What is Drug Abuse?

Friday, November 16th, 2012

What is drug abuse? Some people may use illicit drugs for recreational purposes or by prescription and never have problems with addiction or abuse, while others may find themselves entering into an addiction that may eventually begin to destroy their lives. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction is key to beginning recovery. People caught up in drug addiction can’t stop on their own and will need support and treatment at a rehab facility. With treatment, many people can and do recover from substance abuse and can go on to live happier and healthier lives.

Substance Abuse Includes Legal Drugs Too

Many people think of illegal street drugs like cocaine, crystal meth, or marijuana when they think of drug abuse. However, understanding the core of what is drug abuse means recognizing that it also includes the abuse of legal drugs like alcohol and nicotine as well as the abuse of prescription drugs. Some people will abuse drugs that they have been prescribed for a health issue while others will obtain drugs that have never been prescribed to them by using illegal methods.

What Is Drug Abuse? Recognizing the Signs

Certain patterns of behavior often accompany drug abuse. If you or someone you love exhibits the following behaviors, seek the help of a drug abuse counselor, therapist or treatment center.

*Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or your home
*Using drugs under unsafe conditions or taking unnecessary risks while under the influence
*Getting into trouble with the law because of drug use
*Having relationship problems because of drug use

What Is Drug Abuse? Recognizing Addiction

*You need to take more and more of the same drug because your body has built up a tolerance
*You take drugs not to get high anymore but to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal
*You use more than you plan to or have otherwise lost control over your using habits
*Drug use takes up most of your life
*You no longer do other activities you enjoyed in the past
*You use drugs even though you don’t want to

What is Drug Abuse Treatment? How It Can Help

Many myths surround substance abuse and addiction including the idea that an addict can stop using drugs simply by using willpower or that treatment doesn’t work unless the user goes into rehab or seeks treatment voluntarily. Over a long period of time, drug abuse actually changes an addict’s brain and creates an excessively strong desire to use, making it near impossible for people to stop using on their own after a prolonged period of substance abuse. Understanding what is drug abuse’s impact on the human body helps treatment centers Treatment can work to end drug addiction, even if the treatment isn’t entered into voluntarily. In many cases, an addict entering treatment because of demands from friends or family or because of a legal or work requirement has the same likelihood of successfully quitting his or her addiction as someone who enters treatment voluntarily.  Family assistance throughout the treatment process can make a significant difference in a person’s long term ability to stay in recovery and prevent relapse.