The social acceptance of drinking can make alcohol addiction hard to spot. But when alcohol use gets out of control and starts to interfere with relationships, work and health, it’s time to seek help. Crownview Telehealth Institute offers comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for alcoholism.
The use of psychoactive substances often leads to dependency, which comes with a variety of negative consequences as well. Symptoms usually include a constant and overwhelming impulse to take the substance, an inability to effectively control your usage, and prolonged use of the substance, regardless of the negative consequences that using brings.
It’s important to understand the difference between all of these stages as you’re working through treatment and recovery:
The consumption of drugs or alcohol. This could be a prescription drug for a surgery you’ve received or a cocktail at a wedding you’re attending. For most people, use is occasional and they’re able to easily regulate their intake.
Use turns into abuse when you continue to use drugs or alcohol regardless of how it negatively effects you and your life. This usually manifests as issues at work, your health, and with relationships.
Dependence is having a drug or alcohol addiction. When you’re addicted, you are physically dependent on the substance and if you were to attempt to quit, you may have intense unpleasant symptoms due to withdrawal. At this point you can no longer control your use and feel as though you need it in order to properly function.
It can be very difficult to easily identify the line between use and abuse when it comes to legal substances. Is grabbing a few beers with your co-workers after a long and strenuous day use or abuse? What about needing a cup of coffee in order to get out of bed in the morning? Or smoking a pack of cigarettes every day on your breaks? This may seem like mundane and innocent everyday tasks, but for some people, it’s very easy to go from responsible use to abuse, and eventually full dependence.