Differences Between Drug Misuse, Substance Abuse, and Drug Addiction

Differences Between Drug Misuse, Substance Abuse, and Drug Addiction

Differences Between Drug Misuse, Substance Abuse, and Drug Addiction 150 150 Aware Behavioral Health

The incorrect usage of drugs is a leading concern in Dallas and elsewhere. As a result, you may frequently hear the terms misuse, abuse, and addiction in the conversation surrounding the drug epidemic. But these words are not exactly interchangeable and each describes a particular set of challenges.

While all of these can require help and intervention, they also often require a separate approach depending on what a patient is actually experiencing. Here is how each of these drug usage concerns is differentiated and what the solutions are for each use.

Specific Drug Problems Based on Usage Type

Drugs, including prescription drugs, legal drugs, and illicit substances, carry a range of risks whenever they are used incorrectly or without the proper guidance of a medical professional. Overdose is a common concern, as is dependency, adverse side effects, and complications from mixing different medications or drugs.

Doctors group the three different kinds of unsafe drug use into the following:

  • Drug Misuse – When a patient has a medication prescribed for a medical concern but is not taking it in the prescribed manner, this is drug misuse. This could include skipping doses, doubling up on doses, taking the wrong dose, or taking medication alongside other substances that are not supposed to be combined. Taking prescription medication that you were not personally prescribed or for a different purpose than what was prescribed is also drug misuse.
  • Drug Abuse – Most often associated with illicit substances, drug misuse is taking an illicit substance or prescription drug for the purpose of getting high or self harm.
  • Drug Addiction – Drug addiction is a serious disorder in which a person’s body has a physiological and psychological dependence on a substance, often making it impossible or even dangerous for them to stop usage solely on their own.

If you or a loved one are engaging in any of these three behaviors, it is worth getting help to avoid any harmful side effects. Additionally, while each of these is a separate concern, they can often be interlinked with drug misuse or substance abuse becoming an addiction that you have little control over.

Medication review can be valuable for drug misuse to be sure that you are taking the right medications at the right dosage for the maximum effect without side effects, reducing the need for you to alter your own medications to receive different results and staying current on all of your medications to be sure that there is no unwanted interactions.

A psychiatrist in Dallas can help you address concerns around opioid abuse disorder or addiction with a range of medically assisted treatments and psychotherapy, while also supporting patients in withdrawal and continued sobriety. If you are experiencing any challenges with addiction, medication, or substance use, Aware Behavioral Health offers personalized and patient-focused care that ensures your medication needs are effectively met and supports you in recovering from addiction and substance abuse. Contact us today to get started.

Dallas Psychiatrist Dr. Surin Sehdev

Dr. Surin Sehdev is the lead psychiatrist at Aware Behavioral Health in Dallas (formerly Bedford, TX). He has been working in the psychiatric field for 7+ years. He specializes in opioid withdrawal, ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction. Content on this blog and this website should be considered informal and should not be considered medical advice, as may be written and/or edited by non-medical staff. Please contact Dr. Sehdev for specific and accurate diagnoses and treatment information.

All stories by : Dallas Psychiatrist Dr. Surin Sehdev