Substance abuse is defined as “a pattern of repeated drug or alcohol use that often interferes with health, work, or social relationships,” whereas addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” Consequently, a wide range of people will assume that both of these terms mean the same thing – but they can differ for a number of reasons. One example of this can be seen through someone who abuses a substance to handle certain difficulties that he/she have undergone – or are currently undergoing – in their life.
First and foremost is substance abuse which many misinterpret as addiction. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t lead to addiction – especially if the person begins to abuse frequently; the term itself applies to drugs and alcohol – which are both important to be on the lookout for. In fact, it only takes one time, or more, of someone consuming the substance – for them to become addicted – but even so, a number of people may only binge them occasionally; mood plays a big role in this because how someone is feeling mentally or emotionally can have a huge impact on how they treat their body physically. After all, it can serve as an unhealthy way to temporary numb what they’re feeling.
Second is addiction – which prevents the person from enjoying his/her life to its fullest degree. Instead, some individuals will do anything – and everything – that they can to obtain the drug. Consequently – this can become quite severe – as they find themselves submitting wholly to the substance. Eventually, one may even find his/her life in complete ruins – as he/she sacrifices relationships, jobs, and other such things, while trapped in the pitfall of addiction. Fortunately, there is help for those who struggle with addiction – as well as substance abuse; in accepting it they can eliminate destructive behavior from their lives before it grows to be too much, and results in life-long consequences.
In conclusion, knowing the difference between substance abuse and addiction can help you to better determine what stage you are in. As a result, you can then come to terms with what action you must take in order to get better – by assessing the reason behind why the substance is being abused, and/or why it’s become a full-blown addiction. In doing so, you can discover all the treatment options, and support systems, available to you – despite what you’re going through, or how helpless you may feel.