Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Recognizing the Difference between Substance Abuse and Dependence

There is a different between substance abuse and dependence.

There is a different between substance abuse and dependence.

An individual who drinks or uses drugs is not necessarily addicted to the substances of choice but how do you tell the difference between substance abuse and actual dependence? Many people who casually use drugs or alcohol can do so on a casual basis for years without ever actually becoming dependent on the substance but others may only use a substance once and begin building a tolerance and subsequent dependence on the substance. Here’s a look at how you can recognize the difference between substance abuse and substance dependence.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is described as the use of substance that causes an individual to suffer harmful consequences during the use. If an individual has any of the following situations occur during the period of one year while using substances then they are considered substance abusers:

  • They miss work or school because they were using drugs or alcohol
  • They do not meet obligations as a result of drug or alcohol use
  • They take part in reckless activities such as drinking and driving or promiscuity
  • They get arrested or encounter other legal problems as a result of drinking or using drugs
  • They continue to use drugs or alcohol even though their loved ones ask them not to

The above stated signs do not mean that an individual is addicted to the substance, just that they show signs of having a substance abuse problem. In order for an individual to be considered dependent on drugs or alcohol there must be even more serious and severe consequences that have resulted from their use of the drugs or alcohol.

Substance Dependence

Medical professionals view substance dependence as a more severe form of substance abuse that has escalated to cause behavioral problems and psychological issues. Although not all signs may be present when an addict is suffering from substance dependence, if an individual shows 3 or more of the following psychological or behavioral patterns over the course of 12 months while using drugs or alcohol they are considered to have a dependence problem:

  • They build a tolerance to the substance and require more and more in order to achieve the same level of intoxication
  • They experience discomforting or noticeable physical and psychological side effects (withdrawal signs) when they stop using the substance
  • They can’t stop using once they start—such as one drink turns into two and two into three and so on until the liquor is gone
  • They set limits for themselves (I’ll only have 2 drinks) and then they exceed those limits (end up drinking 8 drinks or drinking until the alcohol is gone)
  • They don’t spend time doing other things because they are in a rush to drink or use the drugs. Time once spent playing with children or cleaning or taking part in a hobby is now spent drinking or using drugs instead
  • They spend valuable time in excess in an effort to find drugs or alcohol or to come up with the money for their next fix. Then excessive time is spent using the drugs or alcohol
  • They continue to use drugs or alcohol despite known health conditions that have erupted from the substance use or despite deteriorating health

 Rehab Centers for Substance Dependence

Those suffering from substance dependence need help to stop using. Rehab Centers can help individuals overcome the physical, psychological and behavioral problems that result from substance dependence. Without the help of rehab centers and specialized treatment for dependence, many find themselves suffering from dependence on drugs or alcohol for many years, in and out of trouble and sometimes suffering dire consequences. If you or someone you know is showing signs of substance dependence, contact a Rehab Centers referral specialist today at 800-481-6320 to find a local rehab center that can help you.

More Rehab Centers Resources

Art Therapy at Drug Rehab Centers

Art therapy is a great tool to use in drug rehab centers.

Many drug rehab centers have found that art therapy enables the individual to express their thoughts and feelings without saying anything at all but by painting, sculpting or using other forms of art as an expression gateway. Art therapy at drug rehab centers provides a foundation for expressing emotions that helps addicts to overcome difficult….

Continue reading

Worried About Your Privacy? Check out Private Rehab Centers

drug rehab confidentiality

Many people who go into rehab for addiction are often concerned about their privacy. Will your information be shared with whomsoever desires it? The answer is no. Private rehab facilities are very careful when it comes to handling a person’s recovery with confidentiality. Often these facilities can be expensive, but for many people undergoing treatment, the….

Continue reading

Are Rehab Centers Effective Treatment for Addiction?

Rehab is an effective option for drug addiction treatment. In fact, most individuals who do not attend professional rehab treatment have a harder time recovering from addiction than those who do attend one of these programs. Call to find a rehab center that will help you to recover as safely and securely as possible from….

Continue reading

Does Childhood Anxiety Lead to Drug Addiction?

Although according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety may lead to drug addiction, it does not ALWAYS lead to addiction. There is a correlation between anxiety disorders and substance use but anxiety does not always result in substance abuse. Anxiety Medications Most medications given for anxiety even in childhood are benzodiazepines. These….

Continue reading

Preparing for an Intervention

Find an intervention program that will work for you!

When an individual or a group of individuals prepares to attempt an intervention there is nothing more important than to plan and expect the unexpected. Preparing for an intervention begins with properly planning all aspects of the intervention as well as the subsequent treatment that will take place. While the intervention itself will only take….

Continue reading

National Institute of Health not Committed to Combining Forces

National Institute of Health can help you overcome your addiction!

Recently, the National Institute of Health announced that it will not pursue the proposed development of a single entity or institute that is devoted solely to addiction and substance abuse. This decision has many believing that the NIH is just not committed to making change and to stopping addiction in its tracks and this worries….

Continue reading

Tips for Choosing Local Rehab Centers

rehab from addiction

Patients who are treated at local rehab centers undergo their rehabilitation in a safe environment that is in close proximity to their friends and family making them feel a little more at ease. For the recovering addict, there is a sense of ease knowing their surroundings, not that they are home but in an area….

Continue reading

5 Reasons to Choose Local Rehab Centers

drug rehab options

If you’re looking for a drug rehabilitation center to get help for an addiction to drugs or alcohol there are things you will need to take into consideration before you choose. Choosing a rehab center that has a program that calls to you is important. If you feel a connection to the group you are….

Continue reading

Short-term vs. Long-term Rehab

The decision to seek the help of a rehab center is already courageous and difficult for most addicts to make. Then comes the process of choosing between long-term rehab and short-term rehab options. Of course the initial desire to consider short-term treatment is usually what pops up. Generally, nobody wants to consider spending months in….

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call800-481-6320

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This