A drug problem is an everyday struggle of not only the user, but also the user’s family, friends, or a special loved one. You may not instantly determine or realize that someone you care about is having a problem with drugs.

People involved with drug problems think 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.

Drug Addiction:

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, the 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 to 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 or can be legal as well in a form of prescription that is used in a pleasurable manner rather than medical.

Causes of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse:

As both terms have a different definition, their causes are different as well.

Drug abuse is more complicated than drug addiction, although drug addiction has a more forceful motivational condition.

Drug addiction 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: abnormally slow speech, reaction or movement, cycles of restlessness, inability to sleep or intensified energy, sudden gain or loss of weight, constant wearing of long-sleeved tops 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 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.

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