The Difference Between Substance Abuse And Substance Misuse

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Motivation is a key factor that helps define the difference between substance abuse and substance misuse. There is a continuous increase in the amount of people seeking medical treatment for the consumption of mind-altering drugs. Due to this fact, the question about the difference between substance abuse and substance misuse has come to the forefront of many people’s minds. Both misuse and abuse are dangerous and can lead to life-threatening consequences. Understanding the difference between the two is important in determining the type of treatment someone is recommended to receive.

What Is Substance Misuse?

Understanding the difference between substance misuse and substance abuse starts with the motivation that is propelling an individual to consume illicit substances and/or narcotic prescriptions. Some people may build up a tolerance to certain medications. Subsequently, they begin to take more than the prescribed amount. If the motivation is to decrease pain, then the behavior is classified as substance misuse. Regardless of the motivation, it is dangerous to take more than the prescribed dose since it can lead to physical illness, addiction, or overdose. Substance misuse is not healthy or a smart decision.

What Is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is based on a completely different motivation. The motive behind drug abuse is to feel a sense of euphoria or to self-harm. Substance abuse is classified as a mental health disorder and has serious consequences. It can lead to physical and psychological damage, ruined relationships, and potentially death. Abusing a substance with the motivations above is what defines the difference between substance misuse and substance abuse. Substance abuse should always be treated in an appropriate medical setting such as a drug rehab facility.

How to Distinguish Between Substance Abuse vs. Substance Misuse

Medical professionals use a number of different evaluating factors when determining if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or misuse.  A formal evaluation is performed in order to determine the extent of drug use a person is currently facing. Physicians and mental health professionals receive formal training on how to conduct an evaluation and diagnose drug abuse and misuse. 

Often, what can start as a simple lapse in judgment can lead to a serious addiction. It is important to determine the difference between substance abuse and substance misuse before seeking treatment. Before an addiction develops it is important to identify the motivation behind using mind altering substances. 

Signs of substance misuse include:

  • Not following doctor’s orders in regards to taking prescription drugs
  • Making personal decisions about medication doses
  • Taking medications that are not prescribed
  • Taking medications for reasons other than what they are prescribed for

Individuals who are abusing substances and medications have other signs to watch out for. The difference between substance abuse and substance misuse is the behavior and motivations. Signs of substance abuse include:

  • Lack of control in usage of the substance
  • A build-up of tolerance for the drug
  • The substance is of the highest priority in the user’s life
  • Ignoring harmful symptoms experienced from drug abuse

The Differences Of The Dangers of Substance Abuse and Substance Misuse

Substance abuse and substance misuse are both extremely dangerous. The are essentially time bombs that are waiting to explode . Both will negatively impact a person’s job, relationships, physical health, and mental wellness. It is not uncommon for substance misuse to lead to substance abuse. Furthermore, both types of consumption can lead to overdose and death. Substance abuse is often a more rapid overall decline, compared to substance misuse. 

Substance abuse normally wreaks havoc on both the mind and body. This includes detrimental effects to a person’s health. Drug addiction can lead to changes in sleep and eating habits. This can affect energy levels, cause nutritional imbalances, and have other damages. One difference between substance misuse and substance abuse is that drug addiction can cause brain damage. Sometimes, the damage to the brain can even be permanent.

Treatment For Substance Abuse And Substance Misuse In Cherry Hill, NJ

It is important to seek treatment right away for both substance abuse and substance misuse. If you or your loved one is showing any signs of potentially developing an addiction then speaking with a drug rehab facility is imperative. At The Healing Center, in Cherry Hill, NJ, we over multiple levels of care and therapeutic programs in order to best suit our clients needs. Call our admissions team today to learn more.