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Difference Between Abuse and Addiction

Abuse vs Addiction

People are not that confused with the terms abuse and addiction. Do you know why? It is because they mistakenly use the two words interchangeably. Many people believe that both terms refer to the same thing when they really do not.

Abuse, as in the case of substance abuse, happens when a person or individual commits the following behaviors or actions for at least a year:

1. Whenever one’s overall school or work performances are negatively affected due to substance use (alcohol or drug).
2. Taking part in unruly behaviors that will compromise other people’s safety aside from his or her own. A good example is driving drunk with someone else inside the car.
3. Continuous use of intoxicating substances despite knowing the fact that it already causes some strain on his or her inter and intra personal relationships.
4. Repeatedly having some form of issues with the police, as well as, financial troubles and legal predicaments because of drug and alcohol use.

On the other hand, addiction is a more severe form that still involves the intake or use of harmful substances. One is regarded to have been involved in substance addiction if he or she:

1. Has already developed tolerance. This implies that the substance user will take in more drugs for the ‘desired effect’ to take place as the ordinary small doses no longer creates any form of effect.
2. Withdrawal symptoms are most likely to occur whenever the user abruptly discontinues the use of the prohibited drugs or substance
3. Is still powerless in stopping the habit despite many previous attempts of doings so.
4. Takes in abnormal or huge amounts of questionable drugs other than the usual dosages.

Given these differing situations, it is very clear that it is substance abuse that can develop into substance addiction and not vice versa. Thus, it is imperative to solve the problem while it is still at the abusive levels for its progressions happens very fast when unmanaged.

By the way, abuse or addiction of drugs can include the use of the following: heroin, marijuana, stimulants, duly prescribed pain medications, and cocaine among others. With regard to addiction, this term can also refer to the addiction of some activities like sex, uncontrolled gambling and too much use of the Internet or gaming.

All in all,

1. Addiction is a graver behavior or violation as compared to abuse.
2. Addiction is a lot more difficult if not, impossible to stop, as opposed to abuse.

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