Nobody uses any drug thinking to themselves, “I’m trying it because I want to become addicted and lose control of my life.” Yet many people become addicted to the drugs they try with the intention of just doing it once or twice. So, at what point does use become abuse, and perhaps drug addiction treatment at a rehab center is needed?
The reasons for people to try a drug can vary greatly, i.e., it could be to fit in with the crowd, to experience something new, or to cope with a life problem; one way or another, the decision to try the drug resolutely turns into a serious addiction.
It’s hard for many to say when and at which time drug use became drug abuse. Oftentimes, it’s easier for a person who does not do drugs to pick this out. It’s due to the fact that over time most drug users lose the ability to separate uses and discern which time they felt they had lost control. It can be due to the fact that in full-blown and serious addiction, memories can be hard to recall, and the abundance of highs and trips all blur into one.
The transition from using to abusing can be very discrete. At one moment, they do a drug and know that tomorrow or the next day, they won’t be doing it again. Suddenly, that rational thought turns into the irrational thoughts of how to get the next hit and how soon can it be taken?
People who use a drug don’t need it to function normally or to be happy. They are okay saying that they won’t use the drug for days, months, or years. In fact, it isn’t a problem for them if they never do it again. For a person who is just using a drug, the drug is for fun and isn’t meant to be a long-lasting thing. Unfortunately, it isn’t just the mentality that affects whether or not a person becomes abusive with the drug.
With more uses, the body builds tolerance to the drug and becomes used to its effects. More of the drug is needed to achieve a similar high; after some time, the body begins to crave it after repetitive use. Slowly, the mind and body change together and begin craving the drug, needing it frequently. It becomes a necessity for normal functioning and experiencing happiness or relaxation.
It’s at the point when the individual thirsts for the drug that they have become abusive. Another sign of abuse of a drug is when it begins changing for the individual to continue their proper lifestyle, and it can happen just before addiction sets in. A person’s daily routine or interests may change suddenly. Their personality may switch to one that is more conducive or similar to themselves on the drug. These individuals might even begin stealing, lying, or cheating in order to keep using.
The difference between using and abusing is a serious line that often gets crossed without much thought. The ease at which the transition happens is so great that it is the reason why people are never encouraged to try drugs or believe that they can remain in the ‘using’ category.