In the beginning, substance abuse and addiction had a dangerous tango. Now look around, you can see them (substance abuse and addiction) hip to hip, still swaying together. Substance abusers turned addicts. Addicts turned substance abusers.
Despite this, a line still exists between substance abuse and addiction. Substance abuse happens when substances are either not used for the right purposes, not used in the right quantities, not used in the right way or not used at the right time. Addiction, on the other hand, is the psychological and physical inability to stop consuming food, medications, cosmetics and other substances despite the psychological and pharmacological harm they might cause.
Addiction has never been a crime, rather it is the addiction linked with the abuse of substances that is poised towards ill-health, depression, suicide and even the degradation of the fabrics of the society. In spite of the number of factors that lead to substance abuse, addiction remains at the very top of that list. Sadly, most addicts remain in self-denial and only continue to spike the rates of substance abuse daily.
Physical addiction is often borne out of chronic use of certain drugs and when such drugs are not used anymore by the individual, certain unpleasant effects arise. These unpleasant effects occur due to the fact that the individual’s body has begun to rely on the drug to function properly. Some of such substances include alcohol, Valium, lorazepam, nicotine and morphine. One characteristics most drugs common with physical addiction share is that they often require increased doses in the course of chronic treatment in order to continue produce the expected effects and avoid producing unpleasant effects.
Psychological addiction occurs due to shifts in mental and emotional balance of the individual which results in compulsive substance use in order to achieve a false feeling of mental and emotional balance despite harmful consequences that occur with taking such substances. Most recreational drug users are psychological addicts and substances like cannabis, cocaine, ketamine, amphetamine etc. are likely to lead to psychological addiction.
The bridge between being an addict and not being an addict is a very short one, hence many addicts walk around ignorant of the fact that they have become addicts while some remain in self-denial. Knowing which category you fall under and would enable seek the help you deserve especially if you are an addict. To help you know, you should truthfully answer this question ‘’what would most likely happen if I don’t consume this substance anymore?” and whichever answer given should be critically examined.
Substance abuse has many preys, therefore to those substances we consume (from the food and medications we ingest, the cosmetics we apply) it is necessary to often apply the four Rs
Is this substance consumed for the right purpose?
Is this substance consumed in the right way?
Is this substance consumed in the right quantity?
Is this substance consumed at the right time?
Keep Away from Addiction. Avoid Substance Abuse.