What Is Drug Abuse? Definition and Symptoms | Does Your Behavior Fit the Substance Abuse Definition? Call Now to Get Help

Drugs have always been part of the human experience. Whether used for healing or for social enjoyment, drugs can have a profound and powerful influence on how human beings experience life. Unfortunately, they can also be misused to the point of substance abuse. Definition of this condition can help friends and loved ones identify the early warning signs and take proactive measures to get help and find an appropriate drug rehabilitation program.

Drug Abuse Definition and Signs

The drug abuse definition will vary according to the substance in question, but a simple definition of drug abuse is when an individual compulsively or regularly uses illicit substances. They may have begun using the substance as prescribed or as a one-time experiment, but as more and more of the drug is consumed, their brain will begin to rely on the drug to operate comfortably. Their constant use will have several symptoms, such as:

  • Inability to meet responsibilities at home or work
  • Manifestation of withdrawal symptoms
  • Time and resources dedicated primarily to obtaining more of the substance
  • Disinterest in activities and relationships that were previously enjoyed
  • Repeated and failed attempts to reduce use.

Whether it’s referred to as drug abuse or substance abuse, this pattern of behavior has definite and dangerous risks for the individual. If the abuse is left unaddressed, the individual becomes unable to function without the drug in a safe way and requires the substance to avoid feeling unpleasant or ill.

When Does Abuse Become Addiction?

Drug abuse simply means taking more of a substance that has been prescribed or using that substance in an improper way. Drug abuse transforms into addiction when the individual reaches the point at which they are physically and psychologically dependent on the substance. Addiction presents many health risks, including chronic diseases, depression, psychosis, and accidental death. If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs, it is vitally important that they receive professional care as soon as possible.

What to Do if You Fit the Substance Abuse Definition

Realizing that you or someone you care about is an addict can be simultaneously a source of great concern and distress. But remember that addiction is a chronic disease, and seeking treatment for it should be no more embarrassing than going to a doctor to be treated for asthma. At the same time, we understand that admitting that there’s a problem requires no small amount of courage and strength.

At Tamp Drug Treatment Center, our high-quality, individualized programming takes a dual-diagnosis approach to addiction treatment. Our private facility ensures confidential care, and our in-house staff includes board-certified doctors, nurses, counselors, and psychiatrists, all of whom are highly skilled and equipped to provide a high level of personalized care. If you’re located out of state, our team can also help facilitate travel arrangements for you. We provide free clinical assessments, and our 24/7 phone line is always available to answer your questions. Call today or fill out our form here and take your first step toward sobriety and the healthy, bright future you deserve.