The Differences between Addiction and Abuse

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Despite our better understanding of addiction, there are still many people holding on to misconceptions about what classifies a person as an addict. This is for a variety of reasons including the negative way addiction is covered by mainstream media and its connection with a loss of moral control. In fact, addiction is an illness that develops over time. In this article, we take a look at the difference between a person who abuses substances from time to time and someone who developed addiction illness.

The Difference between Addiction and Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction are undeniably connected and the illness generally follows if a person does not stop abusing drugs or alcohol. In other words, a person will have been abusing substances for some time before developing addictive behaviors. The fundamental differences between abuse and addiction are as follows:

  • A person abusing alcohol or drugs chooses to do so as a mechanism to “fit in” or cope with stress

  • An addict has no control over their need to use substances as it has been replaced by an overwhelming need or compulsion to use drugs or alcohol

  • Individuals abusing substances don’t necessarily become tolerant to their effects, meaning they usually use the same amount to achieve the results they seek

  • Addicts have developed a tolerance to drugs or alcohol that means they need to use progressively higher doses to achieve the desired effects

  • Substance abuse doesn’t necessarily lead to withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops using

  • Addicts experience withdrawal very quickly after stopping drug or alcohol use, which leads to them using again to reduce the harsh symptoms

It is important to know the difference between a person who is abusing substances and someone who is struggling to overcome addiction illness. How soon an individual gets the treatment they need makes a big difference to recovery outcomes.

Get the Treatment You Need at Capo Canyon Recovery near Aliso Viejo, CA

If you are concerned that a friend or loved one is struggling with substance abuse or have issues yourself, we can be of assistance to you. Capo Canyon Recovery is a team of addiction specialists offering a range of effective treatments for alcohol or drug abuse in Laguna Niguel, CA. Contact us in confidence today and take the first step towards a fulfilling life in recovery.

Read More on the Blog: How to Live with An Addict without Enabling Them