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Abuse And Addiction

There is a very thin line that separates substance abuse from addiction.

Substance Abuse

Use of illegal substance or use of legal substance in the wrong way is Substance Abuse.


Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. But when one uses substance like marijuana or cocaine it is addiction. Addiction begins as abuse.

You can abuse a drug (or alcohol) without having an addiction. If some one smokes for a few time it doesn’t mean that he or she is addicted to smoking. But it does mean that she’s abusing a drug which could lead to an addiction.

When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. Addiction do not mean excess intake of alcohol or illegal drugs. One can get addicted to anything, it could be medications, cigarettes, even glue! People can get addicted to all sorts of substances.
And some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.

Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.

Physical Addiction

When a person’s body actually becomes dependent on a particular substance it can be termed as Physical addiction. Smoking can be considered as Physical addiction. It also means building tolerance to that substance, so that a person needs a larger dose than ever before to get the same effects. Someone who is physically addicted and stops using a substance like drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes may experience withdrawal symptoms. Common symptoms of withdrawal are diarrhea, shaking, and generally feeling awful.

Psychological Addiction

When the cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional it is Psychological Addiction. People who are psychologically addicted feel overcome by the desire to have a drug. They may lie or steal to get it.
When a person starts depending on drugs and no longer take them to have fun or to get high he or she crosses the line between abuse and addiction. Persons whole life centers around the need for the drug.