Drug dependence and drug abuse are two different sides of the same coin when it comes to the disease of addiction. Drug abuse is an overwhelming desire to use, no matter how much it affects a person’s life. Once people develop dependence, they need the drug to function and feel normal. Once users abruptly stop using or limit consumption, the body reacts negatively, causing withdrawal symptoms.
Dependence on an addictive substance causes increasing amounts of damage over the long-term, including health and behavior problems. Because of the potentially severe withdrawal symptoms, seeking professional treatment is vital.
In spite of increased understanding of addiction and substance abuse, many people still misunderstand the condition and attribute it to a character defect instead of the disease that it truly is. Leaving any serious disease untreated opens the door for it to get worse, and the same is true for addiction.
How Does Drug Dependence and Abuse Start?
There’s no single reason that leads to substance abuse and addiction because different people begin abusing drugs or alcohol for different reasons and every case is unique. Some reasons can be purely recreational, or they might be in response to stressful situations, or it might be due to chronic medical conditions such as pain, or mental issues like depression. Genes can also contribute to substance abuse disorders and it’s fairly common for children who grow up watching their parents abuse drugs or alcohol to end up doing the same at some point.
There are four main stages that users may go through in terms of using a particular substance:
- The person may start using with a social group to test the effects. At this point, many people can easily walk away from further use. From others, this is the beginning of a dangerous progression.
- The user begins to use the drug regularly and may start being anxious about how to get the drug. They may begin building a tolerance to the substance and begin using more of it to get the desired effect. At this point, school or work begin to suffer.
- The user loses all motivation for anything other than the substance. They may start hiding their use or finding illegal means to obtain more of it.
- The user can’t deal with their daily life without the substance. Health, relationship and legal problems may get worse and users may feel like they’ve lost “control” of their use.
Drug Dependence Symptoms
Symptoms of dependence on drugs may differ depending on the drug being abused and long-term users are less likely to seek help. Most abused substances cause a consciousness change, whether to a depressed or euphoric state. Someone with a dependence may be difficult to rouse from a sleeping or passed-out state or they may become hyperactive or exhibit strange behavior. They may also experience abnormal vital signs. In addition, they may have issues breathing, complain of chest pain or experience vomiting.
Serenity Lodge in Lake Arrowhead treats the disease of addiction and the dependence on drugs and alcohol through embracing our guests’ recovery process and getting to the bottom of their addiction. We offer the following:
- Drug rehab for males
- Inpatient residential
- Intensive outpatient
- Dual diagnosis
- Partial hospitalization
Don’t let drugs rule over your life any longer. Give Serenity Lodge a call today at 866-379-4365 to end the destructive cycle of addiction.