Drug Addicts:

A drug addict uses drugs for any and all reasons; to compensate, to feel better, because they’re angry or sad or glad, because they are insecure. For fun, to celebrate or just because it is Monday. But mostly addicts use because their addiction dictates that both physically and mentally they need drugs.

Drug Addiction is Characterized By:

  1. Preoccupation/compulsivity with getting and using your drug -- your son is telling you about his game and you can’t listen. All you can think of is how to get out of the house to buy and use your coke.
  2. Loss of control -- i.e. using your drug as soon as you get it, in the car while driving back to work fixing and shooting up. Taking a drink in the a.m., having a line of coke in the bathroom while your family is outside in the dinning room
  3. Increased tolerance/marked decrease in tolerance may occur
  4. Continued use despite negative consequences
  5. Remorse or guilt about use when under the influence of drugs
  6. Memory loss, mental confusion, irrational thinking
  7. Failed attempts to quit use or slow down
  8. Withdrawal discomfort (physical, mental, emotional, and / or psychological).

Drug Abusers:

Drug abusers use drugs to enhance pleasure and/or to compensate for something negative, such as physical pain, insecurity, anger, fear, etc. The biggest difference is that the abuser has a CHOICE outside of the physical and mental pull of addiction.

Drug Abuse is Characterized By:

  1. Occasional negative consequences that occur more and more frequently
  2. Limit setting that is not adhered to on a regular basis
  3. Promises that are made and repeatedly not kept
  4. Complaints are heard on a consistent basis

Without proper intervention, the abuser has a good change of becoming an addict.