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Since 1993
McIntosh Law | Advocates for The Accused Since 1993

Speak With Our Attorneys –

Phone: 941-306-3230

Drug abuse vs. drug addiction

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Firm News

When a doctor prescribes medication, patients must obey the instructions. Misusing medication can pose serious risks to one’s health and well-being.

Nowadays, abuse and addiction are public health concerns. However, there are significant differences between the two.

What is drug abuse?

Drug abuse involves excessive use of prescription drugs. When it comes to abuse, patients may not have a legitimate medical need or prescription. In other cases, patients may take higher doses than prescribed or use the drugs for recreational use. Abuse can also include combining them with other drugs to enhance the effects.

If you share your prescription drugs with others, it is a form of drug abuse.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Addiction occurs when individuals develop a psychological and physiological dependence on the medication. Symptoms include cravings, increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Addiction may cause a patient to withdraw from friends and family. Likewise, he or she may make poor financial decisions.

What are the main differences?

While drug abuse and drug addiction have vital distinctions. Drug abuse involves occasional misuse without developing a compulsive pattern of use. Drug addiction, on the other hand, includes physical dependence. Abuse does not always result in addiction, but addiction often stems from abuse.

Intervention and treatment can help address recovery from abuse and addiction. Identification of drug abuse can help reduce the risk of the patient developing an addiction. Patients can use therapy, medical-assisted treatment, support groups and counseling for treatment.

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