While we would never recommend any form of drug use, it is entirely possible for people to drink alcohol every weekend without ever suffering from alcohol dependency. Even with illegal drugs such as cannabis, it’s possible to smoke a little on the weekend without ruining your life.
Some people think decriminalising drugs is the best option to reduce the pressure on health care, criminal justice, and social service systems.
However, it can be easy for harmless fun to become long term addiction, and it can be very difficult to recognise when this is happening to you. So where is the line, and when exactly does meaningless fun become drug abuse?
Drug Abuse Definition
Recreational drug use is defined by the fact that a user is able to try a drug, then go about their life, without it becoming habitual or affecting their career, finances or relationships.
Drug abuse is when this is no longer the case – when drugs affect our judgement, becoming addictive, and we begin to prioritise them over important parts of our lives.
In other words, what is meant by drug abuse is when drug use is no longer deliberate or planned, but out of control. Drug abuse is when the drugs use us, for want of a better explanation.
Do you live for the weekend? Just struggling to get through the week so that you can let loose with drugs or alcohol?
Do you spend so much money on drugs or alcohol that it affects your financial status and results in missing bills?
Do you often feel tired or drained, unable to feel normal or good about yourself until using drugs?
All of these are major signs of chemical dependency. Continuing to use drugs while dependent is drug abuse and extremely dangerous both physically and mentally.
If you think you may be suffering from alcohol or drug dependency, contact us immediately to learn more about how we can help you regain control of your life.
Drug Abuse Statistics
The World Health Organization tracks drug abuse and dependency across the world and assists countries in developing and evaluating treatments. According to their research:
- 31 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders
- Almost 11 million people worldwide inject drugs, including 1.3 million who are living with HIV
- Only 38.3% of the world drinks alcohol, but of those who do, the average intake is 17 litres of pure alcohol per year
Alcohol & Drug Abuse
It is easy for us to think of these as two different problems, especially because alcohol is legal and most recreational drugs are illegal.
But this isn’t really true, with alcohol being every bit as addictive and life-threatening as other drugs.
The two problems are also often tightly intertwined, with alcoholics with increasing tolerance often looking to drugs to increase their buzz, for example.
Abuse of either drugs or alcohol causes behavioural, cognitive and physiological effects that cause an extreme desire to keep using the drug, inability to control its use through willpower alone, and of course symptoms such as withdrawal.
Getting Help for Your Drink or Drug Problem
Do you feel like your casual drinking has grown into a real problem?
Did you try drugs a few times and think it was ok, but now are struggling to stop?
It is easy to feel alone, hopeless or even struggle to admit such problems, but our friendly, experienced staff are 100% non-judgemental and some of them have even overcome addictions themselves.
You can begin your journey to recovery simply by calling us on 0800 118 2892 and discussing your problem with us – we are available 24/7 to provide free, friendly, no obligation advice on how best to begin your road back to health.