While many people use the terms drug abuse and addiction interchangeably, abuse and addiction have separate and distinct meanings. One can abuse drugs without necessarily being addicted to drugs. The drug abuse definition centers more on the way a person uses drugs, while the drug addiction definition includes the use of drugs and also the psychological and physiological effects the drug has on the body.
It’s important to understand the drug abuse and drug addiction definitions so as to correctly identify problem behaviors seen in loved ones. It’s also key to remember that alcohol is also a drug and is included in the definitions of drug abuse and addiction.
Central to the understanding of drug abuse and addiction is the idea of tolerance. When a person starts using a drug, they typically use a small amount to receive pleasurable effects or a “high.” With time, though, drug users find the same amount of drug no longer produces the desired effects and they have to consume more of the drug to maintain.
In drug abuse and addiction, the creation of tolerance depends on the drug used, the amount that is used and the frequency with which it is used. Drug tolerance can be both psychological and physiological. For more information about this article, go to: