Understanding Social Use from Substance Abuse, Alcoholism and Addiction

Sometimes it is quite easy to see the difference between social use, substance abuse, and addiction. Then there are times that the signs and differences between them are subtle and not quite so obvious. If you look close enough though, the signs are always there.

Social Drinking and Drug Abuse

Statistics show that most people who drink alcohol are social drinkers. Statistics also show that most people who use drugs are social users. Social drinkers and social drug users?

  1. Socially people drink or use drugs to enjoy themselves and to enhance their enjoyment, pleasure and fun
  2. Socially those who drink or use drugs don’t experience serious problems depending on the substance that’s being abused
  3. Social users of alcohol and drugs feel they’re in control at all times and that they could never cross the line and have too much
  4. Socially those who drink or use drugs never question themselves about their own personal use; they feel they don’t have a problem and that their use isn’t an issue
  5. Socially those who drink or use drugs never have others complain about their substance use because they don’t have a problem

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Many people who drink alcohol or use drugs become substance abusers. There are also many people who abuse alcohol as well as drugs. Many alcohol and drug users?

  1. Use alcohol or drugs in order to make them feel better about themselves and their life
  2. Use alcohol or drugs and experience some problems associated with their substance abuse. They use these experiences and problems to set appropriate limits for their use of alcohol or drugs as far as how much and how often
  3. Users of drugs or alcohol seldom if ever, repeat the alcohol and drug related behaviors that have caused them problems in the past
  4. Users of alcohol and drugs know their limits when it comes to drinking and using and stay within them, unless there is a good enough reason not to
  5. Users of alcohol and drug get complaints concerning their drinking or using and they accept these complaints because they know they are expressions of concern for their well-being

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

There are some people that drink alcohol or use drugs that become alcoholics or addicts. Alcoholics and drug addicts?

  1. Drink or use drugs in spite of the negative consequences associated with their use. They continue to do so no matter what the consequences are
  2. Drink or use drugs with limits set as far as how much and how often they will use these substances. Unexpectedly, they seem to exceed these limits
  3. Drink or use drugs in excess even though they have promised themselves and others that they will drink or use in moderation. The users continue to break these promises
  4. Drink or use drugs but feel guilty and remorseful about their use, unfortunately they just can’t seem to permanently change the way they consume alcohol or use drugs
  5. Drink or use drugs even though they get complaints about their use of these substances. They feel resentful and show disregard for those who comment or complain about it

Alcohol and Drug Use Management

Social drinkers and users, substance abusers, and alcoholics and addicts manage the relationship they have with alcohol and drugs in different ways.

  1. Social drinkers and social users feel they’re just fine. They feel they don’t have a problem and there is nothing they need to do about it. Drinking and using isn’t a problem and they feel it’s not an issue in their life. No matter what they hear or see, it’s just not a problem.
  2. Substance abusers may not need to stay away from the use of alcohol or drugs completely, but they do need to deal with the problems and issues concerning using ‘to make them feel better’; even if this means getting professional addiction help to do it.
  3. Alcoholics and addicts need to stay away completely from any substance that is addictive, potentially addictive or mood and mind altering substances. In order to do this, they will need professional help and support to be successful most of the time because it’s just not ‘that easy’.

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