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Is Drug Abuse the Same As Drug Misuse?

Drug abuse is defined as the use of a medication without a prescription, or with the intention of “getting high”. Drug abuse is also using a medication in any way other than how it is prescribed. When an individual takes a prescription in higher doses or gets a feeling of euphoria, it is abuse. When an individual crushes and snorts or injects a prescription drug, that is also abuse. Is Drug Abuse the Same As Drug Misuse?

Are Drug Abuse and Drug Misuse the Same Concept?

The terms drug misuse and drug abuse are a lot of times used interchangeably, but there is a remarkable difference between the two. As explained by the FDA, the biggest difference between the two has to do with a person’s motivations and intentions. Both Drug abuse and drug misuse can be dangerous, harmful, and even life-threatening. Taking a prescription in any other way than it is prescribed can have serious consequences that a person may not expect. Prescription drugs are very beneficial when they are taken properly and under the direct care of a medical provider. However, when they are abused or misused, they have the potential of producing debilitating side effects and even deadly outcomes. Prescription medications should never be given to anyone other than who the medication is intended for. Being educated about the medications you are taking and keeping all meds in a safe place, can help cut down on your prescriptions being stolen by anyone that comes into your house with addiction or substance abuse issues.

What Is Drug Misuse?

In drug misuse cases, the individual is not looking to obtain a high, but they are not following medical instructions for the prescription. They may take another dose sooner than what they are supposed to because the first dose didn’t work or isn’t helping, or they may offer some of their prescription medications to a friend. Those that misuse their medications are treating themselves and not following the directions of their doctors. Some other examples of drug misuse can include not taking the right dose, taking a dose at the wrong time, or stopping the medication too soon. According to the National Institute of Health:

Definitions of “misuse” emphasize that the use of the substance does not follow medical indications or prescribed dosing, which bears similarity to certain abuse definitions. In some, although not all definitions, misuse is specifically restricted to prescription or over-the-counter medications. Two definitions propose that misuse occurs only when a drug is taken with a therapeutic intent (ie, the user does not involve seeking psychotropic or euphoric effects) in a manner other than as prescribed. Among the various definitions of “abuse,” the major characteristic that frequently appears was that the substance is used for nontherapeutic purposes to obtain psychotropic (eg, euphoric, sedative, or anxiolytic). Some definitions also require that use contradicts medical advice, that the medication is not taken as prescribed, or that there is harm to the user or others associated with the use. One definition indicates that abuse can also be used to refer to illegal use of a substance. (NIH) Patients should also be concerned with the damages that could happen with drug abuse regarding the brain.

 Oftentimes drug abuse will follow after a period of drug misuse, or the other way around. Regardless of how you look at it, at this point, an individual requires medical intervention and addiction treatment to successfully recover.

Treatment for Drug Abuse and Drug Misuse

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness Miramar offers cutting-edge South Florida detox programs. We offer a safe environment and treat our clients with respect. We specialize in making sure our patients have the most comfortable detox process possible. You no longer have to continue to suffer out of fear.