People who use drugs with the intent of altering their state of mind, alleviating physical or mental pain, or increasing their social confidence may be in danger of developing drug addiction. With many substances, addiction doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, people start by using small, modest amounts of drugs in the belief that they can control their use, and that they can stop at any time. When their behaviors begin spiraling out of control, however, personal, professional, and legal consequences can ensue. This is known as drug abuse. Continuing to use drugs after reaching this point is a major step towards addiction. One of the distinct differences between drug abuse and drug addiction is their differing levels of severity. Those who are addicted tend to experience severe physical and emotional withdrawal after increasingly short periods of abstinence. Moreover, while someone who’s abusing drugs may be experiencing widespread problems as a result, a person’s who’s addicted to drugs may no longer care. The move from drug abuse to drug addiction places the need for acquiring and using drugs above all else.
Although there are noted differences between drug abuse and drug addiction, one isn’t necessarily less dangerous than the other. The ultimate consequence of drug use is death, whether by overdose or as the result of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. More importantly, the journey from abuse to full-blown addiction can be very short indeed. This point is made all the more bleak by the fact that many drug abusers are falsely confident of their ability to stop or control their behaviors at will. Thus, whether you are abusing drugs or recognize your drug use as being an addiction, getting professional and needs-specific help is essential.
What It Means To Be A Functioning Drug Addict
One of the most deceptive things about drug abuse is that it often leaves people able to function at reasonably acceptable levels. For instance, you may be able to maintain your job, your friendships, and your home life for quite some time, even though you’re secretly using drugs and secretly increasing the amount of drugs that you’re using. Sadly, many people who abuse drugs have one or more enablers in their lives. These are people who help them patch up their mistakes, cover their losses, and keep plodding on, despite the fact that their habits and behaviors are undermining their health.
Enablers make it difficult for people to admit that they have problems by helping them maintain their status as functioning addicts. It’s important to note, that the life of a functioning addict is always on the verge of spiraling out of control. As a result, these individuals often deal with extraordinary internal stress. Moreover, they may use this stress as a justification to continue using the drugs that are responsible for their spiraling problems.
Even Prescription Medications Can Be Abused
It’s also vital to note that some people are deceived into believing that their drug use isn’t problematic simply because of the types of drugs that they’re using. For instance, if you receive pain medication from your doctor, taking this medication is both legal and accepted by society. However, if you start using more of this medication than your doctor has prescribed, you may be on the road to trouble. Many people who abuse prescription drugs start by taking these medicines responsibly. Over time, they might find themselves lying or stealing to get more drugs, or they may start buying prescription drugs from friends or other sources. Medications that are doctor-prescribed can be just as deadly as illicit drugs if they’re used improperly, or if they aren’t prescribed for you.
Many prescription drugs are just as addictive as street drugs, if not more so. For instance, opioids have proven to be gateways for heroin use for countless people. Understanding that drug use of any type can quickly spiral out of control, it is always important to be cognizant of how drug use is affecting your decisions, your behaviors, and your life quality. Functioning addicts and those who abuse prescription medications often have a harder time recognizing their drug abuse as being problematic.
If you’re tired of experiencing the consequences and loss that drug abuse causes, you should seek professional treatment. Addiction treatment can help you reclaim your life and all that you’ve lost. The very first step is finding the right program for your circumstances and needs. Fortunately, we can help. Call us today at 833-497-3808.