Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Some people, both professionals and non-professionals or lay people, believe that there are three types of people who use drugs or drink: Social Users, Substance Abusers and Addicts.

Social Users

They consider Social Users are those people who are supposedly trying to make something more out of otherwise positive, upbeat social circumstances – be it a date, sporting event, interview, family gathering or other activity where people are together.

A social user instead of simply not going or facing reality and participating in healthier situations for himself or herself may be uncomfortable and try drugs to feel more at ease, to fit in, to feel less inhibited or any other number of mood alterations.

And apparently, these Social Users do not report negative consequences like exhibiting any bad behaviors or being out of control as a effect of this social drug or alcohol use.

Substance Abusers

On the other hand substance abusers, are those who supposedly use alcohol or drugs in light of negative experiences or episodes, as well as positive ones, report some negative effects.

In general, though, occasions seem relatively minor to them, like lampshades on heads or broken promises and after-party complaints. Sometimes only one negative issue may cause the surface or sometimes a combination of two or more issues causes the surface. Not much concrete to go on is characterized with this middle stage.


Addicts are the heavier hitters of taking drugs or alcohol, a number of negative consequences results, in spite of whether or not the alcohol or drugs are taken for positive, negative, any and all reasons.

Negative reoccurrence of the same bad behaviors, broken promises and broken limits set beforehand, denial, crying jag or emotional outbursts, mental mania or diving into deep subjects, memory loss or confusion, and many complaints are some of the combination of negatives, which are often reported.

Drugs and Alcohol Addiction Symptoms

Addiction or dependence is characterized by professional standards according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) (1994), regardless of the type of alcohol or drug dependent person.

The following are the drug and alcohol addiction symptoms as per the DSM-IV:

  • Using more than expected
  • Attempts to stop or “control” use and withdrawal symptoms develop (shakes, hallucinations, cravings, etc.)
  • Substance abuse even though negative consequences directly result from the abuse (at any level: physical, emotional, social, work-related, etc.)
  • Mental thoughts focused on the substance (alcohol or drugs) even when not using.
  • Tolerance levels can change; i.e. it takes more and more to get and sustain a drunk or high state
  • Withdrawal from society, friends, loved ones, normal activities – to focus on continued substance use.

Help For Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The key to getting help for drug and alcohol addiction is, firstly accepting the problem and then getting the help, just as the key to co-dependency. Check out library books on co-dependency and to find helpful resources.

Search the Yellow Pages, online search engines, 12-Step Groups listed in community calendars, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics, Anonymous, etc.



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