The Differences Between Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse

A drug problem is an everyday struggle of not only the user, although some users haven’t realized yet that it is a problem, but the users family, friends, or special loved one. You may not instantly determine or realize that someone you care about is having problem with drugs.

People involved with drug problems or know someone who has at times thinks that drug addiction and drug abuse are basically the same thing, and should just be used interchangeably. But actually they are both different terms with different meanings. Complexity revolving drug abuse and definition has become increasingly clear and several efforts have been done to look of the right meaning both terms.

Drug Addiction:

The World Health Organization committee (WHO) had collected numerous of definitions concerning drug abuse and addiction and had suggested a generic term “drug dependence”. This addiction is defined as a disorder wherein the drug user’s behavior is being strongly influenced and dominated by the drug. It is a condition of recurring intoxication that happens when there is constant consumption of drug. It has characteristics of intense need or desire of continuous use, tendency of increasing dosage, unfavorable effects on both individual and society, and dependence on effects.

Drug Abuse:

Drug abuse is defined as the misuse of the drug or substance according the culturally acceptable standard. It is simply an abuse usage of substance which may involve excessive and habitual use in order to attain a certain effect. These so-called substances may be illegal, can be taken from streets and syndicates against the law, or can be legal as well in a form of prescription that are used in a pleasurable manner rather than medical.

Causes of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse:

As both terms have different definition, their causes are different as well. Drug abuse is more complicated than drug addiction, although drug addiction has more forceful motivational condition. With drug addiction, it comprises the drug’s effect on the brain wherein it can become a strong motivational factor to use the drug again. On the other hand, drug abuse as a misuse of a substance, may or may not go together with a strong motivational factor to continue the use of the drug. In many cases, therefore, drug abuse does not necessarily make drug addiction, but drug addiction can constitute drug abuse.

Patterns of Behavior:

Drug addiction and Drug abuse have basically the same effects. Both have unwanted or unfavorable consequences both to society and the individual. Some symptoms and patterns of behavior of drug addiction and abuse comprise an abnormally slow in speech, reaction or movement, cycles of restlessness, inability of sleep or intensified energy, sudden gain or loss of weight, series of excessive sleep, sudden constant wearing of long-sleeved tops even under high temperature just to hide scars of injection points, loss of physical control, sudden impulse and confidence in doing risky activities, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drug use.

Knowing the fact that drug users are prone to deny their drug-related symptoms and behavior, the family, friends, and loved ones must be sensitive and be more aware of these signs.

Being with a Drug Abuse or Addiction Problem:

At times it is not easily recognizable that someone so important to you is struggling with drug problem. It could be that it has started very early but not noticeable since the progression is slow, and that person might have been good in hiding the level of drug use from you. Or since that drug has been used early on and slowly, you might have easily adapted to the users behavior to the point that it seems normal still. It can be that the realization that someone so important to you is a victim of drugs is painful. You should never feel embarrassed. There are so many people who are in the same position as you. Drug abuse and addiction have affected millions of families all over the world.

There are available help and support everywhere. You can start by looking for support groups locally. Support groups can be in your very own religious area, private or government institutions, and small communities. By just listening to others who share the same experiences and dilemmas can be a very good way of support and give comfort. Other sources to find support and help would include a therapist, spiritual leader, a trusted friend or family member.

Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Addiction, Signs and Treatments

The teenage years are among the toughest, so many changes and discoveries. Try to remember your teenage years while dealing with your teenager. Drugs and alcohol are a situation that all teens face and most will experiment. Wondering whether or not your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol can be stressful. If you think your teen may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol but don’t know how to deal with it, the first thing to do is make sure this is the problem your teen is facing. Some signs that your teen may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol include:

~Dramatic Mood Swings~

Teenagers all have normal mood swings. But look for more dramatic changes — like happy and full of energy one minute and then withdrawal, sadness, or fits of rage.

No one knows your child like you do but during these times you can feel like you don’t know them at all.

~Does your teen have new friends?~

Teens often hang out with teens that are into the same things they are. If your teen has suddenly ditched his/her old friend for newer maybe older one it is a good sign that they may be using.

~Acting out in school~

Has your teens grades dropped recently? Has their attitude towards school changed? Cutting class, fighting, and generally acting out are signs that they might be using.

~Attitude and health~

Is there a change in appetite, or sleep patterns? Is your teen being openly dishonest and defiant? Has alcohol come up missing in your home? How about the medicine cabinet? Have you smelled cigarettes or alcohol on his/her breath? Is your teen using a lot of breath mints lately? Have they changed how they dress or do their hair? Have you suspected that your teen might be drunk or on something? Any slurred speech, stumbling, Or bloodshot eyes?

~Family~

Has anyone close to you mentioned that they think your teen may be using? Even if it’s only one person, it’s enough to investigate further.Teens will try to hide their drug and alcohol abuse from you.

No parent want to see their kids in this situation. We all as parents want only the best for them. Being faced with a teen that is using drugs and alcohol, can seem very overwhelming. How do you handle this? Is there help? Many parents deal with this problem everyday. There is help! Sometimes the solution varies, depending on your situation.

Sometimes, just talking to your teen can help. Be understanding, and try to remember how tough this age is, but let them know that you will not tolerate this behavior. Let them know that you are here to help and that they can trust you to always be there for them. Tell them the consequences of abusing drugs and alcohol, even if they already know them, sometimes hearing you say it can make all the difference.

If simply talking to your teen doesn’t work then maybe a teen intervention is in order. It is one thing to hear one person who loves you ask you to stop your behavior, but, quite another to have everyone who loves you ask.

There is a difference between a teen who is experimenting with drugs and alcohol and a teen who is addicted to them.

Teen drug addiction can be harder to deal with. Again, the situation varies. Some parents turn to a support center, places designed to help you deal with your out of control teen, drug abuse counseling is an alternative to look into. Sadly, with all they are going through it can be hard for teens to talk to their parents, they may feel more comfortable talking to a stranger. With counseling at least you can pick the stranger they talk to.

Some parents take a firmer stand and send their teen to a teen drug rehab. There are many rehab centers available. Do some research, find the top rehab program.

The important thing is to get your teen treatment, whether your teen needs alcohol treatment or teen drug treatment, it’s your job as a parent to help them through this.

Online Pharmacies Feeding Prescription Drug Abuse

The U.S. Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act prohibits delivery in America of controlled substances not prescribed by a physician. Yet, rogue pharmacy websites outside of the U. S. send out millions of email solicitations and some do not adhere to U.S. prescriptive regulations. Warnings have been issued to more than 100 online pharmacies for violations, but the law of supply and demand often trumps attempts by the Federal Drug Association to squelch the access to drugs.

Access to online pharmacies has caused a rapid increase in drug abuse, addiction and the self-destructive aspects to the abuser, their loved ones and the community. We’re talking about highly addictive, powerful opioid pain killers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin), sedatives and tranquilizers, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) and stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) that are used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders. These are but a small list of the mood/mind altering prescription grade medications available online.

In 2011, the Internet celebrated its 20th birthday. Globally, an estimated 2.67 billion people are users with a gargantuan growth of 528% from 2000 to 2011. Internet users continue to grow at an accelerated rate.

International and Communications Technology has many benefits but it also has horrific and destructive aspects such as cyber criminals, cyber bullies, cyber stalkers and online sexual predators to name a few. A new growing epidemic is the escalation of prescription drug abuse.

Prescription drugs are fast replacing illegal substances on college campuses. States with the greatest expansion in high-speed internet access had the largest increase of admissions for treatment of drug abuse (Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Southern California). Interestingly, as online prescription drug sales increase, admission for abuse of alcohol, cocaine and heroin had minimal or negative growth rates.

Senior Citizens are among those most vulnerable to prescription drug abuse or misuse because they are prescribed more medications than younger patients. Most people take prescription medications responsibly: however, an estimated 48 million people (ages 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetimes. Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.

The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly 20% of people in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Steroid abuse is also on the rise. Men report higher rates of steroid use than women do. Prescription drug abuse is generally the same between men and women, except among 12 to 17 year olds. In this age group, research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that females are more likely to use psychotherapeutic drugs for non-medical purposes. Research has also shown that women in general are more likely to use narcotic pain relievers and tranquilizers for non-medical purposes.

The number of teens and young adults (ages 12 to 25) who were new abusers of prescription painkillers grew from 400,000 in the 1980s to 2 million in 2000, according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. New users of tranquilizers, which are normally used to treat anxiety and tension, increased 50% between 1999 and 2000 in a study of students in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Once someone begins ingesting a number of pills for medical issues like managing blood pressure and cholesterol, it becomes easier to take narcotic painkillers, prescription sleep aids and other, more addictive drugs. It also increases the risk of negative and possibly fatal interactions between drugs, especially when they are not used as prescribed. The exact relationship between a dramatic increase in the proper use and an increase in abuse of prescription medications is unknown. A stated above, prescription drugs account for the second most abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.

Having treated alcohol and drug abuse, these writers suspect that the use and abuse of these medications by Americans are far greater than estimated. As the Internet continues to grow in number of users and accessibility to global markets, we suspect that prescription drug abuse and addiction will continue to rise. International online pharmacies knowingly marketing and selling prescription medications to Americans privy to our FDA regulations are engaged in cybercrime and illegal drug trade. Given the many dangers of ordering medications from online pharmacies, it is highly recommended to work with your family doctor on all prescription medicines.