California College San Diego
September 18, 2012
Prof. Jim Rieser
Substance Abuse and Addiction: Is There a Solution?
Do you or someone you know have a problem with drugs or alcohol? Has life become unmanageable? You should be aware of the differences between abuse and addiction. Because drug abuse and addiction disrupt so many aspects of your life, treatment is not simple. Understanding drug abuse and addiction and effective treatment approaches can better help a user or addict get their lives on track. Abuse
Substance abuse involves excessive and repeated use of a drug in order to illicit pleasure or escape from problems or reality, in spite of negative consequences. Abusing alcohol and other drugs leads to serious health problems, criminal activity, car crashes, and lost productivity in the workplace (H, W.C., 2002). Commonly abused substances include marijuana, stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine, opiates, hallucinogens, inhalants, steroids, prescription drugs, and alcohol. Oftentimes when users abuse substances, they are trying to escape reality or their problems. In doing so, many users create new problems. Whether they are legal, work-related, family or relationship related, or to their health, a substance abuser continues to use regardless of the consequences that their habitual use is causing them. Addiction
Addiction or dependence can be physical, psychological, or both. Physical addiction refers to the physiological consequences of drug use and is typified by withdrawal symptoms when the user stops taking the drug and tolerance, which is the need to increase the amount used to achieve the initial “high.” Psychological dependence refers to the subjective feelings that the user requires in order to maintain feelings of pleasure or well-being. For example, the user feels he/she needs the substance to numb the pain of an unpleasant experience. The key...