Addiction, Drug Use & Drug Abuse Uncovered


What is the difference between drug use, drug abuse, and drug addiction?

The word “addiction” is derived from the Latin “addicere”, which literally means to bind a person to one thing or another. Clinically addiction is often defined as a person continuing to use, despite the consequences of the risk with an increased tolerance for the substance of abuse. Addiction is a complex, neurological, psychological, emotional, behavioral and spiritual harmonic imbalance. One of the primary imbalances of addiction is to be found in the neurochemistry and neurocircuitry of the addicted individual. There are a number of theories of addiction, and the one that Fort Lauderdale Addiction Treatment Center is most aligned with is that addiction is seen as a break with the homeostatic balance within the individuals body, mind and spirit. Within the neurocircuitry of addiction, common elements include the rewards stress circuit, compulsivity circuit and cue-induced craving circuit. Within the brain structures, the pre-frontal cortex, the motor cortex, the thalamus, the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens are the brain areas most involved with drug and alcohol addictions. A central focus at Fort Lauderdale Addiction Treatment Center is to assist the Guest in literally re-wiring the circuitry that has been disrupted and compromised during the Guest’s addictive life. To add to the complexity of addiction, alcohol and different drugs have different effects on a variety of neurotransmitters, neuronal structures, and brainwave frequencies. -Rick Murphy, MA

Understanding drug use, drug abuse, and addiction

Fort Lauderdale Addiction Treatment Center

People experiment with drugs for many different reasons. Many first try drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, because friends are doing it, or in an effort to improve athletic performance or ease another problem, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Use doesn’t automatically lead to abuse, and there is no specific level at which drug use moves from casual to problematic. It varies by individual. Drug abuse and addiction is less about the amount of substance consumed or the frequency, and more to do with the consequences of drug use. No matter how often or how little you’re consuming, if your drug use is causing problems in your life—at work, school, home, or in your relationships—you likely have a drug abuse or addiction problem.