance to the point that you are physically dependent on it.  But what about marijuana addiction? Is somebody with an addiction to marijuana really worse off than someone who abuses heroin? Probably not, as it is very difficult to kill yourself with marijuana but very easy to do so with heroin.

The Issue of Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

What is and is not an addiction and what is and is not a drug abuse issue?  The real fact of the matter is, that drug abuse and drug addiction often go hand in hand. Ultimately, almost all drugs, including marijuana, are addictive. If a person abuses a drug over and over, they will eventually develop a drug addiction.  Arguably, drug addiction is worse than drug abuse in the majority of cases. This is because odds are that an individual starts by abusing a drug and continues using, thus developing a physical addiction to it.  Individuals do not abuse drugs from time to time recreationally and not experience adverse effects to it.

Which is Worse, Abuse or Addiction?

Try to understand that in most cases, drug addiction is worse than abuse. Addiction implies that the individual now is physically dependent on the substance. They will go through withdrawal symptoms if abstaining from the drug. The only way to relieve the uncomfortable, and possibly dangerous, withdrawal symptoms is to use more of the substance. To avoid becoming even more dependent, the individual must go through a detoxification process.

What Can We do About Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction?

Drug abuse and drug addiction are problems which are surmounting every year.  We as a nation have become far more lax on the subject of drugs and alcohol. There are many areas where we need to provide education on this subject. We need to start with educating our youth more thoroughly about the many dangers of drugs and alcohol. Prevention is key in stamping out substance abuse in our country. Although we will more than likely never be completely rid of drug addiction, we can provide treatment for those in need and provide informative facts on this subject to the public. Don’t let drug abuse and drug addiction overcome your world.

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