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You’ve probably heard the words addiction and abuse used interchangeably, but in truth, there is much more difference between the two than people realize. While some believe that drug abuse is just as much of a problem as an addiction, there is a principle difference in how the person misusing the drug can tackle her/his problem.   

According to the WebMD: “Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s prescription. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality. But usually, you’re able to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.” 

So, while your drug use is not justified and necessary for your health, it is still not a habit which you are dependent on. Ultimately your mind can decide to no longer take the drug without needing much external intervention.  In the case of addiction, there is a significant difference in the person’s ability to stop the consumption. 

The WebMD further explains the contrast: “Addiction is when you can’t stop. Not when it puts your health in danger. Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones. That urge to get and use drugs can fill up every minute of the day, even if you want to quit.” 

A good example of drug abuse is when some people use drugs for recreational purposes in clubs and other social event places. Although they might not be addicted and when necessary can tell their minds “no”, they still use the drugs on a regular basis. The main difference is that they can go on with their everyday lives without thinking about the drugs. It does not interfere with their primary functions.  

On the other hand, addiction can become life-consuming. You are no longer able to stop despite how severely it’s affecting you and your everyday life. Battling an addiction is brutal and for many proves to be impossible. It takes extreme will-power and determination to fight addiction. 

It is important to note that drug abuse can serve as a bridge towards addiction. Therefore, it is essential for the problem to be acknowledged when still in the phase of abuse since it might lead to addiction over time.  

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