Many people talk about drug addiction and drug dependence, and they take both terms in the same way. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has defined that these terms are not the same. In fact, in a clinical environment, not knowing the differences between these two terms can be unfavorable in effectively treating substance abuse.
It is specifically characterized by a behavioral disorder in which the person chooses to take some drugs daily. All the individuals taking drugs think about is getting their hands on and taking a drug. There are also severe biological changes that affect the brain and body directly. Drug addiction can produce dangerous changes in mental and physical behaviors.
Signs of drug addiction:
The dependence or passion for drugs can lead to bad relationships, job loss, and legal troubles. Common signs of addiction may include:
- Drug-seeking (searching for specific drugs through illegal means such as going to different pharmacies and drug gamblers).
- Obsession with getting the drug
- Non-conventional usage (to become intoxicating and using drugs for the sake of pleasure)
- Disturbance in normal routine activities (missing appointments and being less productive)
- Legal problems
- Relationship problems
Treatment for Drug addiction:
Detoxification can help cure physical needs, but psychological dependence on drug use is not possible to cure which can cause relapse. This is the reason people fail to maintain sobriety in the recovery from drug addiction.
Drug dependence is the condition in which the individual becomes dependent on drug use even for normal functioning. If the person is not taking drugs for a period, he will go toward the withdrawal symptoms that signal dependence. They include:
This type of dependence can also result in certain psychological problems. drug dependence can have the following symptoms; depression, anxiety, trouble concentrating, etc.
Drugs with Dependence:
Some medicines can produce dependence symptoms instead of addiction. Examples of this include
- Medications for depression
- Blood pressure medication
You may face withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking such drugs, but you won’t have an intense necessity to continue taking the drug. Likewise, some people are more likely to develop an addiction to drugs than others centered on psychological and biological factors as well as social impacts.
Different drugs cause different physical changes, but the symptoms of drug addiction are the same. Drug addiction is a very complex disorder that requires appropriate treatment, maintenance, and accurate tools to help you recapture control and enjoy a sober, happier life.Learn More
Welcome to the topic, “Drug Abuse to Drug Addiction”.
Drug addiction is not only about cocaine, heroin, or other illegal substances. You can get addicted to nicotine, alcohol, anti-anxiety and sleep medicines, and some other legal substances.
You can also get addicted to prescription medicines or opioids or illegally obtained narcotic pain medications. In the United States, this addiction problem is at an epidemic level. In a 2018’s survey, it came to know that only opioids played a 2/3rd part among all overdose deaths.
In the first stages, you would like to choose a drug that makes you feel better. You will think that you can control the doses and frequency of drug use. But as time passes, drugs affect your brain’s functioning. They automatically lose control of drug use and bring damaging changes in their mental and physical state.
Addiction vs. Abuse and Tolerance
When you use illegal or legal substances in a way you should not use them is called drug abuse. You use drugs in more than the prescribed amount or follow prescriptions other than your doctor. You may abuse such drugs to avoid reality, release stress, or feel good. But in this case, you are usually able to change or completely stop your unhealthy habits.
When you can’t stop the use of a substance is called addiction. Even if you it is dangerous for health. Even causes emotional, financial, and other critical problems for you or relatives and friends. The urge to take a drug fills your complete day with its thoughts even if you want to quit it.
Addiction is also quite different from physical tolerance or dependence. In cases of physical dependency, withdrawal symptoms occur when you stop a substance at once. Tolerance occurs when the same amount of dose can’t produce the effect it did before.
How to Avoid Addiction to Prescribed Pain Medicines
Most of the people using prescribed medicines don’t get addicted to them if used according to the prescription. Not even if they use these medicines for a longer time.
But if you have abused a drug or alcohol before or have a family history of drug abuse you will be at higher risk of addiction.
Here are some tips to avoid drug addiction:
- Take medicines in a way prescribed by the doctor.
- Before you start taking a prescribed drug tell your doctor about your or your family’s addiction history; this will help in choosing better medicine for you without the risk of addiction.
Note that it is common for most individuals to use pain medications to develop tolerance and need more level of doses to have the same effect of the medicine. This is not a sign of addiction as it is a common thing among all. In addition, you need higher doses but not for pain relief. But if this effect becomes trouble for you immediately ask your doctor.
Don’t Wait; Get Help Now
If you are facing problems with drug use or can’t control the level of doses, tell your doctor immediately.
It will take time to get well from the impacts caused by addiction. There is no proper cure for addiction, but advanced treatment programs can help you avoid or stop drug abuse completely. Your treatment program may include medicine, counseling, or both. Talk to our healthcare experts to figure out the best suitable plan for you.Learn More