Prescription medications can put people at risk of addiction. That can happen even if you take the drugs as prescribed. It’s common in situations where a person struggles with pain or mental health disorders that require stimulants. Prescription drug addiction is serious and can impact the quality of life and a person’s life span. It…
There are many terms thrown around in relation to drug abuse, and it can be difficult to discern what they mean. Drug addiction is an already misunderstood disease, and the confusion regarding terminology only adds to the problem. While drug dependence and drug addiction are often related, they do not mean the same thing. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between drug dependence and drug addiction.
What is drug dependence?
Drug dependence involves a physical condition. Repeated exposure to a drug or frequent usage causes the body to adapt to the drug. The easiest way to identify drug dependence is through withdrawal symptoms when the drug is no longer used.
When most people think of drug and alcohol withdrawal, they probably picture the initial withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person stops using drugs or alcohol and undergoes the detox process. While these initial withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and intense, another form of withdrawal comes later. According to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, a second form of withdrawal, called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), includes symptoms that occur for several weeks or even months after a person stops using drugs and alcohol. Other names for this condition include post-withdrawal syndrome, prolonged withdrawal syndrome, or protracted withdrawal syndrome, and it most often occurs with alcohol, benzodiazepine, and opiate abuse.
Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may vary based upon the substance from which a person is withdrawing. According to a report in CNS Drugs, post-acute withdrawal syndrome for alcohol typically involves the following symptoms:
Has it ever seemed to you that something wasn’t quite right with your loved one? Were you unsure what the problem was? There are many possibilities in life when things are off with a person, but if you suspect addiction, the following can help you identify signs of addiction in a loved one so that help can be attained for them.
First, it’s essential to define what addiction is. People with addiction engage in compulsive behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse, that can be harmful to them in many ways. Damage can come in all forms. Physical, emotional, mental, and financial. This lifestyle can cause their relationships to fall apart, even with the ones they care about the most. Addiction is a chronic state of desire for a substance or action that they must have, at the expense of all else in life. All people are susceptible; no one is exempt.
Being a pillar of strength, hope, and guidance for someone else is a very exhausting task, even for the most capable person. Support groups for families of addicts & alcoholics provide a much needed safe space to cope with the on-going strain they endure with this problem, so they don’t lose themselves in the process.
An addicted person is not just changing and negatively affecting their own life, but their attitudes and actions greatly affect those around them. Because of the ripple effect addiction has on loved ones, it is often called a ‘family disease’. Having an environment in which the loved ones can go and express concerns is needed for the overall long-term recovery of everyone involved.
How do you help someone with addiction and depression? Everyone’s circumstance will be different, but knowing what you’re up against will be a great start. The phrase “Knowledge is power” is certainly true in this case. Facing the battle well-armed, you will be of more assistance to that person.
Drug addiction and depression often go hand in hand. This dual diagnosis makes everything more complicated because one may affect the other. If a depressed person is left untreated, they may find themselves reaching for coping mechanisms and self medicate to help them deal with this issue. Their depression brings the possibility of an addiction of some kind; drug addiction is a common one. When an individual is addicted to drugs, it can affect their mental and emotional stability and cause depression. What they are doing to soothe themselves can escalate their issues and even trigger new ones.
A substance use disorder is a clinical term used to describe addiction to drugs or alcohol. According to guidelines set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, withdrawal is one of the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder. Withdrawal, which occurs when people with addictions stop using drugs or alcohol, involves unpleasant symptoms as a result of the substance of abuse no longer being active in the body.
When a person enters withdrawal, he or she may experience painful symptoms, making it difficult to permanently stop using the substance of abuse. In fact, people may return to drug or alcohol use to avoid withdrawal symptoms. In cases where a person wants to stop using drugs and/or alcohol but withdrawal symptoms are making the process more challenging, an alcohol and drug detox program may be necessary to manage symptoms and begin the journey toward lasting recovery. Detox programs can also provide life-saving medical treatment in cases where withdrawal becomes dangerous.
Next week, Compass Detox will be attending DisruptHR Miami. This event is a conference, of sorts, that brings together some of the top HR professionals from Florida and beyond. The purpose of this conference is to challenge those professionals to think beyond the normal HR structure, to confront them with issues, ideas, and situations that will spark thought, creativity, and leadership within their industries in tackling issues that some HR teams tend to neglect or shy away from.
We plan on bringing what is still a very stigmatized situation into the light at DisruptHR, and offering the solutions that these HR pros, and their peers, need when this situation becomes real.
Addiction carries with it some very unfortunate labels. Lazy, weak, careless, selfish, a liability. These words get tossed around a lot when the business world at large discusses addiction and the issues that come along with it. While none of these labels are anywhere near reality, they still exist and many opinions about a person are formed based around these labels when that person approaches someone for help or their identity as an addict is revealed in some way.
Addiction is an epidemic that has run rampant across humanity for centuries. Helen of Troy was said to have utilized opium, given to her by an Egyptian queen, in helping to treat the Greek warriors in Homer’s Odyssey – “…presently she cast a drug into the wine of which they drank to lull all pain and anger and bring forgetfulness of every sorrow.” Roman addictions, as well as Spartan and Greek, are well documented. To go “berserk” is a term that comes from Viking Berserkers, a much feared warrior who would rush into battle mostly nude, no matter the weather, incredibly high on psychedelic drugs to cancel out all fear and pain during battle. Yes, addiction has quite literally been a part of humanity since the earliest days of our existence.
Yet, despite that, addiction is not something that runs throughout humanity. There are many millions of humans alive today who seem to be immune to addiction. No matter what they do, or what they try, when they tire of it, or they just don’t feel like it anymore, they stop. Just like that. They drop it, they’re done, they never think about it again, nor do they suffer side effects from stopping whatever “it” was.
By the time addiction has become truly problematic, a person will come up with a bunch sophisticated defense mechanisms to continue feeding his/her addiction. One of these defense mechanisms is playing the victim role.
Why do addicts play the victim?
Knowingly playing the victim role helps an addict to control and influence the thoughts and feelings of others, most commonly parents and spouses. An addict hardly copes with their actions — they’re ashamed or afraid to acknowledge this and seek help — so they justifies their actions as a way of controlling the situation.