Millions of people in America are experimenting with drugs like marijuana and cocaine. While some people are able to remain casual drug users, many people go on to abuse drugs. In order to understand drug abuse, we must first understand the difference between drug use, drug abuse and drug addiction.
What is Drug Abuse
Substance abuse begins when someone takes a substance to change the way they feel currently. Everyone knows what kind of damage illegal substances like heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine can do, but prescription drugs can also be abused when people use them for non-medical reasons or outside of the amount they are prescribed.
Although drug addiction and drug abuse are closely linked, there is a difference between the two conditions. For instance, if someone doesn’t only abuses drugs three or four times a year, they may show signs of drug abuse but not addiction. However, if someone regularly abuses a substance and makes their entire life about using and obtaining the substance, that person shows signs of addiction.
Even when a prescription drug is prescribed for a medical reason, sometimes patients can become chemically dependent on the drug – especially opiates or benzodiazepines. While there is a difference between a drug dependence and a drug addiction, these two conditions often go together as well.
Commonly Abused Drugs
There are many categories of drugs. Each substance affects the user differently. However, they all have one thing in common in that they are addictive. Here is more information about some of the most popular substances that people abuse.