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What is Drug Abuse and Addiction ?

What Is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse usually refers to the misuse of drugs rather than being addicted to them. Drug misuse, on the other hand, frequently leads to physical dependency or addiction, which is marked by intense drug cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and other symptoms.

It can refer to a wide range of substances, including prescribed medications and illegal street narcotics. The phrase is frequently used to refer to the misuse of substances, particularly those that can be utilized for medical purposes. Many people develop a substance use disorder after taking prescription prescriptions like prescription opioids, thus drug misuse is not confined to those with a history of addiction. Drug misuse on a regular basis might lead to serious consequences.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Addiction to drugs is a medical problem. It’s a recurrent, chronic brain disorder characterized by excessive drug-seeking and usage. Despite negative outcomes such as job loss or legal issues, this practice persists.

Genetic predisposition, circumstances, environment, trauma, and mental health conditions are only some of the variables and catalysts that can lead to addiction. Addiction isn’t a reflection of a person’s moral character. In fact, many addictions begin with the use of legal substances such as alcohol or with the use of lawful prescription drugs.

What Is Physical Drug Dependence?

The terms “drug dependency” and “drug addiction” are not interchangeable. When you become addicted to a drug, your body becomes accustomed to its presence and learns to anticipate it. As a result, abruptly discontinuing the medicine can result in withdrawal symptoms. To become physically reliant on a drug usually takes weeks of heavy use.

Drug addiction can arise with a variety of drugs, including prescriptions taken as directed. The fact that a person is physiologically dependent on a drug does not mean that he or she is abusing, abusing, or addicted to it. Physical dependence is a roadblock to sobriety, but it is doable.

Physical Drug Addiction

Addiction can be worsened by physical dependence on a drug. Even if you want to stop using the substance, dealing with withdrawal symptoms can make it more difficult. Any chemical on which you can become physically dependent can cause physical drug addiction.

Psychological Drug Addiction

Addictions have a psychological component to them as well. The addicted person’s actions reflect this aspect of addiction. When a person develops a psychological addiction to a substance, the substance becomes ingrained in their daily thoughts, feelings, and activities. They may feel compelled to use the substance as a result of these ideas.

Polysubstance Abuse & Addiction

Many people are dealing with multiple substances at the same time. Approximately 15% of persons who misuse alcohol and approximately 57 percent of people addicted to opioids struggle with multiple substances. If a person is male, young, African-American, or has specific mental health disorders, the likelihood of polysubstance addiction increases.
A person may fit DSM-5 criteria for numerous types of substance misuse at the same time under certain situations.
Polysubstance misuse appears to be widespread among people attempting to detox, according to a recent alcohol usage survey conducted by The Recovery Village. For example, 21.3 percent of the 1,559 people who underwent alcohol detox were detoxing from numerous substances. Unfortunately, polysubstance usage can make detox more difficult and demand more medical attention.

Criteria for Diagnosing a Drug Addiction

The term “drug addiction” is frequently used interchangeably with “substance use disorder.” Drug addiction is classified as a medical concern because it is defined as a disorder.

A substance use disorder is defined by a set of symptoms that fit into four categories:

  • Control issues
  • Inability to interact socially
  • Use at your own risk
  • Pharmacological standards

Based on a person’s behavior over a 12-month period, addiction professionals use these criteria to diagnose and treat substance use disorders. Specific drug kinds, such as opioid use disorders, alcohol use disorders, and others, are also classified as substance use disorders.

Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

Although everyone can get addicted to a substance, certain people are more likely than others to become addicted. Some people may be able to use a substance recreationally while avoiding addiction, while others are more likely to have difficulty quitting. These are some of the addiction risk factors:

  • Community risk factors include things like living in a high-crime region with a high rate of drug use.
  • Discrimination and assimilation issues are two risk factors for minorities.
  • Risk factors in the family setting include an unstable family environment and parental abuse.
  • Congenital risk factors, such as a birth defect or a physical impairment
  • Stress, violence, and defiance of authority are all behavioral risk factors.

Although risk factors do not ensure that a person will acquire an addiction, they can increase the likelihood of developing one. If you or a loved one has an addiction risk factor, it’s even more crucial to be cautious with substance use.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Addiction is an illness that consumes a lot of a person’s time, energy, and resources. Addiction manifests itself in a variety of physical, mental, and emotional manifestations. Detecting these can be the first step in determining whether or not you have an addiction.

Mental Effects of Drug Addiction

Drugs have an impact on how a person thinks, feels, and acts. The following are some of the mental repercussions of addiction:

  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Mood swings
  • Losing interest in things that used to make you happy
  • Alterations in energy levels

Substance use disorders, on the other hand, are frequently accompanied by co-occurring mental health illnesses such as anxiety or depression. Some people may self-medicate with drugs to deal with their problems, while others may acquire a mental health disease as a result of their use.

When a person has both a mental illness and a substance use disorder, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two and treat each separately. Many treatment centers focus primarily on the symptoms of substance abuse, rather than addressing the mental health disorders that might lead to addiction. Centers that specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, such as The Recovery Village, can assist patients in identifying the causes of their substance use disorder and equip them with the tools they need to maintain their recovery for the rest of their lives.

Social Effects of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction has an influence not only on the person who is addicted to the substance but also on others who are around them. Friends, coworkers, and loved ones must often come to terms with the changes they notice in someone who is battling with substance abuse. The following are some of the most common societal consequences of addiction:

  • Spending more time with new friends
  • Spending more time with new friends
  • Having issues with family and friends on a personal level
  • Having to spend more time alone than usual

Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics

In total, nearly 20 million Americans, or 7.4% of those aged 12 and above, fit the criteria for a substance use problem. On a global scale, the percentage is lower: up to 3% of individuals suffer from a substance use disorder. These figures may appear modest at first look. These figures, however, do not include the number of people who have tried illegal drugs or abused illegal or prescription pharmaceuticals. In any given month, more than 11% of Americans experiment with illegal drugs. Anyone who uses drugs recreationally or experimentally faces the risk of becoming addicted.

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