Drug addiction is a serious disease. It can strike anyone, regardless of age, race, culture, background or socioeconomic status. You’re never too young, too old, too rich, too broke or even too religious to struggle with drug addiction. At any point in time you may find that you’ve crossed the line from drug experimentation to drug addiction.

Is it drug addiction or drug abuse?

The difference between drug addiction and drug abuse tends to be situational. People who abuse drugs may do so during periods of high stress or trauma. This could be a major life transition or transformation such as divorce, death or being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or disease. In circumstances like this, people are looking for ways to cope with overwhelming feelings of grief and despair. Alcohol or drug abuse can occur as a result of people attempting to cope with these feelings. Generally as the situation improves or these people seek outside help, the alcohol abuse or drug abuse abates and they are able to return to a fairly level normal of functioning without crossing the line into alcoholism or drug addiction. There are people who are more susceptible to alcoholism and drug addiction based on their genetic make-up. For these people, turning to alcohol or drugs to cope during a bad time can spiral straight into alcohol or drug addiction. Even when the situation has passed and things have balanced out, these individuals continue to abuse alcohol or drugs because they enjoy the effects and aren’t ready to quit. If they don’t recognize the problem and get help, a trip to alcohol rehab or drug rehab is inevitable.

Are you struggling with drug abuse or drug addiction?

In order to determine if you are struggling with drug abuse or drug addiction, there are a few questions you have to ask yourself. How often do you drink or take drugs? Do you take just enough to get by or do you get loaded every time? Is work or school attendance or performance sliding because of your alcohol or drug usage? Have you changed the people you hang out with? Do you isolate more? Have friends and family members expressed concern about your alcohol or drug use? Do you have withdrawal symptoms (headache, nausea, anxiety, body aches) when you quit drinking or using drugs? If you honestly answer these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of how serious your drug use is. Whether you are dealing with drug and alcohol abuse or drug addiction, most people need professional help to quit drugs and alcohol. The level of care you need depends on the type of drug, how much you take and how long you've been taking it. While physical addiction is severed generally within a week, psychological addiction can take months and even years to break. If you suspect that you or a loved one is either struggling with drug abuse or drug addiction, don’t wait any longer. Seek professional help today.