What drug addiction is and what it’s not

Resolve Focus – Drug & alcohol recovery is a term that many people seem to believe that they understand. And they should think so with good reason. After all, no complicated terms have been included in the phrase which would confuse them and divert them away from the actual and literal meaning. With the entire point being laid out right in front of them, they think that they would be able to understand it loud and clear.

However, the sad truth is that many people seem to fall under the misconception of the term drug addiction. This is because of the varying terms such as dependence, tolerance, and addiction being used by both lay people and professionals. Since these seem to be used in an interchangeable manner, it leads to believe that all of it is one and the same. So rather than taking the additional hassle of classifying them in to different categories, the same treatment method could be applied to all of them. Now that is the major mistake that seems to be committed by a substance abuse therapist.

Therefore, with drug abuse and addiction being on the rise with every passing day, it has become more important than ever before to make a distinction between these terms. It would be in this way that we would be able to identify the differing degrees of drug addiction and thus help those people who are in dire need of it.


Tolerance could be defined as the diminished response of a person that would be the result of repeated use. In this case, people would be able to develop tolerance for both prescribed medication and illicit drugs.

There are three main types of tolerance that a substance abuse therapist would be able to come across:

  • Acute

Also referred to as short-term tolerance, this could be caused by repeated exposure to a drug over a relatively short span of time.

  • Chronic

Chronic or long-term tolerance is one which develops when an individual’s body adopts to the constant exposure of a drug. This is something which would be developed over weeks or even months.

  • Learned

This may result from frequent exposure to certain kinds of drugs.


Resolve focus – drug & alcohol recoverydefined dependence as a physical condition in which the body has already adapted to the presence of a drug. So, if a person would suddenly stop taking this drug, they are bound to experience measurable and predictable symptoms. This would also be known as a withdrawal syndrome.


Lastly, addiction refers to “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that could be characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences.” To put it quite simply, addiction would be the overwhelming need to consume a drug despite being well aware of the harmful and negative consequences that would result.

Hence, by keeping these different definitions in mind, it would become easier to treat patients who are suffering from drug abuse and addiction. In addition, even though many people think that drug addiction is the outcome of certain events, many people have also actually adopted it as their way of life.