Drug Abuse vs. Alcoholism: Which is worse?

  • By reComparison Contributor
  • comments 0
  • views3080

Difference between Drug Abuse and Alcoholism

Alcohol and other drugs are addictive substances that can lead to serious problems when they are abused or when someone becomes addicted to them. Substance abuse does not always result in addiction, although someone who abuses legal or illegal drugs, or alcohol, may become dependent on them if they are addictive. Both substance abuse and addiction have negative effects, but someone who has become addicted to drugs or alcohol will find it much more difficult to change their behavior and give up the addictive substance.

Drug Abuse
Alcoholism

Abuse and Addiction

Drug abuse or substance abuse is a term that is used to refer to a pattern of behavior involving drug use. Drug abuse can involve illegal drugs, but it may also involve addiction to prescription medications. Many different types of drugs are addictive. Drug abuse does not always refer to drug addiction or dependence, although it can be used to refer to an addiction. In the same way that alcohol may be abused by someone who is not addicted to alcohol, drugs may be abused by someone who is not an addict.

Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a condition that occurs when someone has become addicted to alcohol. Someone who is affected by alcohol dependence will feel a compulsive need to drink alcohol and they will be unable to control their alcohol consumption, even though it is having a negative effect on their life. Alcoholism is a treatable medical condition.

When someone is addicted to alcohol or to a legal prescription drug, it can be more difficult to recognize the problem than when someone is addicted to an illegal drug. In many cultures, it is socially acceptable to drink, and it may even be considered normal to drink to excess. This can make it difficult for people who have become dependent on alcohol to realize that they have a problem, and it can also make it more difficult to stop drinking since friends and family members are likely to continue drinking.

Although abuse does not necessarily entail addiction, it can lead to dependence and it can still have negative effects. Someone who is abusing alcohol or drugs may experience medical side-effects and they may also develop negative patterns of behavior, such as becoming violent when drunk or engaging in risky behaviors such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Effects

Drug abuse and alcoholism can have very similar effects. The medical effects of different types of drugs or of alcohol can vary, depending on the chemicals they contain and the routes through which they are taken. Different drugs can also vary in how addictive they can be. Alcohol can be more addictive than certain drugs.

When someone abuses drugs or alcohol, the social and personal effects of addiction can be very similar. An individual who is addicted to something will become a compulsive user and they will be unable to control their use of the addictive substance. They may experience problems maintaining good relationships with their friends and family, or difficulty holding down a job.

Treatment

The treatment of a drug or alcohol addiction often involves similar techniques, although different medications may be offered to people who are being treated for addictions to specific drugs or to alcohol. Other aspects of treatment, such as the provision of group and individual therapy, attendance of social meetings with other people dealing with similar addictions, residential therapy and avoidance of the addictive substance can be used to treat any addiction.

Alcohol and certain other drugs can result in withdrawal effects when someone who has become addicted suddenly stops taking the drug or drinking alcohol. These withdrawal symptoms can have serious physical effects. Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be alleviated through the use of medication. Medical treatment may also be required to treat the side-effects of an addiction, such as the liver problems that may be caused by alcohol abuse.

Addiction also has a psychological component, which can play a part in both alcohol and drug addiction. Medication alone may not be enough to combat an addiction. The person who has been affected must also be willing to make an effort to change their behavior, which can take a huge amount of willpower. Therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy and individual therapy can be used to help treat the psychological aspects of a drug or alcohol addiction.

Similarities and Differences

The abuse of drugs or alcohol does not necessarily entail dependence, but it can have serious negative consequences on a person's health and lifestyle. When someone becomes addicted to a drug or to alcohol, these negative effects can increase, and the person will no longer be able to prevent themselves from taking drugs or drinking alcohol.

  • Without treatment, a person who has become addicted to a drug or to alcohol may be unable to stop themselves from continuing to take drugs or to drink alcohol.
  • Someone who has experienced an addiction will often struggle to overcome it for the rest of their life.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse is the use of drugs or alcohol that cause negative effects.
  • Drug or alcohol dependence is an addiction.
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol can have negative health and social effects.
  • Addiction often requires medical assistance.

Which problem is tougher to kick?
  • Drug Abuse
  • Alcoholism
 
 

Discuss It: comments

Post a Comment
  • Name*
  • Email*
  • Website (optional)
  • arrow You are commenting as a Guest
  • arrow Your email will not be public
  • arrow Login or Sign Up and post using your reComparison account
  • arrow Facebook Connect