Although drug abuse vs addiction is often used interchangeably, in reality, these terms refer to two different behaviors. A person can misuse or abuse drugs without being necessarily reliant on them. Keep on reading to know the latest news about drug abuse vs addiction.
Abuse or misuse involves the usage of drugs that are contrary to culturally required norms or medically guided measures to achieve a particular effect. Abused substances may be legal, such as alcohol or prescription or illegal drugs, such as heroin and other street medicines that do not have medical value.
On the other hand, addiction refers to an uncontrollable desire to use a drug, despite the fact that one is aware of the physiological effects they bring to our bodies. Addiction is usually linked to the insatiable appetite of substances by increasing the dose, which leads to complete dependence on them.
Because abuse and addiction are two different concepts, their causes are also unique. Abuse is usually considered more complicated but is not necessarily caused by a motivating factor, unlike addiction, caused by a strong motivational force. Therefore, in most cases, abuse does not always lead to addiction, but addiction can absolutely result in abuse.
Impact of drug abuse and addiction on the brain
It has been noticed that both drug abuse and drug addiction have the same effect on the mind and body. People often see abuse and addiction as a moral weakness or lack of character. One of the common drug-related myths is that stopping the usage of a particular drug is directly related to behavioral changes. In fact, addiction is a disease that alters the function of the brain by diverting the patterns of control of natural motivation. Thus, quitting is not a matter of choice or will. Although the decision to use the drug may initially be voluntary, changes in brain structure due to repeated drug use may suppress someone’s ability to control and make decisions, causing severe cravings.
Experts attribute the inability to abstain from drug use with these changes in the brain. However, modern advances in medicine have led to the development of a number of treatment and rehabilitation options to combat the negative effects of addiction and to help abusers take control of their lives. Studies have shown that a combination of drugs and behavioral therapy can accelerate the recovery process with minimal interruption effects.