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Differentiating between drug use and abuse

Differentiating between drug use and abuse

12-14 | CDAH Team

Drugs have become an important part of many American’s lives. Using any form of drug by snorting, smoking, injecting or absorbing has an effect on an individual’s brain and physical health. Drugs are available in the market in various forms such as prescribed and non-prescribed that are again available in different types such as opioids, stimulants, solvents and over-the-counter painkillers.

Every drug affects each individual differently. Some of these can be used to cure certain medical conditions, some may affect the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) and others might alter an individual’s perception and mood.

There is a vast difference between using a drug consciously to meet some medicinal needs to using it for a recreational purpose or abusing it for non-medicinal reasons. While using them to meet a positive need might not create a negative impact, abusing drugs can lead to several mental and physical health hazards.

Illegal drugs are generally used by people to feel relaxed, relieve boredom, acquiesce to peer pressure or for experimentation.

What is the difference between drug use and abuse?

Drug use refers to using an illicit drug on a regular or irregular basis. Use and abuse can also be used in reference to alcohol use, which implies that an individual drinks alcohol occasionally or regularly.

Using drugs in any of the two ways impacts an individual’s lifestyle and can lead to the path of addiction. It also affects the psychological and mental health of an individual based on the way he/she uses the drug or substance of abuse.

Symptoms associated with abuse of drugs

Drug use is often associated with an individual’s medical needs. These are used by people to recover from some medical condition or to feel better. However, when such use starts to develop into a habit, it can affect an individual’s physical or mental health, it is therefore important that one notices or considers certain factors that can help one understand if an individual is abusing drugs or developing an addiction. Following are some common symptoms associated with drug abuse:

  • Deteriorating performance at work or school
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or once-loved activities
  • Stealing money from family and friends
  • Lying about whereabouts when abusing drugs
  • Damaged personal relationships due to drug use
  • Deterioration in health
  • Mood swings
  • Distancing from family members
  • Change in sleeping patterns

Recovery from drug addiction

Nearly all kind of drugs affect an individual’s brain, either directly or indirectly. These drugs flood an individual with feelings of pleasure and make them feel happy. Such an euphoric effect leads to dependence, and in turn, urges one to keep using drugs.

Addiction is a condition that should be addressed promptly. The sooner the treatment is begun the more successful the outcome can be. If you or a loved one is addicted to a drug and needs help, the representatives at Colorado Drug Addiction Helpline can assist you in finding reputable centers offering addiction treatment in Colorado. You may contact us at our 24/7 drug addiction helpline number 866-218-7546 or chat online with one of our representatives to receive complete information about the best drug addiction treatment centers in Colorado.


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