Trying to decide whether you or someone you love needs rehab treatment can be difficult. Making matters even more confusing is the question of the drug addiction vs drug abuse definition. People often use the terms “drug abuse” and “drug addiction” incorrectly or interchangeably. However, one of these is more severe than the other.

Drug Abuse Definition

man with drugs wonders about the drug abuse definitionTo make things simple, remember that people who abuse drugs are still in control of their lives. On the other hand, people who have drug addictions can no longer control their drug use. They often suffer negative, life-changing effects as a result.

Drug abuse doesn’t make a mess of a person’s life, but it can start causing damage to their body and mind that leads to addiction. People who abuse drugs may start slipping into depression or other mental illnesses. They’re also more prone to catch diseases, suffer organ damage or overdose.

Often, drug abuse begins as a way to cope with a problem. People who abuse drugs seek escape instead of dealing with issues in a healthy way. This is how the cycle of drug abuse and mental illness can take hold, leading to addiction.

The correct drug abuse definition still provides room for the person using those drugs to change their behaviors without too much trouble. Not everyone who abuses drugs develops an addiction. Many times, people realize that they’re on a slippery slope before it’s too late. Some of these people even commit to rehab, knowing that it’ll help them stay away from drugs and make better choices in the future. However, rehab isn’t always necessary for those who abuse drugs like it is for those who develop addictions.

How Drug Addiction Differs from the Drug Abuse Definition

Drug addiction is a much more severe problem than drug abuse. In fact, addiction is a full-fledged disease. At this point in a drug or alcohol abuse cycle, a person’s brain requires drugs to simply function normally. Drug use touches all parts of a person’s life, often causing him or her to hit “rock bottom.”

People with drug addictions often have big problems to deal with, along with their ongoing drug use. Sadly, drug addiction also affects their friends, family, and co-workers. A drug user with an addiction will often struggle in school, miss work, have money problems, get into legal trouble, or suffer health issues, to name a few problems.

Sadly, most people dwell in denial for a major portion of their drug use. Even when the individual with an addiction sees that they’re causing problems by using drugs, they aren’t able to end their addiction without help.

Seeing this need for help is important. It gives them the chance to prevent their ongoing addiction from leading to homelessness, helplessness or even death. Addiction is a disease that requires specialized addiction treatment for recovery to begin.

Addiction Counseling Provides Hope for Drug Addicted Patients

Patients suffering in active addiction can gain a fresh start in life through addiction counseling at Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon. Even patients that recognize that they’re close to addiction, but still in the drug abuse stage, can benefit from one of our addiction treatment programs. When it comes to drug abuse, it’s never too early to get help.

Drug abuse is the pathway to addiction and despair. Make the choice to get back on the right path, today. If you or someone you love are abusing drugs or suffering in active addiction, get help to begin enjoying the life you deserve. Call Crestview Recovery at 866.262.0531 now.