The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
You can abuse a drug (or alcohol) without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn't mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she's abusing a drug — and that could lead to an addiction.
People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medications, cigarettes, even glue!
And some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who's addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
Being physically addicted means a person's body actually becomes dependent on a particular substance (even smoking is physically addictive). It also means building tolerance to that substance, so that a person needs a larger dose than ever before to get the same effects. Someone who is physically addicted and stops using a substance like drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes may experience withdrawal symptoms. Common symptoms of withdrawal are diarrhea, shaking, and generally feeling awful.
Signs of Addiction:
The most obvious sign of an addiction is the need to have a particular drug or substance. However, many other signs can suggest a possible addiction, such as changes in mood or weight loss or gain.
- use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or to relax
- withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends
- loss of interest in activities that used to be important
- problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences
- changes in friendships, such as hanging out only with friends who use drugs
- spending a lot of time figuring out how to get drugs
- stealing or selling belongings to be able to afford drugs
- failed attempts to stop taking drugs or drinking
- anxiety, anger, or depression
- mood swings
- changes in sleeping habits
- feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop
- needing to take more of the substance to get the same effect
- changes in eating habits, including weight loss or gain
Information above is provided as a courtesy of http://teenshealth.org/teen/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA offers a science-based drug abuse education program for students, news, information, and resources.
- Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
SADD is a peer leadership organization dedicated to preventing underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, and destructive decisions.
- National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
This organization provides education, information, and help in the fight against alcohol and other drug addictions. Call: (800) NCA-CALL
- American Council for Drug Education
The ACDE is a prevention and education agency against substance abuse. This website includes a helpful list of symptoms associated with specific drugs.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
AA's primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery for alcoholics. AA also lists symptoms of specific drugs and offers literature on sobriety and drinking.
- National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
NMHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans through advocacy, education, research, and service.