Drug and Alcohol abuse and addiction may seem like virtually the same thing, but actually have many differences. If you are abusing drugs, you are using them in excess, often feeling like you need them to have a good day, going out of your way to obtain them and letting your other responsibilities go in favor of drug use. You might be calling in sick to work more often, skipping school or ignoring your relatives even when they try to help you. Someone abusing drugs might be aware they are using them too much, but don’t care enough to stop. Drug abuse can also lead to addiction if you don’t put a stop to it and get help immediately.
Drug addiction is similar to abuse as you were probably abusing drugs before becoming addicted, but most every consequence is elevated. Not only do you not care what others think, but you have gotten to the point where you are willing to hurt everyone around you to obtain drugs or use as often as you can. You don’t just want drugs to have a good time or get past your mental disorder like anxiety or depression, but you feel you need them. The “need” word is used a lot with addicts, as if you feel like there is no other option for you and you can’t even function day-to-day without the substances. You also have more elevated emotions, behavioral and psychological issues when addicted to drugs. Your career, school, family, relationships and finances all experience negativity when addicted to drugs.
If you are showing signs of drug abuse or addiction, you should seek treatment in the form of recovery. Recovery is necessary to avoid many of the short-term and long-term effects of abusing drugs. These can be short-term effects like heart palpitations, weight loss or weight gain, financial troubles or mood swings, to long-term effects such as heart irregularities, liver disease, stroke, coma or even death. Drug recovery involves treatment programs that are personalized according to many factors. Whether you are abusing or addicted to drugs, the types of substances you have been using, your level of addiction
and your personal preferences are all taken into consideration during recovery.
The first stage of sobriety is going through withdrawal. Withdrawal begins 24-48 hours after stopping use of all substances including drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs. Once your body starts feeling the effects of the lack of chemicals it’s used to, it will revolt against you. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable, painful and downright miserable. Some of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience include headaches, dizziness, weakness, body tremors, seizures, muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting, sweating and chills, heart irregularities and even more serious consequences like stroke or heart failure. These are extreme circumstances but still possible. Due to the dangers of many of the withdrawal symptoms, you can go through detox. Detox uses medications and monitoring to keep track of your withdrawal period and help alleviate some of the symptoms. You will be monitored to avoid dangerous situations. It is optional but used in most drug treatment facilities due to its effectiveness. You can even go through detox if you don’t want to use regular prescription medications as holistic medicine is also an option at most drug rehab centers.